Exclusive The flavor of Java used to build application servers like IBM's WebSphere, Oracle's WebLogic, and Red Hat's JBoss is getting a two-stage retooling designed to float app severs to the cloud.
Oracle is thrashing out a roadmap for the next versions of Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE) that will add new web technologies such as HTML5, WebSockets, and JSON. The roadmap also places a lot of emphasis on REST, according to a source familiar with the matter.
In the march towards the cloud, Java EE's Contexts and Dependency Injection (CDI) – used to bridge the web and enterprise tier – will be improved, and Java caching will also be revived.
Java EE will include a replacement for JCache as the Java Specification Request (JSR) driving JCache - JSR 107 - is unlikely to be revived. JSR 107 was sponsored by Oracle in the early 2000s but it has hit a dead end in the Java Community Process (JCP), the organization that officially stewards Java.
All these changes are expected in Java EE 7, which is being scheduled for delivery in the third quarter of 2012.
A follow-on release, Java EE 8, will go even further by embracing big data and adding support for NoSQL architectures such as Google's mighty MapReduce distributed computing framework.
Java EE 8 will also sweep you changes proposed for Java EE 7 that don't make the third-quarter of 2012 deadline. Java EE 8 is destined to come a year after Java Standard Edition (Java SE) 8, which means an arrival at the end of 2013. Java SE serves as the foundation for Java EE, and Java SE 8 is due for final release in October 2012.
Oracle's vice president of product development for application grid products Ajay Patel said during a company web cast last week that Oracle is working with the JCP on a set of proposals for Java EE 7 that will make Java EE "relevant for the cloud".
Oracle has not yet published the JSRs that will build Java EE 7 and Java EE 8.
Patel's comments had suggested cloud would be delivered in one hit with Java EE 7.0, but according to the proposal outlined for The Reg, the real cloud groundwork will come in Java EE 8 rather than Java EE 7.
The reason is that cloud stuff will require good modularization architecture, which will only come in Java SE 8. Java SE 8 will become more modular with the inclusion of Project Jigsaw. A big complaint over the years has been Java EE's monolithic structure. This has meant it can only run on machines like servers that have a large memory and processing footprint, while programming for Java EE app servers is made harder because of the interdependencies of the various components.
There's been a big push to make Java EE more modular so it can run on smaller devices, allow for easier development, and let application servers consume external software as a service.
During his webcast, Patel suggested that reform of the JCP would be included with the Java EE proposals. The Reg now understands Oracle is proposing a change to just one part of the JCP: the committee captaining Java on handsets, Java ME.
The JCP ME executive committee consists of 16 organizations and individuals, including Oracle, but apparently, some members hardly ever show up to meetings. Sony Ericsson and SKTelecom have been named as absentees. The Reg understands the goal of any shake up would be to replace no shows.
Death for JavaOne?
During his webcast, Patel also said the subject of a marquee JavaOne Conference was getting the "highest attention" inside Oracle's executive ranks. "We are looking at a choice of a September JavaOne in an environment that's much more suited to networking," Patel said, making it sound like it was not a matter of "if" but "where" JavaOne would be held.
JavaOne has had a loyal following for a decade, and it was favorite fixture for developers when Sun Microsystems ran Java.
But according to our source, Oracle has been telling people it may cancel JavaOne because of negative feedback about last year's event and the fact that it can't find a suitable time or location for this year's event. Major venues for tech events in cities like San Francisco are typically booked years in advance.
In 2010, JavaOne left its traditional venue, San Francisco's Moscone Center, and was spread across three hotels in the downtown area to make room for Oracle's OpenWorld conference at the Moscone. Co-locating the event made JavaOne a logistical nightmare for Java devs, who complained about the event.
JavaOne 2010 was the first time Oracle had hosted the event since taking over from Sun. ®