We are an independent grassroots group of people committed to moving the Java EE platform forward through active community participation and advocacy. We believe that standardizing the core technologies used to build enterprise applications is better than being bound to proprietary solutions. Closed ecosystems stymie market competition, limit consumer choices, cripple careers, and harm end-users.
Java EE has been the most successful set of open standards for developing enterprise applications ever. It has been the linchpin of the Java platform’s domination and it is rare to find an enterprise Java application that doesn’t depend upon at least one Java EE technology. It is the only enterprise technology with a rich ecosystem of vendors who not only compete but cooperate to define a solid set of core technologies.
The objective evidence that Java EE is important to the overall health of the Java platform and global IT itself is very easy to see:
- Hundreds of thousands of applications worldwide are written in Java EE, many of those applications are now regularly being brought to light through Java EE adoption stories curated by our community. Even applications and frameworks that claim they do not use Java EE are in fact heavily dependent on many Java EE APIs today and going forward, regardless of trends like cloud or microservices. Just some of these APIs include Servlet, JAX-RS, WebSocket, JMS, JPA, JSF and so much more.
- There were no less than 4,500 input points to the groundbreaking survey to determine Java EE 8 features. This fact has no parallel in any other major technology.
- In major industry survey after survey thousands of developers continue to show their strong support for Java EE and its APIs.
- Java EE vendors and products continue to be one of the most highly profitable in the Java ecosystem.
- Few multi-vendor open standards are as widely implemented, supported, depended upon or as widely participated in as Java EE.
- There is an extremely passionate, responsible community behind Java EE – most technologies would be hard pressed to find anything like the Java EE community.
As critically important as Java EE is and as much as it has going for it, Java EE is not without it’s unique set of challenges. Some of these challenges are outlined in the history and challenges sections below. Continuing to successfully overcome these challenges is the primary goal of our grassroots community. Advocacy, raising awareness, coordination, collaboration and mutual support are keys to accomplishing these goals. We encourage you to take a look at the continuing work we do together. We already have a number of individuals, organizations and Java User Groups committed to working together to advance Java EE. We need all the help we can get to ensure the best interests of the Java EE community continues to be well preserved. We need the support of your voice and perhaps your volunteer time if you can afford to contribute it. There are many ways you could help.
We believe that together we can create an ever brighter future for Java, Java EE and server-side computing.
The Java EE Guardians was formed in 2016 to protect and evangelize the platform when Oracle appeared to lose focus on Java EE 8 progress. Starting in early 2016, a variety of different people in the community began to notice that work on Java EE 8 had stopped. Mailing list traffic abruptly ceased and few specification revisions were published. A community effort, which became the Java EE Guardians, was then made to document the lack of progress on the various specifications. This website was constructed. On the website, the findings were published with the goal of galvanizing the larger community and also prodding Oracle to get the specifications moving forward again. In addition Java EE Guardians stepped up to move inactive specifications along as well as lobby Oracle through all legitimate channels possible including the JCP.
At JavaOne 2016 Oracle announced the reboot of Java EE 8. At JavaOne 2017, Oracle released Java EE 8 and announced opening up Java EE by giving ownership of the Java EE code base to the Eclipse Foundation via the EE4J initiative. With the reboot and opening up of Java EE, the Guardians have shifted their attention to educating the broader Java community about Java EE and encouraging active participation in the new open process to move Java EE forward. We are also encouraging vendors to adopt Java EE 8 quickly and develop innovative solutions on top of it. We are paying particularly close attention to the work in the EE4J and MicroProfile initiatives. This includes publishing our joint community open letter on Java EE naming and packaging – addressed to both Oracle and all other EE4J stakeholders (this blog entry is a fair representation of the current Oracle and EE4J reaction to the open letter).
One of the key challenges faced by our community is that many Java developers don’t realize that they use, benefit from and depend on Java EE every day. For example, all of these are Java EE technologies:
- Web Services (JAX-RS/JAX-WS)
- JPA (Hibernate/EclipseLink)
- Bean Validation
- Containers (Tomcat/Jetty/WebSphere/WebLogic/GlassFish/Payara/TomEE)
Much like Java itself, Java EE also has all the challenges of a relatively mature technology. There are many badly outdated or plain wrongheaded ideas held by many people about Java EE. The core value proposition of Java EE is even more important in cloud native applications, not less. Java EE also competes with many highly aggressive non-standard solutions even within the Java ecosystem (ironically many of these solutions actually depend on Java EE remaining strong) let alone beyond the JVM such as .NET.
The most effective way of addressing these challenges and moving Java EE forward is grassroots community advocacy. None of this is possible without your direct engagement and help.