AdoptOpen JDK Surges Ahead
Written by Janet Swift   
Tuesday, 13 July 2021

The 2021 Edition of the JVM Ecosystem Report is out and reports that Java 11 is now the dominant choice of JDK for both production and development, with Java 15 having a relatively strong foothold.



This year's survey, which gathered responses from over 2000 Java developers, was a cooperation between Snyk and Azul. It  was conducted over a period of six weeks through February and March 2021 and, unlike previous editions, participants were allowed to choose multiple options.

One of its main findings was that developers are finally moving away from Java 8 - this is in contrast to last year's survey which we reported with the headline Java 8 Remains Dominant. In 2021 62% of developers use Java SE 11 in production (compared to 25% last year), but as 40% of survey participants use more than one Java version in production 60% continue to use Java 8 (compared to 64% last year). Only 12% use Java 15, the most recent long tern support version, for production purposes.


When it comes to development only 50% use Java 8, 64% are on Java 11 and 26% have adopted Java 15 - the most recent long tern support version.

When we first covered the Java Ecosystem Survey in 2018, the proprietry Oracle JDK was dominant with a 70% share. By last year its share had halved to 34% with the Adopt Open JDK being a strong contender at 24%. In this year's survey, in which participants could nominate up to three JDKs, AdoptOpenJDK was clealy in the lead.


The report states:

Over 37% of our respondents say they are using at least two different JDKs, and 12.5% even use three or more different JDKs in production. It is interesting to see that 44.1% of respondents use the free AdoptOpenJDK distribution in production, making it the most prevalent in our survey. However, we can also see that Oracle is still a big player in the market, with 28% for their OpenJDK build and 23% for the commercial Oracle JDK. The third most popular supplier of JDKs in production is Azul, at 15.5% adoption, and shouldn’t be underestimated

OpenJDK distributions are, in fact, doing slightly better in development compared to production, with 48% for AdoptOpenJDK and 17.5% for Azul. 


jvmlangs21After Java, which is very much the top JVM language, Kotlin is now the most important language. 

The report comments: 

the popularity of Kotlin is more extensive than we thought last year. With an impressive 17.7% of the developers using Kotlin in production, it has a steady second place. However, it is interesting to see that 15% of the developers use Kotlin together with Java. This is probably because of the great interoperability between Kotlin and Java, and likely the main reason for its success.

Looking at other aspects of the Java ecosystem the survey finds that it is still a Spring-dominated world, with 58% of survey participants using Spring Boot and 39% using Spring MVC. By contrast Java EE is used by 24% and Jakarta EE by 12%.

Maven is firmly the number one build system, used by 76% of developers using it. Gradle comes second with 38% and Ant has 12%.


When it comes to development environment, more than half of those surveyed used multiple IDEs. IntelliJ IDEA is the most prevalent with 72%, however there has been a significant increase in the use of Visual Studio Code which, with 23% now almost equals that of Eclipse (25%). Only 6% use Android Studio.


More Information

JVM Ecosystem Report 2021

Related Articles

Java 8 Remains Dominant

Where's Java Going In 2020

JVM Ecosystem Report Reveals the State of Java

How is Java Doing?


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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 14 July 2021 )