This year, Oracle celebrated the triumphant release of Java 7 and forecast that Java 8 would follow in the summer of 2012. At JavaOne today, Oracle announced that it is pushing back the release of Java 8, by approximately six months to 2013.
Java 8 offers the promise of some revolutionary features for Java, and the general idea is that more time, will mean a better quality release. One of the key new features is Project Jigsaw which will modularize Java.
The extra time might also serve to help narrow the gap between Java SE and ME (mobile edition).
"Java SE and ME have diverged and it's time to bring them back together," Adam Messinger, Vice President of Development at Oracle said during a JavaOne session.
Messinger added that for Java ME, Oracle wants to have a deep integration of content and services that is provided in an open way. He noted that the intent is to have synchronized releases that are closer to Java SE in order to take full advantage of the latest language features.
"We want to have every Java ME API run on SE, so Java ME will be a proper subset and we want the tooling to work consistently across ME and SE," Messinger said. "Our intent here is to make sure that developers that are primarily SE or ME developers can cross the line and work together as one development community."
Oracle's roadmap for enterprise Java is also moving forward as work continues on Java EE 7. Cameron Purdy, Vice President, Development at Oracle said during a JavaOne session that developers are now looking at how to bring Java EE into the cloud.
One of the ways that Java EE 7 will help cloud deployment is by way of new provisioning capabilities.
"When you deploy a Java EE 7 application in a data center, that application will come with a set of requirements," Purdy said. "It's going to show up in the data center, declare the requirements and the container will be responsible for injecting those things into the application."
The Java EE 7 provisioning model will stand in stark contrast with the current model for Java EE application deployments.
"We're moving away from the model of having requirements hidden in a ZIP file, that we rename as a JAR file, that we place into an EAR file and then stick an XML file on it with some hard coded names of resources," Purdy said. "Now applications will be able to expose to the container what the requirements are at runtime."
Java EE 7 will also introduce multi-tenancy capabilities that will help with cloud deployments.
"By the time Java EE 7 comes out, many of the components of Java EE will have multi-tenancy baked into them," Purdy said.
Purdy added that in addition to cloud, Java EE 7 will provide an upgrade to the messaging service as well as delivering a caching API. Purdy stressed that work on Java EE 7 isn't all being done by Oracle, but rather is an effort that is being completed with multiple stakeholders in the Java EE community.
"This is all being done in open source and with partners across the community," Purdy said. "This is all very exciting work that is being done in the open, transparently with our partners."
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service.