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The Sun has Not Set: Oracle Makes Sun Shine Brighter Than Ever

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For over nine months the Java world has been waiting with bated breath for definitive information about the future of Sun's software and hardware portfolios. That day has arrived! Today Oracle held a five hour live webcast outlining their high level strategies for Sun's entire product line. The webcast was recorded and broken up into topics for easy consumption.

As a Java developer and Sun customer, I am very excited about Oracle's acquisition of Sun and their plans for the software. I have summarized the topics that interest me:

The Sun brand and logo live on! All the pictures of hardware, slides, the sun.com and oracle.com websites, etc. show the Sun logo above the Oracle logo. I'm really glad they are keeping the brand because it makes it easier for me to warm up to Oracle.

JavaOne lives on! JavaOne will somehow run at the same venue and same time as Oracle OpenWorld on September 19-23 2010. Call for papers will be open soon. Also, Oracle will be expanding JavaOne to Brazil, Russia, India and China!

The JCP lives on! Oracle believes in the value of a community process to develop standardized APIs. I don't think they mentioned any specifics about process changes, or if there would be process changes.

NetBeans lives on! JDeveloper remains Oracle's strategic IDE for Oracle middleware, and they will continue to develop Eclipse tooling. However, Oracle wants to make NetBeans the best IDE for Java SE, Java EE, Java ME and Java FX. They also see value in the NetBeans platform and want it to be the best as well. They want developers to have choice, and will make sure that JDeveloper, NetBeans and Eclipse all have excellent support for Oracle middleware. They see opportunities for sharing features, such as porting NetBeans' Matisse Swing GUI builder to JDeveloper, and porting some middleware support from JDeveloper into NetBeans. They will increase resources on NetBeans development. I think that they will focus more on Java platform technologies than on support for other languages, and maybe expect the community to contribute for the other languages. That makes me very happy because I'd much rather see focus on Java SE, EE, ME, FX, etc. than on Ruby, PHP, Jython, etc. The netbeans.org website and wikis will continue to be maintained. The licenses stay the same.

GlassFish lives on! GlassFish continues as the Java EE reference implementation, continues to be open source, and continues to be commercially supported. For example, a GlassFish V3 extended support contract is available until December 2017. Oracle thinks that GlassFish and WebLogic Server are the best Java EE application server offerings in the industry. All of the supporting projects that make up GlassFish will also continue to thrive. They have plans to share code between GlassFish and WebLogic, possibly including management infrastructure.

HotSpot and JRocket are Oracle's strategic JVMs. Oracle will bring the best of both together over the coming months and years. OpenJDK 7 will be released this year.

OpenSSO, OpenDS, OpenESB, OpenPortal, and almost everything else live on. I tuned into the live webcast for a few minutes and heard talks about these products. I get the impression that Oracle wants to continue to offer and sell Sun software products to smaller businesses, and offer an upgrade path to their more expensive products as the company grows or their needs change. I'm glad they see it that way because I for one would never pay $25,000 per server for WebLogic with cluster support when I could be using JBoss or another more affordable application server.

Kenai.com for internal use only. Soon there will be an announcement on kenai.com about it not achieving the expected usage levels. Oracle thinks they still have a use for it, and will use it internally. They will continue to improve it, and might one day offer it to the public again, but no promises.

Sun's public cloud is closed effective immediately. I guess they want enterprises to buy hardware instead. They talked about Sun's huge amount of work in creating virtualization technologies to make the public cloud a reality, and Oracle sees tremendous value in that work. They want to help enterprises evolve their datacenters to private clouds and/or hybrid clouds using these technologies. Sun has datacenter management software from the operating system layer down to firmware upgrades and hardware provisioning. Oracle has the equivalent management software for middleware and up. They now have an end-to-end cloud solution to sell you. They referred to it as "cloud in a box".

There is much more to talk about, but I think I've covered the most important bits for most Java developers. I am picturing many pessimists and Sun haters flapping around the floor like fish in frustration because they were hoping to see the death of NetBeans, GlassFish, the JCP, SPARC, JavaOne, Solaris, and anything that came out of Sun. Nope, not going to happen. In related news, SpringSource's dmServer is in the process of being moved to the Eclipse foundation soon after VMWare bought the company :)

From http://www.ryandelaplante.com

Published at DZone with permission of its author, Ryan Developer.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)



Guido Amabili replied on Thu, 2010/01/28 - 4:51am

I will miss Sun's Developer Network site...




Milos Silhanek replied on Thu, 2010/01/28 - 4:56am

There are many useful projects on Kenai. It would not be closed for public. But current policy is too benevolent. Everybody tries create own project and forgets.

Martin Wildam replied on Thu, 2010/01/28 - 5:41am

I am well known to be very critical on everything but I also see not real negative signs here. The oracle people seem to be quite motivated and excited. I am still quite sure that I invested my time in creating the right knowledge in the long term. And this keeps me calm.

Jacek Furmankiewicz replied on Thu, 2010/01/28 - 8:40am

Don't get me wrong, but it actually seems fairly illogical to maintain both NB and JDeveloper. Choose one and merge the best features from the other one into it would be the logical choice to make.

Unless Oracle is so awash in money it can affort to maintain two separate dev teams, but it would seem much more logical to merge the two. Just make an Oracle Enterprise Pack for NB with the best featurs of JDeveloper.


Jacek Furmankiewicz replied on Thu, 2010/01/28 - 8:42am

Glad to hear though that Glassfish will still be supported. I think GFv3 is far more important to Java as an RI implementation of Java EE6 than NB.

Gregor Kovač replied on Thu, 2010/01/28 - 10:38am

Has anone read the "Safe Harbour Statement" at the beginning of the screencasts? As far as I understand it it means "we can calk, but if we don't provide, noone can do anything about it".

Fabrizio Giudici replied on Thu, 2010/01/28 - 1:54pm

Well, Jacek, one of the good things about Oracle is that they have plentiful of money. :-) I agree that in the long run you can make more efficiency by trying to have some common code (while preserving the JDeveloper brand, which I understand is important to Oracle, and the NetBeans brand, which is important for the community), but I don't exclude this will happen. Let's not just push times - and let's be happy that Oracle is so wealthy that it hadn't to strictly cut any duplicate immediately.

Fabrizio Giudici replied on Thu, 2010/01/28 - 1:57pm

Gregor, as far as I know the "Safe Harbour Statement" is mandatory in these cases, as per the US Stock Exchange control authority.

Maxim Zakharenkov replied on Sat, 2010/02/06 - 4:27pm

It would be stupid if Oracle said:
- We'll support JDeveloper more than Netbeans and eventually....
- Our main J2EE server is Weblogic while Glassfish will be abandon...
- Etc

Merging process is quite complicated. For me the Oracle's comments mean only:
"We'll still keep all the technologies for some time until we have better vision what to drop and what to support". So, it's to early to make any conclusions.

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