The Current Situation
Java has undergone some fairly major licensing changes in recent years and we have experienced different reactions to that from our customers. Some are unconcerned, continuing with the long-term support version Java 8 as before. Others are worried about the potential cost implications and are even contemplating moving away from all Java-based products. While this blog will not offer comprehensive advice on your continued use of Java, we will provide details of our plans for Java support and point you to some useful pages that may help further when making your own decisions about Java.
DeltaXML and Java
DeltaXML software has, from its very first version, always been coded in Java. We made the decision to use Java to enable our software to be available on as many platforms as possible. We have recently added a REST API to our XML Compare and XML Merge products to provide access for non-Java developers and have plans to add REST to other products in the near future.
We have no plans to move away from Java but we see an increasing need to widen our testing and support to include non-Oracle distributions.
Our new products including XML Data Compare and DeltaJSON will also have REST APIs. We have no plans to move away from Java but we see an increasing need to widen our testing and support to include non-Oracle distributions.
Preparing for Change
We are committing to supporting those versions of Java that are marked as long-term support (LTS) by Oracle which, at the time of writing, includes Java 8 and Java 11. We will also aim for compatibility with the latest version of Java (currently Java 13) and will update our testing infrastructure every six months to ensure that we keep up with Oracle’s new six-monthly release cycle. While many Java users continue to use Oracle JDKs, there has been a significant move to OpenJDK and specifically the Adopt OpenJDK distribution. To respond to this, we are also committing to support Adopt OpenJDK releases that match the Oracle LTS releases that we support i.e. 8 and 11 at the time of writing.
We found the snyk report on the JVM Ecosystem an interesting read regarding the adoption of different Java distributions and versions. We plan to continue developing mainly on Java 8 for the foreseeable future and will likely continue to use Java 8 for any production deployments as well.
For our customers using the .NET API, we are also closely watching developments regarding the forthcoming .NET 5.0 which will include Java interoperability.
We welcome any feedback you might have on these decisions and would be interested to hear what your ongoing plans are with Java versions and distributions.