The Eclipse Foundation today published the results of survey of 2,180 software developers that finds over half of respondents (55%) have adopted Java/Jakarta EE 8.
In addition, the Eclipse Foundation is making available an update to the Jakarta Enterprise Edition (EE) specification that will move away from the javax namespace to embrace jakarta namespaces for all components.
Jakarta EE 8 is essentially Java EE 8, which Oracle agreed would become open source software when it transferred ownership last year to the Eclipse Foundation. The transition from Java EE to Jakarta nomenclature remains a work in process.
The Eclipse Foundation finds the use of Java technologies is in a state of flux across the board. For example, adoption of Java 11 now stands at 28%, while Java 14 adoption is at 11%, according to the survey. That compares to 64% that are still employing Java 8.
Spring/Spring Boot at 44% adoption continues to be the leading framework for building cloud-native applications, compared to 35% using Jakarta EE and 16% for Red Hat Quarkus, a framework that runs natively on Kubernetes.
Usage of Eclipse Che, an open source integrated development environment (IDE) for building applications on Kubernetes, now stands at 11%, the survey also finds.
Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, said it’s clear organizations are now employing multiple frameworks to build Java applications, given a 13% drop in reliance on Spring/Spring Boot from last year’s survey results.
However, the survey also finds that overall, the use of Java to build microservice applications has declined to 39% from 43% during the same period. That drop may reflect both the complexity of building microservices-based applications, given the fact that 25% of survey respondents said they are using Java to build monolithic applications, said Milinkovich.
At the same time, some organizations may be opting to lift and shift existing monolithic Java applications into the cloud in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, noting once redeployed, those organizations may then opt to modernize those applications using microservices.
With access to many local data centers limited during the pandemic, many organizations may have decided the most prudent option was to lift and shift Java applications as they are than re-engineer them first, he added.
There are currently 12 frameworks officially that are compatible with Jakarta EE 8, which Milinkovich said is indicative of the continued relevance of Java technologies for building applications both inside and out of the cloud. Now that Java is available as open source software, the level of innovation surrounding Java platforms will also accelerate, he said.
There is still a large base of developers that rely on Java and by extension Jakarta to build enterprise applications. However, IT organizations now routinely employ a wide range of programming languages and platforms to build applications. Java is still the most dominant when it comes to building backend applications; however, many organizations are still evaluating their options when it comes to building cloud-native applications on platforms such as Kubernetes.
Java in all its forms will, of course, be around for a long time to come. The only real question is how much organizations will continue to rely on it, in an IT world that continues to transform.