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Along with everybody else in the Java Community, SAP has been looking forward to this year’s Java One event, taking place right now at the Moscone conference center in San Francisco. We were particularly excited about plans to reinvigorate the Java language with topics that are important to many in the Java Community, such as closures and a more modular Java platform.

At his keynote yesterday, Thomas Kurian showed a demo how the Java virtual machine will support customers who are managing Java applications with enterprise-class requirements. This demo showed how IT staff can do better failure analysis or find performance issues in Java applications. The fact that Thomas specifically pointed out that the Java VM will in the future better support dynamic languages is really important. Java is a great language, but domain-specific languages are often more productive to address certain application areas. For example, SAP Streamwork, is built in the Ruby language on top of the JRuby runtime.

We welcome these investments in the Java platform, as they will help the entire Java community to support their customers better. However, there were a couple of things that were less welcome, in light of Oracle’s promise to build their solutions on open standards that allow others to innovate.

There are many great innovations in the Java Community. In his keynote, Thomas however made a reference to “proprietary 3rd party dependency-injection frameworks”. This made me pause. Did he mean the Spring Framework? Does a community-driven, widely used innovation such as Spring suddenly become irrelevant because Oracle does not include it into the Java platform? At another point in his speech, Thomas said that nobody will need another tool other than NetBeans for developing JavaFX applications. If NetBeans is Oracle’s choice of development tool, that is their prerogative. However, I did not hear the word “Eclipse” mentioned once in his keynote. Did I miss it? We hope that Oracle will stay committed to equally support Java developers using Eclipse.

The Java ecosystem needs open solutions. It is terrific that Oracle has reiterated its commitment for OpenJDK, but in the end, the ultimate goal is that Java must become an open standard. That way, independent implementations of the Java platform are possible, even in open source. For that to happen, the best way forward is for the JCP to become an open, independently managed organization.

Bloggers last year have criticized me for saying that Oracle needs to open up. I believe Oracle has every right to build solutions that are tightly integrated with Java, but through the support of open standards also needs to allow others to do so. Java is bigger than Sun and it is bigger than Oracle. We are all the future of Java!

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  1. Ignacio Hernández
    I can see that Sun adquisition by Oracle is still a rock in the shoe for SAP.

    Honestly speaking I dont believe that Java “proprietarization” by Oracle should be so important for open technologies future. This topic was already widely discussed in the past, technically openJDK ( and IcedTea ) are so free as a free software licence could be and if SAP or the community  are losing something , it is just some rights to use Java trademark… that’s the real problem for SAP…( a marketing problem )
    I am near to think that for the rest of the world it does not matter.


    I’m partially agree with Ignacio in the sense that, like Java and PHP (owned by Zend) the matter is only identify trademarks for companies. But that does not affect the massive contribution and popularization of both programming paradigms… in fact the owners don’t make the difference: we were, we are the one’s who determine how distribute or innovate concepts and possibilities with Java, PHP or another… (except, of course in the case of Microsoft 🙁 )
  3. Chris Paine
    Perhaps that’s a distinction – the way Oracle clamped down on Google’s “JVM”, I don’t think they hold that vision – if they even got a tiny licence fee for all potential system that want to run a JVM – from washing machines to mobile handsets it would be a huge revenue generator – and if you can protect that revenue stream…
    I’d like to be part of an open Java future, but good luck convincing those who would potentially lose revenue from doing that. Still – I like the idea.
    (NB all my own opinions/comments/misunderstandings and certainly do not reflect those of my employer or those I work with.)
  4. Selvakumar S
    Oracle would have said the same if they were not acquired Sun. Everything the corporate world do is to get some benefit for them-self. Crazy money. Oracle doing the same thing here,. SAP and many others could have forced SUN to completely open source it as a JCP member and started using it in its Enterprise software. Or SAP could have done much better work in its ABAP and made it industry default by making it powerful and open, or developed it’s own Java like, or used any-other open source software(may be Ruby),. Only choice we have now is to watch what oracle is doing with the power it has, How others are reacting for it. Cheers.
  5. Ram Korampalli

    I feel it’s high time SAP starts getting into SHaaS market and Java can pave the path. If can build a $15 billion company with just a few modules of SAP (SD, CRM & SRM) why cant SAP!?

    Integration & end to end is the mantra of SAP to which i agree to an extent. I guess SAP needs to come up with products with
    1. Software & Hardware As A Service (SHaaS)
    2. Light weight and web based
    3. Each business function should work independently (no need to buy whole ECC just buy light weight SD, Procurement, Billing, Budgeting etc)
    4. Pricing to be based on Transactions/Users
    5. VERY VERY SIMPLE implementations, not like a year long golives. is a SAP’s mistake, much like IBM’s mistake about 40 years ago which created SAP. I hope SAP will not do the same mistake again by loosing out on SHaaS.

  6. Blong Thao
    Can anyone speculate on what this means for SAP Java? The CTO mentions Ruby and open source. Will SAP move away from Java as Oracle tighten its grips on Java? Any insights on SAP and their direction with Java would greatly be appreciated. Thanks.

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