Oracle announced it is making available the Java 14 software development kit (SDK), which provides access to several additional capabilities designed to help advance DevOps adoptions within IT organizations that still rely heavily on Java to build enterprise applications.
Those capabilities include a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) to enable continuous monitoring of JDK Flight Recorder data and a set of APIs that make it easier to access foreign memory.
In addition, via an incubator module Oracle is now providing access to a Packaging Tool that will enable developers to package Java applications and runtimes for distribution in platform-specific formats. That capability is being exposed as an incubator module because the associated APIs have not been finalized, which means they are subject to change in future releases.
The Java 14 SDK adds Java language support for switch expressions to be used as either an expression or statement and extends the availability of the low-latency Z Garbage Collector to macOS and Windows.
Finally, Oracle has added support for a Pattern Matching capability that eliminates the need for boilerplate code and a preview of a tool that makes it simpler to declare data immutable.
Aurelio Garcia-Ribeyro, director of product management for Java SE, said a lot of the capabilities being added to Java SDK were developed as part of the ongoing Panama and Amber research projects that in some cases have been in development and testing for years.
Despite the rise of rival programming languages, Garcia-Ribeyro said enterprise IT organizations continue to rely on Java to build most of their applications, especially mission-critical backend systems.
The challenge is modernizing the processes via which Java applications are built and deployed. Many organizations, for example, are embracing containers and microservices to build next-generation applications. As that transition occurs the need to embrace best DevOps practices becomes more apparent because applications themselves are becoming more complex. The upside, of course, is that microservices also make it possible to build more robust applications faster, which has become a critical requirement as organizations embrace digital business transformation.
Of course, no two organizations are likely to be at the same point on the DevOps maturity curve. In fact, in many cases, DevOps adoption is being driven from the bottom up as developers embrace new capabilities being added to familiar tools such as the Java Development Kit from Oracle. In some cases, the SDK will be used to build new applications while other members of the development team employ it to modernize legacy applications. Before long, however, IT operations teams start to realize how monitoring APIs and packaging tools are transforming how IT operations are managed.
Naturally, Oracle is hoping all these new capabilities will help keep organizations focused on Java as the primary means for building enterprise applications at a time when developers have more options than ever. The one thing that Oracle has most in its favor is that most organizations don’t want to retrain developers to learn how to master a new programming language unless it can’t be avoided.