Moving Forward With Jakarta EE 9

Thursday, January 16, 2020 - 12:06 by Mike Milinkovich

On behalf of the Jakarta EE Working Group, I am excited to announce the unanimous approval of the plan for Jakarta EE 9, with an anticipated mid-2020 release. Please note that the project team believes this timeline is aggressive, so think of this as a plan of intent with early estimate dates. The milestone dates will be reviewed and possibly adjusted at each release review.

If you have any interest at all in the past, present, or future of Java, I highly recommend that you read that plan document, as Jakarta EE 9 represents a major inflection point in the platform.

The key elements of  this Jakarta EE 9 release plan are to:

  • move all specification APIs to the jakarta namespace (sometimes referred to as the “big bang”);
  • remove unwanted or deprecated specifications;
  • minor enhancements to a small number of specifications;
  • add no new specifications, apart from specifications pruned from Java SE 8 where appropriate; and
  • Java SE 11 support.

What is not in the plan is the addition of any significant new functionality. That is because the goals of this Jakarta EE 9 release plan are to:

  • lower the barrier of entry to new vendors and implementations to achieve compatibility;
  • make the release available rapidly as a platform for future innovation; and
  • provide a platform that developers can use as a stable target for testing migration to the new namespace.

Moving a platform and ecosystem the size and scale of Jakarta EE takes time and careful planning. After a great deal of discussion the community consensus was that using EE 9 to provide a clear transition to the jakarta namespace, and to pare down the platform would be the best path to future success. While work on the EE 9 platform release is proceeding, individual component specification teams are encouraged to innovate in their individual specifications, which will hopefully lead to a rapid iteration towards the Jakarta EE 10 release.

Defining this release plan has been an enormous community effort. A lot of time and energy went into its development. It has been exciting to watch the … ummm passionate…. discussions evolve towards a pretty broad consensus on this approach. I would like to particularly recognize the contributions of Steve Millidge, Kevin Sutter, Bill Shannon, David Blevins, and Scott Stark for their tireless and occasionally thankless work in guiding this process.

The Jakarta EE Working Group has been busy working on creating a Program Plan, Marketing Plan and Budget for 2020. The team has also been very busy with creating a plan for the Jakarta EE 9 release. The Jakarta EE Platform project team, as requested, has delivered a proposal plan to the Steering Committee. With their endorsement, it will be voted on by the Specification Committee at their first meeting in January 2020.


The Jakarta EE 9 release is going to be an important step in the evolution of the platform, but it is important to recognize the many accomplishments that happened in 2019 that made this plan possible.

First, the Eclipse Foundation and Oracle successfully completed some very complex negotiations about how Java EE would be evolved under the community-led Jakarta EE process. Although the Jakarta EE community cannot evolve the specifications under the javax namespace, we were still able to fully transition the Java EE specifications to the Eclipse Foundation. That transition led to the second major accomplishment in 2019: the first release of Jakarta EE. Those two milestones were, in my view, absolutely key accomplishments. They were enabled by a number of other large efforts, such as creating the Eclipse Foundation Specification Process, significant revisions to our IP Policy, and establishing the Jakarta EE compatibility program. But ultimately, the most satisfying result of all of this effort is the fact that we have seven fully compatible Jakarta EE 8 products, with more on the way.

The Jakarta EE community was also incredibly active in 2019. Here are just a few of the highlights:

2019 was a very busy year, and it laid the foundation for a very successful 2020. I, and the entire Jakarta EE community, look forward to the exciting progress and innovation coming in 2020.