Jetty Project Embraces Jakarta EE 9 Specification

The Eclipse Foundation announced today that the open source Eclipse Jetty project, which provides access to web server and servlet containers, is now compatible with Jakarta EE 9 Servlet specifications.

With version 11 of Jetty, the javax.* packages now conform to the new jakarta.* namespace that signals compatibility with open source Jakarta Enterprise Edition (EE) 9, the specification that picks up where Oracle’s Java EE 8 left off. Oracle agreed to relinquish control of the Java specification to the Eclipse Foundation as part of an effort to accelerate innovation by encouraging contributions from developers beyond those employed by Oracle.

However, Oracle insisted on retaining the rights to the Java trademark because it has support contracts in place for existing instances of Java; those provide a significant revenue stream. Providers of application development frameworks based on the Jakarta framework are expecting enterprise IT organizations to shift quickly to Jakarta as part of an effort to reduce costs during one of the most turbulent economic times in recent memory.

Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, says the decision by the technical committee that oversees widely employed open source Jetty software to adopt the Jakarta specification is a vote of confidence. Jetty is embedded within many products and projects such as Apache Hadoop, Apache Maven, Google App Engine, the Twitter Streaming application programming interface (API), Zimbra and the Eclipse integrated development environment (IDE).

The transition to Jakarta EE 9 will occur over an extended period of time. A recent survey conducted by the Eclipse Foundation found over half of developers (55%) have adopted Java/Jakarta EE 8. However, the Java developer community is generally slow to upgrade beyond Java 8. Only 28% of developers are employing Java 11, while adoption of Java 14 stands at 11%, according to the survey. Oracle, meanwhile, released a Java 17 specification earlier this month.

Spring/Spring Boot, meanwhile, continues to be the leading platform for building applications, with 44% adoption, compared to 35% using Jakarta EE, 16% using Red Hat Quarkus, a framework that runs natively on Kubernetes, and 11% that are using Eclipse Che, an open source IDE for building applications on Kubernetes, the survey also finds.

Despite the plethora of programming languages that are now widely employed by developers, Java remains the dominant language employed by developers working in enterprise IT organizations, even after its long 25-year history. However, as enterprise IT organizations look to reduce costs, open source platforms such as Jakarta EE, and the OpenJDK project overseen by Oracle, are gaining traction. As adoption of those platforms continues to rise, Java licensing costs steadily decline.

Less clear is to what degree IT organizations might shift existing Java applications to reduce costs versus simply relying on open source platforms to build the next generation of Java applications. However, as many organizations look to modernize legacy applications, open source platforms could play a significant role in making the cost of those endeavors a whole lot more palatable.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

Mike Vizard has 1362 posts and counting. See all posts by Mike Vizard