JavaOne 2016: Oracle’s ‘refocusing’ of the EE8 proposal

Oracle’s planned Java EE ‘announcement‘ at JavaOne 2016 turned out to be (based on the announcement from the Sunday keynote and the Java EE 8 roadmap session by Linda Demichiel, EE spec lead for EE JSRs) a ‘refocusing’, a realignment to bring Java EE more in line with current trends, particularly to support deploying EE applications to the cloud and the development of microservices.

So what exactly is going to change? For the new EE8 spec proposal, with finalization now planned for 2017,  some previously proposed features for inclusion are now going to be dropped, namely:

  • MVC 1.0
  • JMS 2.1
  • EE Management apis 2.0

Given than MVC 1.0 was a new EE web framework as an alternative to JSF (not adding new technology but built on top of what we already have with a Reference Implementation already built out), this is perhaps the most surprising removal. Given the new focus of cloud and microservices however, this makes sense, as it doesn’t really add anything towards supporting the new goals.

Everything else in the original EE8 JSR 366 is going to remain in the new EE8 proposal.

New features to be added include a new feature for supporting Health Checks, and a new Configuration proposal to standardize external configuration of deployments – both of which will be useful to support deployments to the cloud.

Is this ‘refocusing’ enough? Is it going to be finalized soon enough? For an EE8 target of 2017, and EE9 of 2018, is it too little, too late?

Given that you can use current EE features today with frameworks like Spring Boot and Dropwizard to build and deploy microservices, is a standardized cloud/microservice focused EE platform still relevant?

Alternative runtimes like WildFly Swarm and IBM’s Liberty Profile are giving runtime flexibility and allow you to pick just the features your app needs at runtime (and are available today). Rather than an all-in-one EE runtime container, is a ‘pick n mix’ type approach more relevant to support the current popularity of microservices?

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