Pivotal, developer of the open-source Spring Framework for Java, has confirmed official support for OpenJDK to address "questions in the community" about changes to the way Oracle Java SE is distributed and supported.
"Many companies and enterprises are scrambling trying to understand their options around support of their application investments," said Ryan Morgan, Pivotal's veep of enineering for the Application Platform group.
The Spring Framework, originally developed in 2002 by Rod Johnson as a lightweight alternative to Enterprise JavaBeans (server-side Java components), remains popular for business applications, more than 15 years after its 1.0 release in March 2004. Johnson's company SpringSource was acquired by VMware in 2009 and the business moved to Pivotal Software when the outfit was formed by VMware and EMC in 2012.
The issue confusing customers is Oracle's changed licensing terms for Java. Oracle's distribution is no longer free other than for personal use, development and testing.
The OpenJDK is an open-source community edition of Java to which Oracle contributes all its Java code. Organisations that wish to continue with a free licence for Java must shift from using Oracle Java to OpenJDK or other non-Oracle options. You can find prebuilt binaries for OpenJDK at AdoptOpenJDK, for which Pivotal is now a key sponsor.
The Pivotal Spring Runtime also supports Apache Tomcat, an open-source implementation of Java EE application server specifications, as well as its own version, Pivotal tc Server.
Pivotal, with respect to Spring, is in the same position as Oracle is with Java. Both support fully functional open-source projects while making money from licensing and supporting commercial distributions. The Pivotal Spring Runtime costs $25,000 annually for 50 Kubernetes pods, or $4,000 annually to run on an eight-core server, if you want the commercial version.
Pivotal claims that Spring is the most popular web framework for Java and Apache Tomcat the most popular Java application server. ®