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Java EE 8 in Crisis

09 June 2016 7 comments

5 minutes


This is my position statement on Java EE: “We are in crisis”. Anything outside of this statement is denial. At the time of writing, we do not know the exact delivery status of Java EE 8, because it is no longer on track. The release date is in the first half of 2017 according to the Aquarium.

“We are therefore publicly announcing that we are now changing our target time frame for the completion of this work to the first half of 2017.”

The simple fact is that Oracle specification leads and their respective engineers have not been committed enough code changes, documentation and participated with the individual JSRs for close to 6 months.  It has led to other luminaries such as Adam Bien, Reza Rahman and others in attempts to find out from Oracle to what is exactly going on? So far there has been no official word from Oracle as to the future of Java EE 8. The Java EE Guardians have handily provided evidence that so shows the level of effort.

We, therefore, conclude that there is a loss of impetus into Java EE 8 delivery and therefore any specification release for 2017 will be severely delayed.

Disclaimer: I signed the Java EE Guardian petition for protesting the delay. So has James Gosling, the father of Java.


Devoxx UK panel on Java EE 8



The Panel

Yesterday, I took part in the panel at Devoxx UK “To EE or not to EE”, which was kindly organised by Antonio Gonclaves. There were six of us including Heather Vancura (representing only the JCP), Mark Little (Red Hat), David Blevins (Tomi Tribe) and Ian Robinson (IBM). Martijn Verburg (LJC) was the panel host. Antonio and I are independent consultants. It was the first time in the world, where this  Java EE 8 debate has taken place in a conference. We had 50 minutes and we prepared some slides. In fact, Antonio created blank title slides, I created the majority of the content there. We came up with the hash tag #UKEE to allow the community, audience to supply questions during the panel.

We had several questions on the #UKEE hashtag, the following are examples:

“If is community driven why is it invitation only? #UKEE” @samexes

“#UKEE Could you relate lack of interest in JavaEE with more competition from other technologies? How do you plan to survive?” @radcortez

“#ukee Oracle is in court cases & struggling to be a Cloud company against SalesForce. Java is an impl detail of a service, at most, to them.” @tommybharris1

“#ukee can we name the next version JavaNext instead?” @exabrial

“#UKEE isn’t EE unnecessary with the JVM becoming the platform of choice for many services running in containers?” @myfear

“What is this group? #UKEE” @samaxes

“@DevoxxUK #UKEE: Why do you need the JCP to get the people together and create a common language? Common language first, standard later…” @royvanrijn

I was slightly disappointed that many more questions did not fly our way. Perhaps, people are still not quite aware of the impact of possibility of Java EE failing, or Oracle abandoning the Java EE for some other technology. It could be that people might think that Java EE is at an evolutionary end.


I strongly recommend that all of the members of the community should get involved in the Java EE 8 debate and the push Oracle to move Java EE forward. Many leading developers, designers and architects have expressed concern about the future of Java EE. We have placed a lot of investment in learning Java EE platform, because it solves several Not Invented Here situations. Businesses large and small have huge investment in the brand Java EE, they have hired programmers, analyst and place a huge amount of resources, effort and management into the platform. They deserve sustainable development within the Java EE ecosystem.

For engineers the question is quite simple. How would we want to write their own transaction, concurrency, remote endpoints, dynamic web content logic, persistence and managed services from scratch? The answer would be clear no. We do not want to waste our times building infrastructure repeating the same logic over and over.  Developers and designer are a software group that prefer to stand on the shoulders of standard technology out there, and then innovate on top of it. Java EE provides the base, we want to the affordance for interoperability and portabilty. Who really wants to go back to the software development world pre 1995?

I conclude with a short overview of the two community movements: the Java Guardean and EE Central.

Java EE Guardian

The Java EE Guardian is a determined effort to secure, protect and lead the community. Reza Rahman is the founder of this movement with others. Amongst the members are Dr. James Gosling, Arjan Tims, Bauke Scholtz, Cameron McKenzie, etc. Java Guardian was the first movement to publish a public website. I consider tham to assertive, political and challenging the status quo as it exists. To better understand their key message, I recommend listening to the podcast with Reza Rahman and James Gosling.

EE Central

The EE Central movement is an alternate movement of community, which shares the concerns of Java EE progress, however they are less controversial in comparison to Java EE Guardians. For example, they are not publicly challenging Oracle over Java EE. At the time of writing, their own public website was not quite ready, however they have drafted a mission statement, which is available soon. The EE Central movement decided to go the name instead risk a legal lawsuit by using the Java trademark, name. Many members of that movement are also commercial people. They felt that would eventual invite trouble and it would be too risky to use.


