The Eclipse Foundation revealed today the number of downloads for Java Standard Edition (SE)—dubbed Eclipse Temurin—certified using both a technology compatibility kit (TCK) and compatibility tests for evaluating associated runtimes reached 12.3 million in February.
Tim Ellison, a project lead for creating compatibility tests for the Eclipse Foundation, said that level of activity suggests the governance framework for an Eclipse Adoptium project that enables developers to download compatible runtimes based OpenJDK source code from multiple providers is gaining traction. Members of the Adoptium working group include Alibaba Cloud, Bloomberg, Google Huawei, IBM, iJUG, Karakun AG, Microsoft, New Relic, Red Hat and Rivos. Eclipse Temurin has also become the default Java option for the GitHub Actions continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) platform.
OpenJDK is a free and open source implementation of Java SE provided by Oracle. AdoptOpenJDK was created in 2017 to provide open source Java runtimes based on OpenJDK. Since then, AdoptOpenJDK has been downloaded more than 240 million times. The Eclipse Adoptium working group has negotiated with Oracle to create an OpenJDK Community TCK License Agreement (OCTLA) that allows it to run compatibility tests to ensure conformance to the Java specification.
One of the reasons Eclipse Temurin is gaining traction is organizations are looking to reduce Java licensing costs during uncertain economic times by relying on an open source platform. At the same time, a consistent set of certified runtimes also reduces the level of DevOps friction that might otherwise be encountered when building and deploying Java applications, noted Ellison. There will, of course, always be multiple Java runtimes, but the level of incompatibility that would exist without testing them could be substantially higher, he noted.
Despite the plethora of programming languages developers use, after more than 25 years, Java remains the dominant language for developers working in enterprise IT organizations. Developers may be building and deploying applications faster, but most of them will continue to rely on the programming language they already know rather than master another. In addition, many of the Java applications that have been deployed over the last two decades are now being modernized within the context of a cloud migration.
Arguably, Java is experiencing a renaissance following efforts to make it simpler for multiple organizations to contribute code to open source projects and increase the pace of innovation. The rate at which organizations can absorb that innovation will naturally vary, but it’s clear that more organizations are now running later editions of Java that improve both performance and cybersecurity overall.
In the meantime, DevOps teams should expect to see more Java projects moving through pipelines in the months and years ahead. While not every legacy Java application may need to be updated before being retired, it’s apparent that the bulk of Java applications are still relevant. As such, it’s probable the efforts to modernize those applications will keep DevOps teams occupied well through the end of the decade.