Jakarta EE is officially out

Jakarta EE is officially out! OK, given the amount of publicity and evangelising we and others have done around EE4J and Jakarta EE over the past few months, you would be forgiven for thinking it was already the case, but it wasn’t … until today!

I cannot stress enough how important this is to our industry. The number of Java™ developers globally is estimated at over 14 million. The Java EE market is estimated at a high multi-billion dollar value to the industry. Yes, there are other languages out there and other frameworks but none of them have yet made the impact Java™ and Java EE has over the years. Of course, Java EE was not perfect for a variety of reasons, but if you consider how much of an impact it has had on the industry given known and debated limitations, just imagine how much it can bring in the years ahead if it were improved.

With the release of Jakarta EE, we all have a chance to collaborate and build on the good things it inherits, whilst at the same time working to evolve those pieces which are no longer relevant or perhaps never were quite what was needed. Working within the open processes of the Eclipse Foundation vendors, Java™ communities, individuals etc. are all able to interact as peers with no one vendor holding a higher role than another. We’ve seen this exact same process work extremely well in a relatively short period of time with Eclipse MicroProfile and I believe Jakarta EE can do at least as well.

When talking about Java EE and now Jakarta EE some often focus only on the technologies. Fortunately, those of us who have been in the open source world long enough appreciate that the community is just as important. With Jakarta EE, all of us involved in working towards the release hope that we can use it as a catalyst to bring together often disparate Java™ communities under a single banner. Too often, Java EE has been a divisive topic for some vendors and some communities, resulting in fractures and often working on the same problems but pulling in different directions. If Jakarta EE does only one thing, and that is bringing everyone together to collaborate, then I would still deem it a success!

I’ll finish by discussing why Red Hat® has been helping to lead this effort along with others. I can summarise this pretty easily: enterprise Java™ remains critical to our customers and communities, and we believe that despite the increase of other languages and frameworks, it should remain so for many years to come. Red Hat, and JBoss® before it, has contributed to J2EE™, Java EE, and Eclipse MicroProfile for years, and we believe that sharing our experiences and working on open source implementations is important for the industry as a whole, no matter what language you may be using. We believe it’s important to leverage Jakarta EE in the cloud and to a wider range of communities than in the past. We’re here to stay and will continue to help lead!

Onward!

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The future of Java EE

At this stage the future of Java EE looks brighter than it has for quite a while as Oracle, working with Red Hat, IBM, other vendors and the wider community to move the specifications, TCKs and overall innovation to an open source foundation. I think in general most people in the Java community see this as positive but there are a few naysayers, even more of them in other non-JVM areas. The common thread throughout is along the lines of “who cares these days?” or “it’s far quicker and easier to accomplish the same things with framework X or language Y, anyway.” I’m not going to try to address all of the concerns which have been raised because many of the comments I’ve seen have clearly been subjective and bordering on click bait. However, I’m writing this piece to reiterate some things I’ve said over the years and which remain just as relevant today, in my opinion

I want to start though by saying that in all of this I am trying to remain objective. Of course in my current role I and Red Hat have a vested interest in Java EE but if you’ve known me long enough over the years you’ll know that I’m also a scientist and as such I base my opinions on observations and facts born out by those observations. If a fact or piece of data goes against a theory then I don’t ignore it, I review and likely update or replace the theory to match the facts. I’ve changed my opinion on many things throughout my career and I’m sure I will do so again.

OK so back to Java EE. Does this move to open source help the wider community? Is Java EE still relevant or has it had its day like so many technologies before it? I’m not going to link to other things I’ve written on Java EE and its future over the years as they’re easily searchable through your favourite engine. But in short, many people forget that Java EE represents an evolution of essential middleware capabilities which many mission critical applications require. It’s had a lot of bad press since its inception, some of it accurate and some of it less so. I think one of its big failings is that, like my favourite topic of transactions, it has been used and misused in environments where it wasn’t really appropriate. No stack or framework is going to be applicable to every problem space and of course developers are going to get frustrated if they try it and find it wanting and failing as a result.

Continue reading “The future of Java EE”