Lightbend Joins Eclipse Foundation to Support Jakarta EE

Lightbend, the company behind the Scala language and developer of the Reactive Platform, has joined the Eclipse Foundation because, the company said, it is the new home of enterprise Java.

"Lightbend joins Eclipse Foundation as a new member to support its mission to bring an open source governance model to the Java EE platform (now named 'Jakarta EE')", the company said in a statement.

Scala, which was developed by Lightbend co-founder Martin Odersky, is a general purpose, multi-paradigm language designed to integrate features of object-oriented programming and functional programming. Scala runs on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and is compatible with existing Java programs. Several modern frameworks are written in Scala, including Spark, Kafka and Lightbend's own Akka. Lightbend is also the company behind the Lagom and Play frameworks.

"Eclipse Foundation is making the right moves to accelerate cloud-native Java innovation in Jakarta EE," said Lightbend CEO Mark Brewer, in a statement. "Almost every Fortune 500 company has millions of dollars in existing Java infrastructure and talent. For most, Java EE is the backbone of the business, and the new mandate is modernizing to support all of the economic opportunities and deployment flexibility that the cloud provides. As enterprises view their legacy on-prem systems, they want to know that there is a plan, a path forward to the cloud. Lightbend sees the success that MicroProfile has achieved through Eclipse Foundation's governance model, and we are both reassured to see that Jakarta EE will benefit from the same approach, and excited to bring Lightbend's own expertise with Reactive, streaming data and microservices patterns to support that community journey."

The Lightbend Reactive Platform combines several products to support the development of reactive applications on the JVM in both Scala and Java. Conceptualized in the "Reactive Manifesto," which was co-authored by Lightbend CTO and co-founder Jonas Bonér, reactive applications are apps that better meet the "contemporary challenges of software development" in a world in which applications are deployed to everything from mobile devices to cloud-based clusters running thousands of multicore processors.

Lightbend will work with the Eclipse Foundation and the broader Jakarta EE community "in bringing Reactive principles to the platform," the company said. The company plans to focus initially on adding new Reactive and stream-based messaging APIs and Servlet 3.1 support for Reactive Streams to "bring modern stream-native and event-driven programming models to Jakarta EE."

"We also have proposals -- currently discussed in the MicroProfile group — that are trying to push Java more into the event-driven space," said Bonér. "The JMS and Message Driven Beans specs are very outdated and there's a need for a new messaging standard that more fully understands this new world of event-driven systems, real-time data and data-in-motion."

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].