Some of you might recall last year in the JavaOne time frame we highlighted a key DZone survey showing strong developer support for Java EE 7, even as compared to alternatives. Since then a few things have changed. WebLogic announced official commercial support for Java EE 7. It now is clear JBoss EAP, WebSphere Classic and TomEE are also very close to coming forward with their Java EE 7 support (as you know WildFly and WebSphere Liberty already officially support Java EE 7 in addition to GlassFish and others). We thought this was a good point to do another pulse check of the community to see where Java EE 7 adoption stands now. We could not think of a better way to do this than simply running our own Twitter survey.
We asked a very simple question on the survey - "Which version of Java EE are you running in production environments?". Frankly the results of the survey were far better than we could have ever expected. As the graph below shows almost 60% responded they use Java EE 7. 33% responded that they were using Java EE 6. Only 8% indicated they were using Java EE 5. We deliberately made the choices mutually exclusive and eliminated J2EE as irrelevant to our survey.
Here is a link to the actual survey on the Java EE twitter account. There is no downplaying the fact a strong majority indicated Java EE 7 usage. This data point goes a long way to removing the severe Java EE 7 skepticism in certain corners of the Java EE ecosystem. A nice side effect of the survey is that we got in touch with a number of Java EE 7 adopters willing to share their story with the community. The folks that responded that they are using Java EE 6 and Java EE 5 represent both a challenge and an opportunity. While it is true Java EE 7 does not represent a major programming model change in the way Java EE 5 or Java EE 6 did, the reality is that there is simply too much in Java EE 7 worth taking advantage of in terms of the sheer amount of improvements to many APIs. If you are a fan of Java EE 7 you should educate colleagues on what it brings to the table.
No survey is perfect of course. Since it is a Twitter survey it is highly susceptible to selection bias. There is no denying the fact though that the sample size for the survey is extremely strong at over 1,100. That is a number well representative for the Java ecosystem and most certainly worth thinking about seriously.
We can hope that developer support for Java EE 7 continues to strengthen even further in coming months. I can only be very thankful to all the folks that participated in the survey and showed their sincere support for Java EE.