Eclipse Foundation Releases Jakarta EE 8 Spec

The Eclipse Foundation today announced the released the Eclipse Jakarta EE 8 specification during a live-streamed online event. This is the first enterprise Java spec released by the foundation since it took over the stewardship of the platform two years ago.

This release includes the Jakarta EE 8 Full Platform and Web Profile specifications and related Technology Compatibility Kits (TCKs). It provides "a new baseline for the evolution and innovation of enterprise Java technologies under an open, vendor-neutral, community-driven process," according to the Foundation.

In fact, the primary goal of this release was to offer a version that is 100 percent compatible with Java EE 8, the Foundation's executive director Mike Milinkovich told ADTmag. "Basically, everything we're doing right now is about establishing a baseline that's going to allow us to re-invigorate this platform for the next 20 years."

"The specifications are fully compatible with Java EE 8 specifications and include the same APIs and Javadoc, using the same programming model they have been using for many years," the Foundation stated. "The Jakarta EE 8 TCKs are based on, and fully compatible with, all Java EE 8 TCKs. Jakarta EE 8 will not require any changes to Java EE 8 applications or their use of existing APIs. The specifications were developed under the Jakarta EE Specification Process and Eclipse Development Process, which are the open, community-driven successors to the Java Community Process (JCP) for Java EE."

Establishing a new base for enterprise Java in the cloud was a persistent theme of this release. Mark Little, vice president of engineering at Red Hat, said it "gives the wider enterprise Java community a solid foundation upon which they can build their future cloud native applications ... " and also means that " ... existing Java EE 8 applications and developers can be confident they can move their applications seamlessly to the Eclipse Foundation effort." Red Hat is a longtime Java community contributor and a founding member of the Eclipse Jakarta project.

The other focus of this release was "cloud-native."

"Java vendors, developers, and customers alike now have a foundation for migrating mission-critical Java EE applications and workloads to a standard enterprise Java stack for a cloud native world," the Foundation stated in its announcement.

According to the results of the Foundation's 2019 Jakarta EE developer survey, the enterprise Java ecosystems is "increasingly driven by new cloud workloads and capabilities."

"It's difficult to overstate the significance of this release," said Milinkovich, in a statement. "There are tens of thousands of companies with strategic investments in Java EE and over 10 million Java developers globally. The finalization of the Jakarta EE 8 specifications means that the transition of Java EE to our new open, vendor-neutral, and community-based process has been completed, and paves the way for an entirely new era in Java innovation for enterprise and cloud workloads. Congratulations and thanks to all of the committers, project leads, and Foundation staff that made delivering the Jakarta EE 8 specifications possible."

The Foundation also announced the certification of Eclipse GlassFish 5.1 as an open source compatible implementation of the Jakarta EE 8 Platform. This version has been fully tested under the open source licensed Jakarta EE 8 TCKs for the Full Platform and Web Profiles. It is available for download here.

IBM, a contributor to the Jakarta project, also announced that Open Liberty has been fully certified as a compatible implementation of the Jakarta EE 8 profiles. All of the vendors in the Jakarta EE Working Group intend to certify their Java EE 8 compatible implementations as Jakarta EE 8 compatible, the company said in a statement.

Open source app server and services provider Payara was another important contributor to the Jakarta project. This release, founder Steve Millidge said, "marks the start of the open evolution and modernization of all the Jakarta EE APIs in an open, inclusive and neutral fashion for the benefit of all users."

Pushing the cloud-native theme, the Foundation also launched a new eBook, entitled "Fulfilling the Vision for Open Source, Cloud Native Java," which explores "what cloud native Java is, why it matters so much to so many people, and provides the community's perspective of where Jakarta EE technologies are headed." The new eBook can be downloaded here.

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].