Can Oracle give Java a boost (and monetize it better)?

Can Oracle give Java a boost (and monetize it better)?

Summary: The prize in Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems is Java, but the big question is whether Larry Ellison and the gang can monetize the popular platform and bolster its standing against up and coming programming languages.In a research note, J.

SHARE:

The prize in Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems is Java, but the big question is whether Larry Ellison and the gang can monetize the popular platform and bolster its standing against up and coming programming languages.

In a research note, J.P. Morgan analyst Adam Holt examines Oracle's Sun purchase and how Java plays into the mix. Holt writes:

Based on our conversations with Oracle partners and Sun contacts, the importance may be primarily in developing/sustaining the end markets for their middleware technology, rather than increasing the direct monetization of Java. Given the relative scale of Oracle’s middleware business, which IDC estimates at $2.3B in 2008, versus the $220M in Java related billings Sun accrued, the potential returns are far greater in investing in the end-markets than monetizing Java, in our view.

Oracle's challenge will be getting Java's momentum back once the Sun deal closes, argues Holt. Java has become monolithic relative to new languages such as Ruby and application frameworks such as Springs and Seam. Oracle has promised to invest more in Java. Holt adds:

While Java enjoys widespread adoption today, particularly in enterprise applications, a monolithic architecture and complicated development process have resulted in rather slow evolution of the Java platform, particularly for new use cases and computing form factors. This has left room for a raft of new languages like Ruby and Groovy, and new application frameworks like Spring and Seam, to emerge to fill that void, particularly in the fast growing markets around the development of web 2.0 applications. Most agree this has sapped momentum from the Java ecosystem. In order to safeguard the future of the core market for its middleware technology, it makes sense for Oracle to more directly invest in Java itself.

The big question is what Oracle's returns will look like from its Java investment. Here's where Sun monetized Java:

The big takeaway from that chart: More than half of Sun’s Java related revenues come from licensing fees for the Java Mobile Edition virtual machine to 30 mobile phone companies. That market is saturated.

For Oracle, Java investment will turn up in the middleware business.

In any case, it will be hard to follow the Java money within Oracle. Holt reckons that Oracle will monetize Java better than Sun, but the mobile market is saturated, the third party toolbar opportunity is relatively small and the model for Java support is sketchy.

If Oracle has any shot of monetizing Java it will be in that latter category. Oracle could offer enhanced support for Java and pay per use services, says Holt.

Here's Ellison talking about the future of Java development:

Topics: Software, Open Source, Oracle, Software Development

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

5 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • A couple of things I'm not understanding....

    Groovy is Java. Spring is Java. Ruby and the like I can understand. But if I'm not mistaken there is a proposal to even add Groovy directly into Java. Am I missing something here or is this a sign of whats to come for Java. I mean if they don't understand this how can they do anything with Java. Not to mention...do they realize Java has been open sourced? I get the upfront feeling that they are going to end up destroying Java by trying to make money off of it every way they can instead of using it as a tool to attract people to use other pieces of their platform.
    storm14k
  • RE: Can Oracle give Java a boost (and monetize it better)?

    Oracle just now building an ERP suite based on Java (it's "next generation" to Oracle), and still hasn't released it.

    That says something. SAP is not even that far along.

    Cheers,

    BW
    BobWarfield
    • correction ...

      Oracle owns JDEdwards, and JDEdwards runs on Java.

      Oracle's own ERP apps run on Java.

      It's already there.
      super_J
  • RE: Can Oracle give Java a boost (and monetize it better)?

    I can't believe how stupid and ignorant these so called "analysts" can be:

    "This has left room for a raft of new languages like Ruby and Groovy, and new application frameworks like Spring and Seam, to emerge to fill that void, particularly in the fast growing markets around the development of web 2.0 applications. Most agree this has sapped momentum from the Java ecosystem."

    ... um, well Groovy is a scripting language that runs on the JVM, Spring is an application framework that runs on Java, and Seam is another application framework that runs on Java, as well as fully utilize JEE standards (JSF and EJB, to name a few). Plus, Ruby is even part of Java in some cases, with JRuby.

    So this idiot is saying about these Java based technologies:

    "Most agree this has sapped momentum from the Java ecosystem."

    Whaaat????? These are technologies that are part of the Java ecosystem!!!! Freaking moron!

    J.P. Morgan analyst Adam Holt, please, please please, get a clue before you provide your "expert analysis".
    super_J
  • RE: Can Oracle give Java a boost (and monetize it better)?

    Totally agreed, the author of this piece clearly knows nothing about Java (he can't even spell "Spring" correctly, and Spring is now the fastest growing Java framework).

    The article is nothing but pure guff and uninformed speculation of the worst kind.
    codeclass_dot_co_uk_java_training