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Java EE: Onward and Upward!

For many observers, I believe the take-away from this year's JavaOne was: "business as usual." In some important ways, business as usual here is a good thing.

Is Java (EE) dead?

There have been rumors and pontifications regarding a supposed demise of enterprise Java. There certainly are many areas and drivers of disruptive innovation in enterprise software development: microservices, event-driven programming, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are just a few. And yes, for a new project beginning in isolation with no constraints or requirements of backward compatibility, legacy integration, or management at scale, there are many new platforms and frameworks that may seem at first to be well-suited for any one of these new areas. But how many enterprise projects have that luxury?

The roots the enterprise Java world remain strong and resilient, with a compelling balance of stability and adaptability. This is a vibrant community and technology with the ability to make software that can create value. The community's seriousness and passion were in evidence at JavaOne this year in the session attendance across a diversity of topics, both mature and emerging.

Java EE and open source

As the organization behind a leading open source implementation of Java EE, Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (EAP), we're excited and energized by the prospects for enterprise application development signaled by this year's JavaOne. When it comes adaptability and resilience, we believe that the innovation coming from open source communities will be a contributor to the ongoing strength and versatility of enterprise Java. Our customers look to us as a go-to platform for Java EE workloads, and we commit to empowering and extending those workloads in the best possible environment.

Java EE and the cloud

To put just a few examples behind that commitment, let's start with the cloud. Red Hat was the first vendor to put Java EE in a PaaS with JBoss EAP on OpenShift in 2011. Two years ago we announced our xPaaS strategy, which is about putting Red Hat JBoss Middleware on OpenShift—not merely throwing it out there, but re-imagining middleware and taking advantage of the new possibilities of the cloud. We've executed against that roadmap, embracing emerging phenomena such as containers and microservices along the way, and over the next few months we anticipate bringing to market new deliverables against that initiative.

Messaging and Integration

A second example of our commitment to helping to carry the enterprise Java world forward is what we're doing in integration. Red Hat acquired FuseSource three years ago, and our community leaders in Apache Camel, Apache Active MQ, and others have continued to innovate in ways that build on those projects' successes. You may think of JBoss A-MQ and JBoss Fuse as next-generation messaging and service bus technologies...but we believe there is more to those technologies.

Light weight, Modularity, and Microservices

A third area is microservices and WildFly Swarm. WildFly is the "upstream" open source community project that drives JBoss EAP, and even if the latter isn't famous for the conciseness of its name, it has been regarded as a lightweight, fast-to-deploy, fast-to-restart Java EE implementation, rendering it a well-suited candidate for enabling Java EE workloads in the cloud. Red Hat's middleware team has been a driver of modularity, notably including contributions in contexts and dependency injection (CDI).

The Swarm initiative within WildFly takes this lightweight, cloud-friendliness even further by enabling developers to more easily create microservices—small bundles of business logic running on "just enough app server"to do the job. It supports simpler integration of third-party frameworks and provides access to the full suite of Java EE application program interfaces (APIs) and services. So whether you’re building new apps or carrying-forward an existing code base - you have the ability to build enterprise-grade microservices.

There's more to write about here, but I wanted to put in one place a summary of Red Hat 's take on enterprise Java, our commitment to the community, and our thoughts on how we anticipate driving things forward. There's lots to do, and we look forward to working with you on it!