Future of Java EE

One week ago Oracle published two blog entries announcing their intent to move Java EE to a foundation and the impact upon WebLogic. This marks a major turning point for Java EE. Up to this point, original Sun and now Oracle, have been the stewards for Java EE for the past 18 years. Although Java EE is an open standard developed via the JCP, most the JSRs (specs that make up Java EE) were led by Oracle. This resulted in Java EE having a single point of failure. There was a dark cloud over Java EE back in 2009 when the fate of Sun was uncertain in the face of the financial crisis and again in 2015-2016 as the rise of cloud computing resulted in structural changes to Oracle’s business. With Oracle moving Java EE into a foundation, Java EE will finally be independent which is what the community has long sought, going all the way back to the financial crisis. This is a transfer of IP and control which is not always an easy decision for a business to make or pull off. Oracle should be applauded for this – it would have been easier to ignore Java EE and let it gradually become irrelevant from neglect. Now the community (vendors, JUGs, developers, etc.) which have criticized Oracle for the delays on Java EE 8 will have to produce and agree on the path forward. ¬†Hopefully, with Java EE moving to a foundation, more cloud vendors will become involved and help define the best way for developing Java applications in the cloud.

This is great news for every Java developer and reduces the uncertainty that has sometimes clouded Java EE’s future. Also, this will hopefully put to rest the unfair criticism from distractors that Java EE is an “Oracle” technology with “lock-in.” which has always been false.