Oracle's $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems means a new home for Java, and Java is doing just fine. Java developers say they prefer Oracle's stewardship of Java to IBM's.
Oracle's $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems
means a new home for
Java, and Java is doing just fine.
Indeed, if Sun could not remain independent and IBM
dropped its bid for the system maker, the next best place for Java to land was
is no stranger to Java and Java developers, and not only because of
its Java-based middleware stack. Oracle has long supported Java with tools for
developers and support in several industry attempts to advance Java and open
technologies, such as Eclipse and other efforts that were not as successful.
However, Oracle has done with Java what the company has always done best-gone
its own way.
As industry observer Tony
Now that it "owns" the
origins of the Java stack, we expect Oracle to provide counterweight to IBM/Eclipse, but as mentioned earlier, it will
be one [born] of nuance rather than religion. You can see it already in
Oracle's bifurcated Eclipse strategy, where its core development platform,
JDeveloper, is not Eclipse-compliant, but the recently acquired BEA stack is.
In some areas, such as Java persistence, Oracle has taken lead billing. Anyway,
as Eclipse has spread from developer to run time platform, why would Oracle
give up its position as a member of Eclipse's board.
This also begs the question of what Oracle will do with the Sun NetBeans
open-source development tools platform, which competes with the Eclipse
Meanwhile, Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation,
said, "Oracle's acquisition of Sun is unequivocally good for Java. Erasing
uncertainty about the future of Sun as a business does the same for Java. Historically,
Oracle has been a vocal supporter of a more open Java platform. Hopefully that
will quickly translate into action on that front."
Click here to read more about the Oracle-Sun acquisition deal.
Some developers agreed with Milinkovich's assertion. Eugene Ciurana, a Java
development guru and cloud computing enthusiast who had been leery of IBM
acquiring Java, said, "I believe this is overall a very good thing for
Java technologies. Oracle is more aggressive than IBM
at marketing and they are more technology-savvy, plus they have the clout to
fight IBM's hegemony in the Java Community
Process to speed things up. Bringing GlassFish into their offerings makes
Oracle an option for small, medium and large companies deploying Java
applications. Big clients will use WebLogic, smaller shops can have GlassFish ...
Overall, a better option than IBM for
A developer and executive at an ISV in
the Java ecosystem who requested anonymity said he believes the Oracle-Sun deal
is good for Java. "Sun never figured out a way to make money on
Java," the developer said. "And Oracle likely won't even try. I like
the idea of having 'not IBM' controlling
Java so there is a yin-yang balancing act for the technology. Oracle fighting
with IBM at a peer level is actually better
than the current balance of a dying Sun fighting with IBM.
The tension will ensure that Java stays relatively on track. Everyone's
infrastructure depends on Java EE app servers, so I don't expect Oracle will
upset the apple cart. The fact that Sun licensed the Java source as GPL [General
Public License] keeps anyone from doing anything interesting with it without
signing a deal with Oracle anyway."
Meanwhile, another Java expert who requested anonymity said of the deal,
"I think it's great. I was really worried [about] if IBM
could handle it, and what it would have meant to the future of Java if IBM
was the buyer. Oracle should have done the deal 'with' IBM
to give IBM the hardware business and
jointly owned or 'opened up' the Java/Solaris/software side of it, since it so
greatly benefits both IBM and Oracle. In truth,
IBM has the optimal business to benefit from
Sun's hardware business, but only Oracle has the heft to deal with Sun's Java
business and responsibilities."