Oracle teases prospect of playing nicely with open-source Java in update to WebLogic application server

'Low cost of ownership'? This must be an April Fools

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Oracle has chosen this week of all weeks to foist on the world an update of its application server WebLogic, festooned with new features addressing Java EE 8, Kubernetes and JSON.

But the most eye-catching prospect is compatibility with the Eclipse Foundation's fully open-source Java development environment, Jakarta EE 8.

Back in Sepember when the Java EE specs were made public, Mark Little, Red Hat's JBoss CTO, said: "Existing Java EE 8 applications and developers can be confident they can move their applications seamlessly to the Eclipse Foundation effort." And Tom Snyder, veep of Oracle Software Development, promised application server support would follow. "This represents the culmination of a great deal of work by the entire Jakarta EE community, including Oracle. Oracle is working on delivery of a Java EE 8 and Jakarta EE 8 compatible WebLogic Server implementation, and we are looking forward to working with the community to evolve Jakarta EE for the future."

With the release of WebLogic Server 14.1.1, that support for open-source Java has come. Almost.

In a blog announcing the availability of the update to the Oracle application server, Will Lyons, Oracle senior director of product development, teased: "We are currently testing Oracle WebLogic Server for Jakarta EE 8 compatibility as well, and should have results soon."

Elsewhere, the new API Servlet 4.0 includes HTTP/2 support, which Lyons said provided "improved application performance with compatibility for existing Web applications", while API JAX-RS 2.1 "advances REST services support by offering a reactive client programming model".

In terms of environments, there's support and tooling for running Oracle WebLogic Server in containers and Kubernetes, and certification on Oracle Cloud.

For data pipelines, the release supports JSON-P 1.1 and JSON-B 1.0 standards to bring new capabilities for processing JSON documents. "These improvements expand support for building modern applications using the standards-based, proven Java EE platform," Oracle said.

"We integrate with a wide variety of platforms and Oracle software that deliver high performance and availability for your applications, with low cost of ownership," Lyons claimed.

Whether the cost equation adds up is a matter for Oracle's interesting strategy on licensing software. However, developers might welcome the opportunity to build applications in fully open-source Java and deploy them in Oracle's sparkly new application server. ®

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