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Oracle VP talks Java EE 8, Java platform update at JavaOne

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Will the future involvement of the Eclipse Foundation lead to a faster and more nimble Java platform update process? Oracle's Michael Lehmann believes it will.

As one might imagine, the Oracle OpenWorld 2017 and JavaOne 2017 conferences are a pretty busy time for an Oracle executive, which is why TheServerSide was lucky to get an audience with Michael Lehmann, Oracle's vice president of product management.

Lehmann doesn't actually have any Java talks scheduled on the JavaOne docket, but his presence is peppered gingerly over the Oracle OpenWorld conference with two time slots dedicated to talking about Oracle's container-native application development strategy and another dedicated to Oracle API Platform Cloud Service. But if you thought Lehmann's allegiance to the OpenWorld conference implied a lack of passion towards the Java platform, you'd be extremely wrong. In fact, the changes happening in the Java space and changes to the Java platform update process were pretty much all he wanted to talk about.

"The big news, of course, is that we've released Java SE [Standard Edition] 9, and it's got all the cool, new stuff," Lehmann said. "Jigsaw is finally available, so people can actually build modular, lightweight applications with it. The JShell REPL [Read-Eval-Print Loop] tool came out with it, too. I think there are upwards of 150 new features within the platform, so it's a major new release."

The big news, of course, is that we've released Java SE 9, and it's got all the cool, new stuff.
Michael LehmannVice president of product management, Oracle

In years past, members of the Java language team and Oracle executives who were tasked with promoting the language often found themselves in the difficult position of having to explain away the Java platform update process, apologizing for the fact that a given Java Development Kit (JDK) version was delayed or discussing why a certain feature needed to be left out of the next major release. But at JavaOne 2017, nobody is negatively focusing on past deficiencies in the Java platform update process. In our short conversation, you could tell that Lehmann was relishing the chance to talk about all of the Java team's recent accomplishments, including the release of Java Enterprise Edition (EE) 8.

"It was a bit of a road, but we finally have Java EE out there," Lehmann said. "There are a bunch of new features in the offering in terms of JSON parsing, a new version of CDI [Contexts and Dependency Injection], HTTP2 and Servlet 4."

And it's not just new product versions that Lehmann is excited about. There seems to be an entirely new approach to how the Java platform update process, along with the Java platform as a whole, will be handled -- from the fact that we'll start seeing a six-month release cycle in the near future to the fact that Oracle JDK is going to start moving in step with OpenJDK.

"The other piece that is quite cool and people are excited about is the alignment between the Oracle JDK, which has a number of propriety features, like the Oracle Flight Recorder, which we'll be bringing to and open sourcing into the OpenJDK," Lehmann said. "So, there will be alignment over time between the Oracle JDK and the OpenJDK."

And of course, when it comes to spreading good news and promoting goodwill throughout the Java community, one has to address the recent announcements about the Java EE collaboration between Oracle and the Eclipse Foundation. "On the Java EE side, we selected Eclipse as the foundation we'll be moving Java EE techniques towards," Lehmann said. "We expect Java EE to be a lot more nimble and open to change. It was four years to get to Java EE 8. The goal is to make it much more nimble so we can get releases out more quickly."

To learn more about how Oracle is changing its approach to the Java platform, listen to the full podcast of the interview between Oracle's Mark Lehmann and TheServerSide's Cameron McKenzie.

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