Enterprise Integration Zone is brought to you in partnership with:

I've been a zone leader with DZone since 2008, and I'm crazy about community. Every day I get to work with the best that JavaScript, HTML5, Android and iOS has to offer, creating apps that truly make at difference, as principal front-end architect at Avego. James is a DZone Zone Leader and has posted 639 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Oracle's Effect on Java

  • submit to reddit

With Oracle just after buying Sun, maybe it's time to consider what this means for the Java community. There's no doubt that enterprise Java is something that Oracle have huge interest in, and will probably help nudge this along. Two things that I would really like to see are continued, and improved, investment into Java on the client side, as well as getting things back on track for Java 7. 

In our previous post on the Oracle acquisition, Alex Miller pointed out that the JCP will now be dominated by two superpowers, each with very strong business motivations to control and influence the future of Java.  Obviously Oracle has the upper hand by controlling the JCP and the Java spec. He elaborates further on the point in his latest blog entry, where he says that while it would be nice of Oracle to give up the controlling seat in favour of a more democratic aproach, it's doubtful that it would happen. 

Another fantastic point made by Alex in his post was that we will now see the the team behind JRockit, a JVM implementation from Oracle that I had forgotten about,  and the core Sun VM team possibly getting together and giving us an even better JVM implementation. 

What I'm looking forward to seeing now is what this means for me, a Java developer. Depending on how this whole acquisition works out, we should be seeing new faces and fresh ideas for Java in general.

What do you think this means for the current line of Sun products, in particular:

  • Glassfish
  • MySQL
  • Netbeans
  • OpenSolaris
  • JavaFX

 We'd love to hear your thoughts.

Additionally, to help round out the shock and awe of this morning's news, we've assembled a list of news coverage and Tweets from around the Web.



Fabrizio Giudici replied on Mon, 2009/04/20 - 1:20pm

You know, I don't like to make predictions. But Aljoscha Rittner, fellow NBTDer, just pointed me to this document: http://www.oracle.com/sun/sun-faq.pdf

There are explicit statements about MySQL and hardware stuff:

What does Oracle plan to do with MySQL? MySQL will be an addition to Oracle’s existing suite of database products, which already includes Oracle Database 11g, TimesTen, Berkeley DB open source database, and the open source transactional storage engine, InnoDB.
What will Oracle do with Sun’s hardware business? Oracle plans to grow the Sun hardware business after the closing, protecting Sun customers’ investments and ensuring the long-term viability of Sun products.

There's also another generic statement:

How is this acquisition expected to impact any existing project, deployment, or services engagements? It is not expected that this transaction will impact any existing project, deployment or services engagement.

Let's see. Sounds even too good to believe :-)

Fabrizio Giudici replied on Mon, 2009/04/20 - 1:24pm

Forgot to say that there's an explicit statement on Solaris (Java and Solaris being the two most valuable assets in the buy, according to Oracle); Oracle said it is still committed to Linux.

Jilles Van Gurp replied on Mon, 2009/04/20 - 1:40pm

I don't consider this to be particularly good news. Oracle is not a strong OSS player and most of what they just bought is open source that doesn't match their own portfolio particularly well (other than competing with it).

Glassfish. Competes with Oracle4J and WebLogic. This suggest one or two of these three will see some major cost cutting. No way that a single company is going to maintain three independent platforms.

Mysql. Has been eating oracle marketshare for years. It will be interesting to see how soon it forks. Btw. Sun is a major postgresql backer as well. I guess that's two flies in one go for Oracle.

Java, now OSS. Oracle has maybe 1-2 years to convince the outside world it is a leader. Arguably, Sun is already greatly diminished as a leader here. This too can and will fork if Oracle screws up. And you can bet IBM doubling their efforts behind Harmony now: no way they want to be dependend on Larry Elisson et al.

JavaFX. Dead on Arrival (as was as obvious when they announced it as it is today), I guess anyone to buy Sun would do the smart thing and kill it off, quickly. Not quite flash, hopelessly not integrated into the Adobe/designer world. What were they thinking ? Anyway, Oracle is a server side company 100%. Bye bye. You won't be missed.

Solaris. Some nice add on components to linux. Unless you need it, you don't. I don't know anybody who needs it.  Oracle as a major linux or solaris player would be something new.

Chips, hw, etc. Well, lets just say that Sun lost that market years ago and has been strugling ever since. Oracle is not buying Sun for the hardware. I guess this would be an obvious cost cutting operation.

Netbeans. Wildly popular amongst a minority, rest of the world uses Eclipse. Including most of Oracle's customers. No way that's going to change.

