An Oracle blog about Java Technology

  • January 29, 2019

Jakarta EE Milestone - Eclipse GlassFish 5.1 is Java EE 8 Compatible

Will Lyons
Senior Director, Product Management

Oracle is very pleased that Eclipse GlassFish 5.1 has been released and certified as Java EE 8 compatible.   This is an important milestone in the transition from Java EE to Jakarta EE.   Eclipse GlassFish 5.1 provides the Jakarta EE community with a well-known Java EE 8 compatible implementation to support the evolution of Java technologies for enterprise applications and services.  

As Tom Snyder, Oracle Vice President of Java Application Technologies says “We are extremely proud of the work our team has done, in collaboration with the Jakarta EE community, to release Eclipse GlassFish 5.1 and certify it as Java EE 8 compatible. We’re contributing software and development resources to enable Java EE technologies to evolve in an open, flexible manner.  This is one more proof point of the progress we’re making.”  The following describes what has been done, and how this milestone lays one of the foundations for the future evolution of Jakarta EE.

The Java EE Specification Process requires a Specification, Technology Compatibility Kit (TCK) tests to verify compatibility with the Specification, and a Reference Implementation (RI) that passes the TCKs.  We expect the Jakarta EE Specification Process to be similar, though there may be no RI.  Instead, a Jakarta EE specification will reference one, or more, compatible implementations.  Specifications, TCKs, and compatible implementations will continue to be important foundations for the Jakarta EE Specification Process being defined by the Jakarta EE Working Group.  

Oracle GlassFish 5.0 is the RI for the Java EE 8 platform, and a compatible implementation of Java EE 8.   Oracle has worked with the Jakarta EE community to contribute all of its Oracle GlassFish 5.0 source code to EE4J projects hosted at the Eclipse Foundation.  Some minor changes to the original sources are included in Oracle GlassFish 5.0.1, which will be released shortly with refreshed versions of all updated RIs and TCKS.  Eclipse GlassFish 5.1 has been built from these sources and is therefore functionally equivalent to Oracle GlassFish 5.0.1.  GlassFish community members should be able to use them interchangeably and migrate applications over to Eclipse GlassFish 5.1. For more details see Dmitry's Technical Blog and try it out.

We have demonstrated that Eclipse GlassFish 5.1 is Java EE 8 compatible by certifying that it passes all of the Java EE 8 TCKs.   This means that the Eclipse Foundation is now hosting a well-known Java EE 8 compatible implementation, one of the foundations for a future Jakarta EE Specification Process.  The community will have the opportunity to evolve Eclipse GlassFish, and leverage it as a compatible implementation, in the Jakarta EE process going forward.  

Oracle is not stopping with contributions of a compatible implementation.  We intend to support delivery of TCKs and Specifications for Jakarta EE as well.  Oracle has already contributed all of its Java EE 8 TCK sources to Eclipse.   We are building and executing tests from these sources today, and we hope they will become the Jakarta EE TCKs.   The intention of the Jakarta EE 8 Working Group is to define Jakarta EE 8 Specifications that are functionally equivalent to the current Java EE 8 specifications.  Oracle is working with the Jakarta EE team to define a process for contributing the Oracle-led Java EE specifications. 

In short, we can envision a time in the near future when we have specifications, TCKs and a compatible implementation that can be can be evolved using the Jakarta EE Specification Process.  We have an implementation now, we believe we have the TCKs, and we hope to have the Specifications soon.   We are making progress!

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