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Dec 27 2016

Oracle Presents Roadmap for Java EE 8

Scheduled Java release dates have long had a reputation for being unreliable, regardless of whether we're talking about end user oriented or enterprise editions. Now the developers at Oracle, who have been entrusted with oversight of the Java EE project, are trying to overcome the almost habitual delays.

The first attempts at establishing a tighter schedule were made during this year's JavaOne event in September, where Oracle's Linda DeMichiel (Java EE 8 Specification Lead) and Anil Gaur (Group VP responsible for Java EE and WebLogic Server) clarified which features should and shouldn't make it into the upcoming release. At the time, they also kicked off a survey among JavaOne attendees to find out more about the developers' preferences in order to get out a roadmap that's close to (if not in total alignment with) community interests. Both the roadmap and the survey results have now been published in downloadable form – a rather unusual step for Oracle, who have often been criticized for their somewhat authoritarian approach to the obligations that derive from the Java stewardship.

The survey was held among some 1,700 developers of different experience levels, with a 83% majority having spent north of two years and 43% more than eight years in Java EE projects. Its results suggest that it wasn't too hard for Oracle and the developer community to find a common ground: all developers listed REST services and HTTP/2 compatibility as the most important components that should be part of Java EE 8. As per the survey results and an additional "review" undertaken by Oracle, this is what developers can expect:

  • "REST (JAX-RS 2.1) and HTTP/2 (Servlet 4.0) have been voted as the two most important technologies surveyed, and together with JSON-B represent three of the top six technologies. Much of the new API work in these technologies for Java EE 8 is already complete. There is significant value in delivering Java EE 8 with these technologies, and the related JSON-P updates, as soon as possible."
  • "CDI 2.0, Bean Validation 2.0 and JSF 2.3 were not directly surveyed, but significant progress has been made on these technologies and they will be included in Java EE 8."
  • Standards for OAuth and OpenID Connect as well as extended Configuration and Health Checking capabilities ranked high both in the survey and Oracle's own plans. However, they are unlikely to be finished at some point during 2017 – the company's pronounced 'delivery time objective' for Java EE 8 – and so were moved to the next edition.
  • By contrast, the planned security framework (Security 1.0) – though not included in the survey – will be included with Java EE 8.
  • Finally, Management API 2.0, Java Message Services (JMS) 2.1, and Model-View-Controller (MVC) 1.0 have been withdrawn. Instead, the upcoming release will include Management 1.0 and JMS 2.0, whereas MVC could be transferred "to another community member or organization" to be completed as a "stand-alone component" users might implement at their own discretion.

Because of these modifications, and especially given the rescheduled release date of late 2017 for Java EE 8, it is now likely that the follow-up version (Java EE 9) won't be available before 2018.


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