Open office. Never a money maker and obviously a project in trouble due to stagnation and sun being obnoxioius for years. Not clear what Oracle would be able to change here. Giving up control might actually be a good way to get it going again.

So, altogether, I don't get it. On the other hand, we still have the source and thanks to Sun, most of it is GPL. If you don't like what Oracle is doing, just take the source. My guess is that that is exactly what's going to happen to key parts of the sun portfolio if Oracle mismanages it. Java has already been cloned and forked. All it needs is a cool new name and some industry backing (cough, IBM, cough, Spring, cough, Apache, cough, everybody competing with Sun/Oracle).

So 7 Billion sounds like a lot of money for a brand name and a lot of OSS hackers. I guess the Sun IPR portfolio might be worth a penny or two though.

IBM pulled out for a reason. Mergers like this tend to be worth less than the sum of the parts. Congratulations to Sun on squeezing a few dollars out of Larry though.

mark taylor replied on Mon, 2009/04/20 - 6:05pm

Everyone should keep in mind that although GPL, MySQL has very restrictive licensing for commercial use and has had such for years. So I don't expect the MySQL situation to change at all.  But yeah, Ellison is not someone I trust to be a good steward of Java, Glassfish, Netbeans, or Solaris.  But like Jilles says, maybe with Sun out of the way the community can really take over.

John Denver replied on Mon, 2009/04/20 - 11:25pm

Java, GlassFish and OpenSolaris I think are the keys for Oracle to buy Sun.

MySQL could survive as low end solution from Oracle.

The good things of Netbeans it will merge with JDeveloper.

JavaFX is dead!. The next buyout for Oracle will be Adobe and the Flash/Flex to compete with Microsoft with Silverlight. JavaFX was a waste of resource and time for Sun. 

This is my humble opinion.

Alex Soriano replied on Mon, 2009/04/20 - 11:58pm

Ok now that oracle has around 75% of the market share in server side and the most powerfull database system,  two OS (oracle linux and solaris), high end hardware, do you think they are entering the cloud wars, against amazon WS, microsoft azure and google.


what will happen with enterprises (like spring) that depends on java, and represent a big risk to oracle.


Last year oracle buys BEA, this year oracle buys suns, what will happen if the next year oracle buys red hat ????...

111 222 replied on Tue, 2009/04/21 - 12:31am in response to: John Denver


java client continue.

111 222 replied on Tue, 2009/04/21 - 12:33am

"I would really like to see are continued, and improved, investment into Java on the client side.". I really hope too.

Jeroen Wenting replied on Tue, 2009/04/21 - 3:30am

(Almost) all of Oracle's client software is Java based, including their installers, so I don't think you need to be afraid of them not being interested in clientside Java.
mySQL will end up as part of Oracle's portfolio of database products, I guess it'll end up taking over from Oracle Lite/Oracle XE after getting a makeover to support PL/SQL and Oracle SQL syntax in addition to its native format.

Thierry Milard replied on Tue, 2009/04/21 - 7:55am in response to: John Denver

I think on the client side Swing + JavaFx + some final improvement on the jre install-startup could become without much effort a good competitor Flash.

We all know Flash platform is (finnally ... after many non succeding sucess) becoming a good platform for "superbe" Internet sites. [just see deezer.com for example].

In this fast growing arena, silverlight is pushing. With little effort java can come along. And when I see the enormous list of java API (manyOpen source) compared to Flash platform I think java-client-side-platform has a big potential.


Don't you think ?

Richard Osbaldeston replied on Tue, 2009/04/21 - 9:17am

I think you guys are kidding yourselves that this is any kind of good news for client-side Java. Oracle have bought a company that's been losing money on its loveable, eccentric R&D culture. There's no grounds to think Oracle a huge proprietary middleware company largely concerned with maintaining its database superiority will be all that intrested in advancing Java the language - their history with open source or even original development isnt great. They tend to buy in products, and add their own proprietary features & branding. In the sort term they've got to stop Sun losing so much money, its a gaping wound, in terms of the language maintaing the status quo would suit them just fine. Their primary field of interest will be the enterprise/middleware markets.

I don't think they'll show the same spirit of adventure in trying to capture a new market with JavaFX on all the screens of your life. Even if the licensing prospects are potentially massive it's too risky and expensive to continue the one-upmanship with Microsoft and Adobe. It's well outside Oracles existing interests, I don't think a Java runtime on every desktop/device is where they're coming from. I'd expect Java development to stay at todays somewhat reduced level (hell you couldnt call JDK7 an exciting release) or even scale back, maybe a major version every three years or so, more akin to the Oracle db release timeline. Oracle tend to be much more conservative with new devlopment.

