Performance upgrades and feature enhancements typify incremental Java releases

There may not have been a major Java release since last year, but at JavaOne2015, there are still plenty of performance upgrades and feature enhancements for platform architects to boast about.

With the introduction of Java 8, Lambdas have dominiated the discussion of what's new, but the architecture team at Oracle hasn't been resting on their laurels, as there have been plenty of additions and updates to the JDK since the initial release of Java 8. The Date & Time API, JS interoperability, and FX enhancement are all notable features in the latest major release that were often overshadowed by the Lambda project and are now getting the attention they deserve, and interim updates that are being boasted about at JavaOne 2015 include:

We're cleaning out the release machinery and getting everyone used to moving the platform forward.

Georges Saab, Oracle VP of Software Development

Overall, progress in evolving Java 8 has been well received in the Java development community, even as growing pains persist. But even though the JDK moves forward, organizations will always encounter challenges when it comes to upgrading to the latest version and actually taking advantage of fixes and new features. At JavaOne 2015, Georges Saab, VP of Software Development for Oracle’s Java Platform Group, addressed the challenges organizations face in bringing the typical enterprise up to speed with the latest versions of the JDK. With the long delay between Java 6 and 7, many organizations got lazy and fell out of the habit of adjusting to an evolving platform. This complacency led to continuing dissatisfaction with legacy aspects of enterprise technology systems. The fact is, many of the language issues causing software development teams pain have long since been addressed in Java, but organizations won’t get any relief if they don't upgrade to a newer version.

Java is ramping up rollouts for the future

Saab revealed that adoption of new features and upgrades is something Oracle wants to encourage by focusing heavily on continuing innovation. "We're cleaning out the release machinery and getting everyone used to moving the platform forward." Although major changes still take many years to bring to fruition, there's a lot in the pipeline right now. The next big shakeup is expected to include solutions for the classpath issue and for the monolithic JDK—with modularization holding the key to both problems.

Enterprises can expect a steady stream of transformative updates every year or two for the foreseeable future. If they aren’t up to date with Java now, it’s a good time to get started. Saab made one thing clear: Waiting isn't going to make things easier for those who have fallen behind.

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