Oracle, users and the development community worldwide are celebrating the 20th anniversary of Java, the technology that changed programming forever.
From innovations in enterprise big data, cloud, social, mobile and the Internet of Things, to connected cars, smartphones and video games, Java continues to help developers push the boundaries in technology innovation.
“Java has grown and evolved to become one of the most important and dependable technologies in our industry today. Those who have chosen Java have been rewarded many times over with increases in performance, scalability, reliability, compatibility, and functionality,” said Georges Saab, vice president of development, Java Platform Group at Oracle.
“The Java ecosystem offers outstanding libraries, frameworks, and resources to help programmers from novice to expert alike. The development of Java itself occurs in the transparent OpenJDK community. With the considerable investment from Oracle and others in the community, we look forward to the next 20 years of Java’s evolution and growth.”
“Fujitsu recognized the utility of Java in IT systems as soon as it first became available, and even now we are working to promote its applications. Java is used across industries in Japan owing to it being so highly compatible and offering such excellent productivity,” said Yasushi Fujii, vice president, Application Management Middleware Division, Fujitsu Limited.
“In future ICT, mobile and cloud technologies will deepen the relationships between people and between individuals and companies, helping to create a society that is ever more Human Centric in nature. We expect that Java’s continuing evolution will lead to further ICT development and a changing society, and look forward to working with the Java community to develop Java technologies.”
“IBM is celebrating Java’s 20th anniversary as one of the most important industry led programming platforms spanning mobile, client and enterprise software platforms. IBM began its commitment to Java at its inception over two decades ago, and has seen the Java ecosystem and developer community bring unsurpassed value to the investments our clients have made in their Java based solutions,” said Harish Grama, vice president, Middleware Products, IBM Systems. “IBM looks forward to the next 20 years of growth and innovation in the Java ecosystem including Mobile, Cloud, Analytics and Internet of Things.”
Evolution of the World’s #1 Programming Language
Introduced in 1995, Java is the programming language of choice for 9 million developers and today powers 7 billion devices. Improving road and air safety, collecting information from the world’s oceans for science applications, increasing grain crop quality and quantifying to help feed the hungry, simulating the human brain and musculoskeletal system, and gaming are some of the intriguing projects worldwide that use the Java technology.
Enterprise developers can choose from an ecosystem of 30 Java EE 6 and Java EE 7 compatible implementations from 12 vendors. Additionally, more than 125 million Java-based media devices have been deployed and over 10 billion Java Cards have been shipped since Java’s introduction.
“Programming languages don’t always live a long life, and those that do, don’t always enjoy a healthy one,” said Al Hilwa, IDC program director for Application Development Research. “But Java has stood the test of time and the test of the vast range of applications using it, from large enterprise systems to small device games.”
Under the stewardship of Oracle, two major platform releases including Java 7 and Java 8 have been delivered, with Java 9 slated for 2016. The Java Community Process (JCP) is more open and transparent than ever before, and serves as an integral element of community participation in the ongoing evolution of the technology. The OpenJDK Community, the place to collaborate on an open-source implementation of the Java Platform, Standard Edition, is continuously attracting new contributors to its already broad base of participation.
In March 2014, Oracle announced availability of Java SE 8 after receiving final approval in the Java Community process. This release, which included the largest upgrade to the Java programming model since the platform was introduced in 1995, was developed collaboratively in the OpenJDK Community. Soon after, in April 2014, the Java Platform, Micro Edition 8 (Java ME 8) and the related releases of Oracle’s Java Embedded products were also made available after final approval in the Java Community Process. With a consistent Java 8 platform across embedded devices, desktops, data centers and the cloud, customers can deploy applications faster; process and analyze in-flight data; and act on events as quickly as they occur.
Ushering in the Next Era of Java
Oracle and the Java community are now focused on delivering new innovations in Java 9. The key planned feature of this release is Project Jigsaw, which aims to modularize the platform in order to make it scalable to a wider range of devices, make it easier for developers to construct and maintain libraries and large applications, and improve security, maintainability, and performance. Other features slated for Java 9 include the Java Shell, an interactive tool for evaluating snippets of Java code; a new HTTP client API to support HTTP/2 and Web Sockets; a port to the ARM AArch64 architecture on Linux; and a variety of updates to existing APIs along with some significant performance improvements.
“Java directly or indirectly touches just about every human on this planet. It is the glue that allows mobile health and banking in remote areas of the world, entertains millions with games such as Minecraft, and drives the economic engine of our global markets,” said Martijn Verburg, co-leader of Java User Group, London. “It is extremely important that this platform be managed by a leader who understands Java’s importance to the world, and Oracle does an excellent job in collaborating with a hugely diverse community of users, developers, open source projects and larger enterprises. I look forward to seeing what the next generation of engineers will come up with next. Using Java, the possibilities seem endless.”
To commemorate 20 years of Java, Oracle Certification is offering 20 percent discount on all Java certification exams. The offer available globally is now open through December 31, 2015. Candidates must provide promotional code Java20 at the time of registration.
Here’s a full timeline of key developments and milestones in Java’s 20-Year history.