Glassfish is an interesting 'problem'. I'd guess Oracle4J and Weblogic each have larger user-bases than Glassfish. It seems Oracle dont know quite what to do with all their recent purchases (Oracle4J used to be Orion - I think). However Glassfish pretty much is JEE6, I'm not sure how far along the latter two are in respect to their EJB3 support. Killing Glassfish would seem to derail JEE6 and would send all the wrong signals to the comminity. On the other hand Glassfish3 might start to cut into what I'd guess are declining sales of Weblogic. I wonder if they'll try to merge products in some fashion, with a cut down lite offering?

I'd hope Netbeans continues. JDeveloper was pretty good in its day, but showing its age against the latest IDEs. The majority of its unique functionality (proprietary support) could be redeveloped as Netbeans plugins. Although Oracles love of peppering it's products/APIs with proprietary barbs to lock you into their product stacks worrys me somewhat.

The HW side, I'm surprised Oracle would be that interested in. I'd fully expect them to sell off whatevers left to Dell, Compaq, HP, Fujitsu or IBM ASAP. Mysql I guess they'll host as a open source offering, but in maintaince mode only, not much new development. Must be some money in the ongoing support & consulting here and upselling. Doubt it'll be rebaged as a cheap Oracle-lite, its SQL dialect differs from Oracle enough to make the upgrade path difficult, they already have Oracle express for this. I'm not sure this is so very different from what Sun were going to do with it anyway. Much like Solaris I'd expect them to spin it off funding support only.

Personally I think Java the language would have found a better home under IBM (other products not so much). Oracle is a huge unknown player in this field. I wait to see if Sun can still exsit in some form, or if they manage to hold onto their staff during whats likely to be a protracted merger. Will we see a new Oracle emerge? or Sun getting utterly submerged? You rarely see a companies products blossum after a buyout, it's usually that start of a slow decline (though slower than if Sun hard just burnt-out on its own).

Just my small change.. yup, got a lot of time on my hands as an unemploed Java developer (go fig).


Arash M. Dehghani replied on Thu, 2013/06/27 - 3:15pm in response to: John Denver

I just a little worry, because Oracle usually thinks close-source

JeffS replied on Tue, 2009/04/21 - 5:54pm

  • Glassfish
Seeing as how parts of Weblogic use parts of Glassfish, and seeing as how there needs to be a Reference Implementation, Glassfish will probably stick around in one form or another.  But I do see Oracle possibly limiting the free, open source version, and then require licensing, or requiring support, for enterprise capabilities, or something along those lines.  In other words, Oracle will make sure they can monetize it, and make sure it does not canabalize WebLogic or OC4j
  • MySQL
This will be to Oracle what Access is to Microsoft, only better.  Oracle will keep it around, and make sure  enterprise extensions (transactional and stored procedure support) are kept proprietary and locked in.  They'll also use MySQL to generate migration to Oracle DB revenue, when customer scaling needs arise.
  • Netbeans
In the long run, I can't see Oracle supporting both NetBeans and JDeveloper.  Plus, they support Eclipse.  I see them merging NB and JDev, or simply stripping out what's good about one and putting it into the other.
  • OpenSolaris
Solaris will thrive under Oracle, being that it's a major part of their "soup to nuts", or "turnkey" solution strategy.  They've been wanting an OS of their own, as a major component for providing the full stack, for a long time.  Now they have it.  OpenSolaris will probably be around if for nothing else help build mindshare.  I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Oracle changed OpenSolaris licensing so that Linux drivers can be incorporated.
  • JavaFX

Seeing as how the Java community itself has been thoroughly unimpressed, and how JavaFX is far behind Flex and Silverlight in the development curve, I don't see Oracle not EOL'ing JavaFX (or simply releasing it to the open source community). 

But maybe Oracle is interested in expanding on the client side, as a driver for their traditional enterprise data center business.  They know that MS drives some of it's server business from it's Windows/Office/Exchange Server lock-in business.  So maybe Oracle will be into having a stronger client side play for that reason.  But what they do with that, who knows?  Maybe they just enhance Swing, maybe they contribute even more to Eclipse, or maybe they see that JavaFX might have potential, and pour some serious money into it to help it realize it's potential.  But all of that is a long shot, as Oracle is a data center vendor, and JavaFX has thus far been pretty much DOA.

