Red Hat's Mark Little, for years a tireless proponent of the Java platform (Java Enterprise Edition and Standard Edition) as the foundation for service oriented architecture, has lately been talking up the next stage of evolution: Java platform as the foundation for cloud deployments.
John Waters at ADT recently spoke with Mark, who pointed out that a lot of enterprise intellectual capital has been built up around Java, and no one can afford to go through another disruptive churn as was seen with efforts to tear up or re-engineer COBOL, DCE [Distributed Computing Environment] or CORBA [Common Object Request Broker Architecture] systems:
"We kind of stopped the world, re-implemented everything, and then started it up again. And we wasted years as an industry.... Java may have a few warts and boils, and it may not be perfect for some things, but we've spent the better part of a decade building up these enterprise middleware stacks, and these stacks are absolutely good enough for us to continue to use."
Mark adds that more pragmatic approaches need to be taken: "Even if developers want to go with something like Ruby or Scala, the underlying enterprise runtime is going to be Java."
In a recent post at his own site, Mark makes the case for positioning Java platform as the engine for Platform as a Service (in this case, JBoss Application Server 7, but he makes the case for the Java platform in general). Essential features of a PaaS infrastructure include transaction support, security, replication, and, of course, standards.
In a presentation reported in ComputerWeekly, Mark was again bullish on Java's advancement as a cloud platform:
"[Java EE7 and Java SE8] will be important for establishing Java more firmly in the cloud. [This release...] represents a milestone for the entire Java ecosystem and the release signifies the start of a more aggressive and realistic release cycle for the language and hopefully for the entire Java EE platform."
Oracle says that Java Enterprise Edition 7 (Java EE 7) -- scheduled for final release toward the end of 2012 -- would be more "relevant" for the cloud, as well as feature greater support for REST Web services.
A nice summary of the cloud plans for Java EE 7 and Java EE 8 was posted at the Nobeysco site following the Jax conference:
"Enterprise Java upgrade geared to PaaS clouds. Java EE 7 will provide multi-tenancy support as well as the runtime environment for running a Java application in the cloud.... 'What our main goal is, is making the Java EE platform ready for use in the cloud so that you can deploy your Java EE apps into a cloud environment,' said Linda DeMichiel, Oracle Java EE platform lead, at the Jax conference in San Jose, Calif. She also offered a glimpse of a subsequent Java EE 8 release, which would be fully modular and be tuned for use in SaaS (software-as-a-service) cloud computing.... In addition to its PaaS capabilities, Java EE 7 is set to have limited support for SaaS, in which an application can support multiple tenants but each tenant gets a separate instance of an application. ... In addition to its PaaS capabilities, Java EE 7 is set to have limited support for SaaS, in which an application can support multiple tenants but each tenant gets a separate instance of an application."