Java EE To Get Open Source Foundation
Java EE To Get Open Source Foundation
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Oracle intends to move stewardship of Java EE (Enterprise Edition) to a third party existing foundation after the official release of Java EE 8 later this year.


The idea was floated in Oracle's Aquarium blog by David Delabassee, Software Evangelist at Oracle. The thinking is that now Java EE 8 is close to GA, it's time to rethink how Java EE should be developed going forward. Delabassee said:

"We believe that moving Java EE technologies to an open source foundation may be the right next step, in order to adopt more agile processes, implement more flexible licensing, and change the governance process. We plan on exploring this possibility with the community, our licensees and several candidate foundations to see if we can move Java EE forward in this direction."


At the moment, Java EE is a mix of open-source and closed technologies, the whole licensed under an Oracle commercial license. While Oracle has so far not been specific about who might take over Java EE, the Apache Software Foundation and the Eclipse Foundation both seem likely candidates. Oracle has already handed the OpenOffice productivity suite and the NetBeans IDE to Apache, while Eclipse took over the Hudson integration server. All these technologies, along with Java, came under Oracle's control when it acquired Sun Microsystems in 2010.

Mike Lehmann, VP of product management at Oracle, has also said that the Java Specification Participation Agreement (JSPA) is something within Java EE where the development could be easier in an open source environment, where licensing rules and legal terms are seen as more permissive and simpler. 

While such a move would be popular with Java users, it could also worry corporate customers. Delabassee reassured current customers of Java EE, saying in the Aquarium post:

"We intend to meet ongoing commitments to developers, end users, customers, technology consumers, technology contributors, partners and licensees. And we will support existing Java EE implementations and future implementations of Java EE 8. We will continue to participate in the future evolution of Java EE technologies. But we believe a more open process, that is not dependent on a single vendor as platform lead, will encourage greater participation and innovation, and will be in best interests of the community. "


More Information

Aquarium Blog 

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