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Author's profile photo Claus Riegen

Protecting the future of Java

When the SAP Java Virtual Machine team decided to join the OpenJDK project last year, they first of all wanted to understand the overall direction and governance structure of the project. After Volker Simonis and other team members contributed a few bug fixes and minor enhancements, they quickly observed that their contributions were not only welcomed, but that there are many similar interests among the different OpenJDK project members – the most important one being to protect the future of Java. What a bold statement … in practice this means that through active participation and contribution from a broader group of participants, the work can be shared and innovation for the Java platform can jointly be defined by means of one standard implementation. An interesting observation is obviously that the participants include key vendors such as Oracle, Red Hat, Apple, IBM, and SAP that in various regards are competitors in the marketplace. But there is less and less reason to compete on Java Virtual Machine and Java Development Kit features where the same requirements are implemented differently.

Based on this experience, SAP today decided to significantly incresae its contributions. Please read Volker Simonis’ blog post on the OpenJDK mailing list about a new project proposal. We now plan to contribute whole platform ports in a belief that it is economically better to standardize our own implementation than to keep it proprietary. The first platform port that we are going to contribute is Linux on PowerPC. Based on that, we will work together with IBM and others and also use it as a basis for the AIX on PowerPC port. Depending on the outcome, other ports for other platforms might follow. This will also help us to better integrate and align our own platform ports and extensions with current Java developments, and it will let the OpenJDK community profit from SAP’s longstanding experience in Java and Java VM technology. Every OpenJDK user will be able to benefit from a broader choice of platforms, an important consideration for many SAP customers. SAP’s commitment to deliver a high class, commercially licensed Java Virtual Machine remains unchanged. SAP is currently delivering its commercial Java based products with SAP JVM, a certified Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and Java Development Kit (JDK), compliant to the Java Standard Editions 1.4, 5, 6 & 7 on all 14 platforms supported by SAP.

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