Patrick Fong replied on Tue, 2009/04/21 - 7:08pm

One thing that I'm wondering about is what will happen with education and the certification streams? Will there be a generic Java certification (from Sun) then people can specialise into particular products (like DB and App Serv from Oracle)?



Dmitri Trembovetski replied on Wed, 2009/04/22 - 3:05pm

Regarding comments about client java: why would any reasonable company kill a profitable business? Client Java is making lots of money these days for Sun (supposed to hit 250m this year), and it's growing, too.


Otengi Miloskov replied on Thu, 2009/04/23 - 12:47am in response to: Dmitri Trembovetski

ROFL you still belive in that numbers that the dumbass of jonathan schwartz gave. Java client is not near that market of Flash/Flex or even Silverlight. Oracle is not interested on the mobile business. Java client(Swing) is far from dead but I see that Oracle maybe they will fix it for their convenience.

JavaFX? Simple, JavaFX is dead.

Simon Ibarra replied on Mon, 2009/04/27 - 12:47am

Why would the FOSS community support a non-FOSS friendly company like Oracle? Tell me, where can you see a great miracle that will cause that to happen?

My prediction is that Linux, PHP/Python and Postgre will rise still. The OSS community together with Oracle's competitors like IBM will have a massive promotion on Linux, Postgre and Python, and all new comers in IT business will support this new market-shift. Why would a start-up company choose commercial Oracle offerings over FOSS specially in this time of global financial crisis? And IBM can have an edge on start-up market by using FOSS-plus-support strategy. IBM and others will use FOSS as alternative to the now Oracle-dominated Java solutions (why would they labor hard to fight Oracle anyway when FOSS solutions is there waiting to be adopted by big names in the industry?). Many government and educational institutions will join IBM and the FOSS community in developing the Linux-Python-Postgre and other FOSS alternatives.

While Java is losing backing-up from IBM et al, FOSS will be increasingly dominate the new enterprise market. And if you're company is not a small-to-medium enterprise, (let's say a big-time heavily funded company with lots of money for investment), don't worry because the Microsoft representative, a.k.a. salesman, is now knocking at your door, using their marketing and political prowess to get you as a customer (go to Hongkong, Singapore, India, etcetera... and you will see that Microsoft is there lobbying in these countries--these emerging IT leaders. Microsoft is not dumb, mind you.).

After seven years or so, Oracle will realize that this Sun Microsystems buy-out move indeed eliminated one of its competitor, and that is, Sun itself; but this move has also created a big black hole that in due time, will suck Oracle to death. And the Sun-Oracle history is over. And FOSS lives happily ever after.


My prediction for the mobile arena is obvious. Mobile Java whathever profile will be abandoned. Android, Symbian, and iPhone OS will dominate. Windows Mobile is losing but it will soon rise again a bit. Sony will open Blu-ray spec in search for an alternative language other than Java (or maybe its own Blu-ray scripting/markup language).


I can't predict about client Java. But I know that .NET/Mono will continue to rise its adoption, given the fact that .NET is now present in Vista installations and Miguel de Icaza of Mono is also leading GNOME. Steve Job's push for Objective-C for anything Apple's continues. Flash on the browser still dominates. JavaFX is dead on arrival. Frustrated JavaFX fans will be frustrated that they hate and curse Java for life and that hate will extend that they will become one of the most anti-Java activists in the world influencing programming language choice of students in the academics.  Python will be the prevailing language for Linux GUI programming. As for the client-side Java, only Oracle knows the answer.


This prediction of mine hurts me so much because I love Java. But if you're a developer and you want to secure your career, you have to prepare yourself now. I'm not forcing anyone to believe my prediction. But tell you what... one year ago, I had predicted that Sun will be bought by one of its competitor, and it happened now.




kalle pallo replied on Tue, 2009/10/27 - 2:09pm

GlassFish v3 will be the next major release of the GlassFish application server. The focus of the release is modularization, enablement of non Java EE containers, and embedability. marjoja

Nazrul Islam replied on Wed, 2011/03/02 - 10:32pm

GlassFish 3.1 has been released with clustering, centralized administration and high availability. Refer to this blog for more details.

Emma Watson replied on Fri, 2012/03/30 - 2:12am


In past decade, Oracle has made efforts to expand out its reach via major acquisition series that include BEA, Hyperion, PeopleSoft, Siebel etc. Now it has also added Sun to the roster oof Oracle that holds certain far reaching kind of implications and also possess a great impact at the technology.

java program

Carla Brian replied on Wed, 2012/06/13 - 12:14pm

According from a source, Oracle also has copyright claims and has produced examples of where it says Google copied its code. - Joe Aldeguer

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.