Survey Says: Enterprise Java Jocks Want Cloud-Native, Microservices and Fast Innovation for Jakarta

The Eclipse Foundation today released the results of the first survey of the enterprise Java community since Oracle transferred Java EE, now Jakarta EE, to that organization. The community's top three priorities for Jakarta: the platform should evolve to support cloud-native development, microservices and a faster pace of innovation.

Designed to help guide the Foundation as it prepares to take on the responsibility for the future development of enterprise Java, the worldwide survey reached out to 1,800 Java developers in March.

"Sometimes you get lucky and your preconceived notions actually line up with reality," the Foundation's executive director Mike Milinkovich told ADTmag. "We were going into this with the assumption that picking up the pace of innovation, supporting microservices, and getting to cloud-native would be the right direction, but we wanted to make sure. That's very much what we heard back from the survey."

The stakeholders of the Jakarta EE community appear to be committed to a cloud-native future for the platform. According to the survey, one critical gap in enterprise Java development support for cloud-native integration with Kubernetes, the open source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications, which was originally designed by Google and is now maintained by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.

"We're using the developer survey to shape what our focus areas are going to be," Milinkovich said. "What we have right now, thanks to this survey, is a really high degree of correlation between what our teams are talking about, in terms of what they want to do with Jakarta, and what our community and our consumers say they want these projects to do over the next year or two."

More than half the respondents (60 percent) called for better support for microservices. The survey found that:

  • Nearly half (45 percent) of the developers surveyed are already building microservices, with another 21 percent planning to join them in the next year. It's only a matter of time before most of the rest follow suit. There will always be some laggards. But a full 95 percent of the respondents said they are using Java to build microservices, which is followed by Docker containers at just over 50 percent.
  • Half of survey respondents said they ran only a fifth of their Java applications today in a cloud. But over 30 percent said that within the next two years they expect to be running 60 percent of more of their applications in the cloud. Kubernetes emerged in the survey as a favored path for making Jakarta EE cloud native, although other alternative paths may still emerge in the working group. Nearly a third of respondents report they are already working with Kubernetes.
  • Nearly half of the respondents said Jakarta EE needs to innovate faster than the legacy Java EE platform. Jakarta EE is about defining the future of Java in the enterprise -- especially when it comes to building cloud native applications. As scores of other hugely successful open source projects have shown, a consortium of vendors can drive acceleration at a much faster and sustainable rate than any single vendor or standards body.

"The arrival of Jakarta EE represents a renaissance for the Java community," the Foundation said in a statement. "Survey respondents made it clear that as Java EE is evolving into Jakarta EE, this remains the platform they rely on most to build true enterprise-class applications."

The Jakarta EE Working Group, which will be responsible for the technology platform, will be based on a "self-governing meritocracy that sets all technical agendas and plans." The roster of founding members of that working group includes Fujitsu, IBM, Oracle, Lightbend, Payara Systems, Pivotal, Red Hat, Tomitrib, and Webtide. The Foundation expects to reveal details about the roadmap for Jakarta EE in the coming months.

Milinkovich also expects the ranks of participants in that process to swell. He encouraged people and organizations to get involved, but by subscribing to the [email protected] working group mailing list. To join, a company can simply email the list declaring a commitment to participate along with a membership in the Eclipse Foundation. There are no fees in 2018 to participate in the Jakarta EE Working Group.

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].