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Oracle Considers Handing Java EE Over To Open Source Foundation

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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Oracle says it will still participate in development, but thinks Java EE would be better off under open source leadership

Oracle is considering outsourcing Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) to an open source foundation, claiming the current model isn’t sufficiently able to respond to changing industry and technology demands. 

Java EE 8 is ‘nearly complete’ and has been developed with the participation of the open source community. The reference implementation is set to be delivered this summer, but ahead of the JavaOne 2017 conference, Oracle is considering going one step further for future iterations. 

“Java EE is enormously successful, with a competitive market of compatible implementations, broad adoption of individual technologies, a huge ecosystem of frameworks and tools, and countless applications delivering value to enterprises and end users,” said David Delabassee, a software evangelist at Oracle. 

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“But although Java EE is developed in open source with the participation of the Java EE community, often the process is not seen as being agile, flexible or open enough, particularly when compared to other open source communities. We’d like to do better. 

“We are discussing how we can improve the Java EE development process following the delivery of Java EE 8. 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.” 

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Oracle is inviting developers, customers and end users to voice their feedback about the future of the platform. No matter what happens, Oracle has committed to developing Java EE going forward. 

The move to a full open source model is likely to be greeted with enthusiasm in the development community who might think Oracle hasn’t been as interested as it could have been in moving the platform forward. Java EE 7, the last major iteration of the platform, was launched back in 2013 with an emphasis on HTML5 application development. 

“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,” concluded Delabassee. 

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