Yesterday, the Eclipse Foundation announced the release of the Jakarta EE 8 full platform, web profile specifications, and related Technology Compatibility Kits (TCKs). This marks the completion of Java EE’s transition to an open and vendor-neutral evolution process.
Explaining the vision behind this release, Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation said, “There are tens of thousands of companies with strategic investments in Java EE and over 10 million Java developers globally. The finalization of the Jakarta EE 8 specifications means that the transition of Java EE to our new open, vendor-neutral, and community-based process has been completed, and paves the way for an entirely new era in Java innovation for enterprise and cloud workloads.”
Back in 1999, Sun Microsystems developed Java EE under the name Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE), which was rebranded as Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE) in 2006. When in 2010 Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems, Java EE’s governance and oversight also moved to Oracle. The development of Java EE’s technical specifications was managed under the Java Community Process (JCP), which was tightly vendor-led effort. In order to make Java EE more open, Oracle made the Eclipse Foundation the new steward of enterprise Java.
Updates in Jakarta EE 8
Jakarta EE 8 has shipped with the same set of technical specifications as Java EE 8, which means developers are not required to make any changes to their Java EE 8 applications or their use of existing APIs.
In this release, the team has focused on updating the process used to determine new specs for Jakarta EE that will replace JCP. This new process is called the Jakarta EE Specification Process (JESP), which will be used by the Jakarta EE Working Group for further development of Jakarta EE. It is based on the Eclipse Foundation Specification Process (EFSP) with a few changes.
Rhuan Rocha, a Java EE developer, wrote in the announcement, “The goals of JESP is being a process as lightweight as possible, with a design closer to open source development and with code-first development in mind. With this, this process promotes a new culture that focuses on experimentation to evolve these specification based on experiences gained with experimentation.”
A key change in this process is that there is no Spec Lead now who had special intellectual property rights under the JCP. In an interview with JAXenter, Milinkovich explained how this process differs from JCP, “The Jakarta EE Specification Process is a level playing field in which all parties are equal, and collaboration is a must. Some of the other significant differences include a code-first approach, rather than a focus on specifications as the starting point. You can also expect a more fully open, collaborative approach to generating specifications, with every decision made collectively by the community.”
Along with the release of Jakarta EE 8 specifications, the Eclipse Foundation also announced the certification of Eclipse GlassFish 5.1 as an open-source compatible implementation of the Jakarta EE 8 Platform.
To know more in detail, check out the official announcement by the Eclipse Foundation.