It was a lengthy, yet informative keynote that opened the JavaOne 2015 event, with the cloud, and the way Java applications will eventually be deployed to the cloud, as a key topic of interest.
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Introducing the Java SE Cloud Service
According to Oracle's Senior Principal Product Manager, Shaun Smith, Java is expanding its cloud presence in a variety of ways, with the most noteworthy of them being the introduction of the Java SE Cloud Service, the goal of which is to bring Java SE 7 and 8 apps, along with their libraries and the frameworks they use, onto the Oracle cloud platform. "We want to make it as easy to use these apps in the cloud as is is on-premise."
We want to make it as easy to use these apps in the cloud as is is on-premise.
Shaun Smith, Oracle Senior Principal Product Manager
This new, cloud optimized approach to Java development, will obviously be compatible with all of the commonly used tools and environments. It was boasted in the keynote that Tomcat, Github, Apache, Eclipse, Jython, jRuby, and Vertix would be compatible, but such compatability is expected and really shouldn't be advertised as a feature. Interestingly, there is a requirement to use Oracle's Java SE advanced platform, so it seems the only thing it's not compatible with is other versions of Java.
Smith described the process of deployment as incredibly simple, although deploying an EAR file is a relatively simple endeavour as well, so just how simple 'simple' actually is will be all relative. Deployment archives can be created by using a team's preferred build tools such as Maven or Groovy, and after that, deployment to the Oracle cloud is just a matter of a few simple mouse clicks.
Interestingly, under the covers, the Oracle cloud hosting Java apps is simply using Docker containers, and scalability happens according to the standard semantics for Docker distribution. A built-in load balancer ensures that workloads are distributed properly, and the Flight Recorder, which comes standard with Oracle's advanced JDK, provides monitoring and access to low level details of apps and the JVM itself. The promise is that Oracle will take on the burden of dealing with low level complexities to make this as-a-service offering more attractive. "Behind the scenes, it’s complicated. But it shouldn’t be hard to use," said Smith.
Apps can now be born on the Oracle cloud
Along with the particulars of the cloud based deployment target that they want to make attractive to Java developers is the announcement of the Oracle Developer Cloud Service, a platform that provides full Application Lifecycle Management (ALM), from design to deployment to runtime management. This comprehensive cloud-based development environment offers a variety of features that will make the DevOps promise easier to realize, including source control management, issue tracking, and Wiki collaboration. It also makes use of Hudson for continuous integration, a familiar resource for the typical enterprise development team. "With this cloud option, Java app developers don’t have to build on-prem," said Smith. While there are still benefits to having all developers in the same room for purposes of project management, both on and off-premise teams will enjoy the scalable computing resources that can help them build, test, and deploy code faster.
Furthermore, using the Oracle Development Cloud Service, decision-makers can decide whether to automatically deploy to the Oracle cloud or to their local infrastructure. Those that do choose the Java Cloud Service option would achieve a level of cloud-utilization that is unusual for enterprise-class organizations.
There’s more cloud yet to come
Following a recent commitment to undercut Amazon’s Glacier data archive prices with steep price reductions for Archive Storage Cloud Service, it’s not surprising that Oracle is rolling up its sleeves to bring more options to the table for the Java enterprise community. Developers and enterprise consumers of cloud services can expect to see Oracle providing more and more options to keep its Java customers happy and loyal in coming years.
Will you be using the Oracle cloud to deploy your applications? Let us know.