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Java is the world’s most popular programming language and the leading application development platform — and it wants to remain a cornerstone of enterprise application stacks for years to come.
Its bet for continuing to thrive in the fast-paced technology industry is a strategy based on three pillars: trust, innovation and predictability, according to Manish Gupta (pictured, right), vice president of global marketing at Oracle and a Java steward since 2010.
“As Oracle acquired Sun [Microsystems] over 10 years ago, it’s really kept front of mind two aspects of what we want to do: The first one was to ensure there was broad accessibility to the technology and the platform for anybody that wanted to benefit from it. And the second one was to ensure that the ecosystem remained vibrant and thriving throughout,” Gupta said. “Underpinning these two objectives are really the three pillars of our strategy.”
The Java programming language is no longer a young technology, as this year celebrates its 25th birthday. Amid its maturity, Java confronts the challenge of remaining relevant in the face of recent innovations in modern application development, such as the increased use of containers, microservices and continuous integration/continuous delivery tooling.
Gupta, Donald Smith (pictured, second from right), senior director of product management at Oracle Corp., and David Floyer (pictured, second from left), co-founder and chief technology officer of Wikibon Research, spoke with Dave Vellante, host of theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio, for a digital Java Power Panel. They discussed Java’s innovation plans, how it prioritizes flexible offers to meet different customer needs, and how its subscription plan allows companies to reduce costs. (* Disclosure below.)
Services and platform are in constant progress
The pillar of trust in Java’s strategy revolves around keeping the technology open and transparent as it was before, according to Gupta. It also involves ensuring that the investment made by companies in the technology is protected — that is, there is no loss in backward compatibility, interoperability and certifications over time.
“And more recently, as we have rethought the support, the licensing, and the overall structure of the pricing, we have ensured that ultimately the trust comes along in those dimensions as well,” Gupta explained.
As far as the innovation strategy, the idea is to constantly make progress not only on the business side in terms of subscription, support offerings and commercial features, but also on the platform in general. For example, Oracle has committed to making continuous improvements in the language, providing more resources to reduce the amount of boilerplate needed, and making it more efficient.
In addition, with a project called Leyden, announced few months ago, the organization wants to address the long-term pain points of Java’s slow startup time and time to peak performance. “We’re trying to get that peak performance faster in the world of microservice,” Smith stated.
There are also projects to massively scale lightweight threads, make it easier to connect Java with native libraries, increase the density and performance of machine learning and big data applications, and create a scalable low-latency garbage collector.
“We have about 80% of the contributions in OpenJDK. We are the stewards of OpenJDK, and we lead the project,” Smith explained.
The third pillar of Java’s strategy, predictability, seeks to ensure that the technology and platform work as advertised and execute the roadmap.
“With the change in the six months release cadence that came about three years ago, with the release of Java 10, we have really made sure that … like clockwork, you’ll have a new Java list every six months. And that’s been the case every March and September,” Gupta pointed out.
Java subscription reduces costs for businesses
To maintain its relevance in the industry, Java also wants to continue serving customers ranging from large enterprises to small startups. For this, its recipe is to make flexible offers that meet different needs.
“[This is] to allow people to decide what, when, where and how they would be going to upgrade their software so they can do it when they want and on their own terms,” Smith explained.
In fact, research conducted by analyst Floyer, based on in-depth interviews with Java customers and web survey, shows that companies’ expectations change according to their size.
“Large enterprises are very concerned about application stability, whereas midsize or enterprises are much more concerned about the performance, making sure that the performance is good,” Floyer said.
Because of the need for stability, large organizations don’t want to upgrade so often, whereas midsize companies are much more willing to both upgrade on a regular cadence and really have the latest software, according to Floyer.
In this context of flexibility, offering the Java SE subscription, in addition to the option to update every six months, has proven to be the right approach, as it gives organizations the ability to move at the pace of their business, according to Gupta.
Large companies save 31% and midsize companies save 29% in four years using the update as needed with the Java subscription, according to Floyer’s research.
Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE’s and theCUBE’s coverage. (* Disclosure: This segment was sponsored by Oracle Corp. Neither Oracle nor other sponsors have editorial control over content on theCUBE or SiliconANGLE.)
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