Oracle and IBM to collaborate on OpenJDK

In a move which analysts say demonstrates continual commitment to Java, both vendors announce new initiative to drive the open source platform including Open Java Development Kit and Java Community Process.
Written by Tyler Thia, Contributor

Oracle and IBM have unveiled a new collaboration which will allow developers and customers to build and innovate based on existing Java investments and the OpenJDK (Java Development Kit) reference implementation.

According to a joint statement issued by Oracle, the two partners will make the OpenJDK community the primary location to facilitate open source Java SE (Standard Edition) development. The new collaboration will also center on the Java language, JDK and Java Runtime Environment.

Both vendors plan to enhance the JCP (Java Community Process) which will continue to be the primary standards body for Java specification work.

OpenJDK is the principle reference implementation of the open source programming platform.

"The Java community is vital to the evolution of the Java platform," Hasan Rizvi, senior vice president at Oracle, said in the statement. "The collaboration between Oracle and IBM builds on the success of OpenJDK as the primary development platform for Java SE."

Rod Smith, IBM's vice president of emerging technologies, said: "IBM, Oracle and other members of the Java community working collaboratively in OpenJDK will accelerate the innovation in the Java platform. Oracle and IBM's collaboration also signals to enterprise customers that they can continue to rely on the Java community to deliver more open, flexible and innovative new technologies to help grow their business."

In an InfoWorld report, IDC analyst Al Hilwa, was quoted to say: "The IBM-Oracle partnership is about showing that the two largest players in Java are on the same page. This is about showing that Java is still going to be invested in and that the two biggest players out there are in agreement that it must be evolved rapidly."

Hilwa expects IBM and Oracle to fix the JCP and ensure efforts will not be "bogged down with competing interests at the expense of the future of Java". "Overall this is good news for Java developers," he added.

Oracle in August filed a lawsuit against Google over the use of Java in its Android operating system--specifically Harmony, which is an Apache open source Java implementation used as the underpinnings of Android.

Google has refuted the claims, arguing that Oracle is using patents and vague copyrights claims to demand royalties. It also accused Oracle of changing its position on whether Java should remain free and open to software developers.

Formerly a major developer of Harmony, IBM reportedly has not backed Oracle's lawsuit.

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