Over to You

Whatever you think of either of these movements, if you want to secure a job in enterprise Java in the sustainable future, which we all deserve, and ensure the platform survives beyond the crisis, I implore you strongly to make your voice heard. You can easily do this by getting involved in the debate. Tell us and everyone else what you feel. This is one decision that you can make, now, and only you can achieve it.

Thank you for reading this entry.



Peter Pilgrim,

Thursday, 9th June 2016



  1. […] Recently, I posted an blog article about the current crisis around Java EE. […]

    Pingback by Peter Pilgrim :: Java Champion :: Enterprise Blog » Follow up to the “Java EE in Crisis” article — 10 June 2016 @ 11:16 am

  2. Does anyone care about Java EE anymore? Most developers I know rely on Spring Framework and allied Spring projects such as Spring Batch, Spring Integration etc. They may use Hibernate, jOOQ, Guava, Apache Camel, Storm, Spark etc.

    Features typically make it into those projects YEARS ahead of Java EE. It’s increasingly something that even large enterprise shops don’t need as tick items anymore, mainly because they are competing for talent against the many startups in the big centres such as SF, London, NYC etc. The need for innovation can’t wait for Oracle (and latterly Sun) to release things on a 2-3 year cycle!

    Comment by John Wright — 10 June 2016 @ 5:59 pm

  3. Another “programmer” who never took the time to learn the foundations of what he uses and think that Spring could exist without Java EE. Tell me, genius, how do you configure a Spring project? Exactly, using Servlets / Filters. Every container you use for a Spring project is, for the most important part, a servlet container. What do you use for storing objects into databases? Exactly, a thin wrapper around JPA. Spring MVC, another project that is heavily built around servlets. The Spring transaction handling is just an abstraction layer on top of
    existing transactional mechanisms (JPA, Hibernate, JDBC or JTA) Oh, and Security? Doesn’t it rely heavily on Servlets / Filters? Spring Messaging, just another wrapper around JMS and JTA with its own integration layer. Does anyone care about Java EE? Yes, Pivotal itself. Because without Java EE probably application server will stop to evolve. With the consequence that even Spring will be a dead horse.

    Comment by darkcg — 11 June 2016 @ 3:27 am

  4. Hmm. You don’t need to mildly insult me with the quotes around programmer or the mocking tone of genius. What is wrong with a polite and civilised debate?

    Didn’t Hibernate come before JPA? Didn’t Spring have annotation based configuration before EE? Didn’t Spring Batch come before J2EE 7?

    Servlets were effectively done years ago as were transactions, JAXB, JAXRS etc etc There is little needed to innovate in these areas and if there is, that comes from people who need things a bit faster than a 2-3 year release cycle. Reactive features could arguably go in a future EE, but if I want to use it I won’t wait for Oracle, I will use a library now from GitHub!

    Security may well rest on Servlets but its relying on years old technology and it fills a gap that Sun and Oracle don’t care to fill. Who wants to wait years for Oracle to add Security to EE? I want Security changes to evolve rapidly to meet new threats.

    My comment said “Doesn’t anyone care anymore”. I don’t believe that they do and judging by the apathy of my fellow developers I am not alone. The only people who seem to care are people who write books and big corporations who like tick boxes.

    The core things needed are done and any engineering effort that Oracle do will go into SE rather than EE.

    You are right that even Spring will be a dead horse one day, everything evolves or dies.

    Comment by John Wright — 11 June 2016 @ 5:56 am

  5. […] The Java EE Guardians started a petition on to get some answers from Oracle about the lacking progress on Java EE 8 and to get them to cooperate with the community to secure the future of Java EE. Please sign the petition, if you are using Java EE and/or want to keep the thriving Java EE ecosystem alive: Tell Oracle to Move Forward Java EE as a Critical Part of the Global IT Industry. And if you want to learn more about the current state (or shall I say the current crisis) of Java EE 8, you should have a look at Peter Pilgrims recent post: Java EE 8 in Crisis. […]

    Pingback by Java Weekly 24/16: Anti-If, JCache, Logging and Java EE crisis — 13 June 2016 @ 5:10 am

  6. Admittedly I care about JPA, JDBC, and Servlet, but that’s only because I don’t want to have to rely on individual implementations. For everything else so far Spring has been significantly better than EE spec-ed software (wildfly was a pain, glassfish is undermaintained, does anyone use geronimo?).

    JDBC, and Servlet the most, though. I don’t actually foresee changing ORMs but I do connect to different dbs. I also see being able to deploy apps to different servers being important.

    Also, though I’ve yet to dig into it, @Transactional in Spring (its annotation) seems to imply its different from JTA and JTA may require external deps, or something like that.

    Comment by Caleb Cushing — 15 June 2016 @ 2:59 pm

  7. […] >> Java EE 8 in Crisis [] […]

    Pingback by Java Web Weekly, Issue 129 | Baeldung — 16 June 2016 @ 9:10 pm

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