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What’s new in Eclipse’s Jakarta EE Java

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24 April 2018

The Eclipse Foundation, which has taken over development of enterprise Java, plans two releases of the GlassFish Java application server this year, including one that will pass through Eclipse’s new enterprise Java specification process. The rollouts are the first steps in the foundation’s efforts to advance the enterprise Java platform, which, going forward, will emphasise microservices and cloud deployments.

GlassFish historically has served as a reference implementation of Java EE (Enterprise Edition), which is being re-labelled Jakarta EE. GlassFish will serve as the reference implementation of Jakarta EE as well. In the third quarter of this year, Eclipse GlassFish 5.1 will debut, becoming the first release of a project from the Eclipse Enterprise for Java (EE4J) top-level project.

GlassFish 5.1 will be certified as compatible with Java EE 8. In the following quarter, Eclipse GlassFish 5.2 will arrive, certified for Jakarta EE 8 and compatible with Eclipse’s enterprise Java process. Java EE 8 and Jakarta EE 8 will be “extremely similar,” albeit with small differences, Eclipse Executive Director Mike Milinkovich said. A release cadence for Eclipse’s Jakarta EE is still to be determined.

Cloud native Java
Eclipse’s roadmap for GlassFish is part of a multifaceted announcement today detailing both development plans and the organisation’s overall vision for Jakarta. Key goals and areas of focus, based on feedback from developers and stakeholders, include:

  • Enhanced support for microservices architecture. The existing Eclipse MicroProfile community will help take the lead on this. Jakarta will have a microservices-first outlook and a simpler consumption model where enterprises can use the best of the platform without having to use all of it.
  • A move to “cloud native Java,” with better integrations with technologies including Docker containers and Kubernetes container orchestration. Some integrations have to happen at the JVM level. The Eclipse Jakarta community is expected to work with OpenJDK and the Eclipse OpenJ9 VM team on this effort.
  • Provision of production-quality reference implementations.
  • Building of a vibrant developer community.
  • Establishing Eclipse as an open source “centre of gravity” to attract other technologies in realms such as cloud-friendly Java, microservices, and Docker and Kubernetes integration.

Eclipse’s emphasis on cloud support and microservices echoes the plans Oracle had previously outlined for enterprise Java. As part of Eclipse’s takeover of the project, the organisation is endeavouring to make community participation easier. Although the previous Java Community Process under Oracle had engaged the Java community, participation in open source projects such as GlassFish and the Jersey web services API required signing an Oracle Contributor Agreement—a barrier to some Java developers, Eclipse said. New processes for Jakarta EE specifications and development will be “open,” vendor-neutral, and provide a level playing field for all participants, the organisation said.

Jakarta EE compatibility testing
Test compatibility kits (TCKs), to verify compliance with Jakarta EE platform specifications, could arrive as soon as 2018. These are intended to be more open and less arduous than before. The TCKs will be available under an open source license for the first time. Previously, TCKs had been available only to Java EE licensors, who had to pay for them. Certifying compatible implementations will require a Jakarta EE trademark license. Whether Eclipse will charge for the license is still to be determined.



IDG News Service

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