No JCache in Java EE 7

It looks like the Java Temporary Caching API (JCache) won't be included in the upcoming release of Java EE 7.

Reza Rahman, Oracle's Java EE/GlassFish technology evangelist, recently confirmed the news in a blog post. Developers of the long-awaited specs for the standardization of temporary, in-memory caching of Java objects "missed a few critical deadlines" and won't make the expected release on the platform in Q2 2013. "This is undoubtedly disappointing to many of you as the community indicated strong support for JCache..." he wrote. "However, the consensus on both the Java EE 7 and JCache EGs was that it is best to not hold up Java EE 7 any further."

Rahman wrote that he fully expects JCache to "move forward strongly, independent of Java EE 7, and be an excellent candidate for Java EE 8." He said that developers should be able to use JCache with Java EE 7 as a drop-in API once the spec is finalized.

JCache is being developed by the Java Community Process (JCP) as Java Specification Request (JSR) 107. The project summary explains that the spec standardizes in-process caching of Java objects "in a way that allows an efficient implementation, and removes from the programmer the burden of implementing cache expiration, mutual exclusion, spooling, and cache consistency."

In January, Oracle's Brian Oliver, JSR-107 co-spec lead, posted a note on Google+, warning that JCache might not make it into Java EE 7. "[W]e can't really hold up Java EE 7," he wrote, "especially when we know there's still a lot of work to do, discussions to have, decisions to make and documentation/implementation/testing to complete."

Oliver added: "Although this is disappointing for everyone's important to realize that we've made some tremendous progress in the past few months.  It's also important to know that work is going to continue in earnest, and at the same pace! The expectation is that we'll complete this work as soon as possible, with or without Java EE 7."

Java EE 7 has long been criticized for its lack of caching capability. In fact, "long-awaited" is a bit of an understatement, given JCache's history. The JSR-107 Expert Group was formed in 2001. Meanwhile, San Francisco-based Terracotta has implemented a version of the JCache spec in Ehcache, a widely deployed open-source Java caching solution the company acquired in 2009.

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].