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Oracle buys Java

Posted by johnreynolds on April 22, 2009 at 7:41 AM PDT

I heard the news while driving home Monday night... This is really very good news for Java.

The earlier acquisition talks of Sun by IBM would have provided significant resources, but let's face it... IBM began as a hardware company (as did Sun). Oracle is and always has been a software company, and a very effective one.

With Sun, Oracle acquires a great Operating System (Solaris) and it assumes the stewardship of Java. I'm very optimistic that Oracle's going to know exactly what to do with these software assets... something that hardware companies never do seem to get quite right.


Update
I think that Cay Horstmann's pronouncements are fairly reasonable... but we have to also keep in mind the larger context - Oracle acquires lots of companies, and in many respects Sun is just one more.

Oracle will keep the things that increase software revenue, and they will keep the things that build and maintain professional developer loyalty - I've been to many Oracle developer events, and they always go all out to make professional developers feel appreciated.

Oracle's biggest challenge is to make sense of all of its acquisitions... particularly BEA and Sun.

I have to agree with earlier posters that Solaris is the one thing that will absolutely make the cut - A great Operating System is the only thing that Oracle did not have (apologies to Linux fans, but it's just not the same).

I'm not sure about the revenue potential from Solaris, but think of the marketing message: Oracle has it all.

I maintain my pronouncement that this is a good thing for Java in the long run... All these questions between really Open and sort of Open are out in the Open.

No bucks, no Buck Rogers - Projects like Glassfish and Netbeans can't be great unless somebody is underwriting the huge cost of making and keeping them great.

Sun was wonderful for providing that underwriting, but it's doubtful if they could have continued. Alternate funding would have been necessary... Oracle's actions just make us think about that sooner.

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Comments

Hotel? nice name :-) I pretty much agree. As I mentioned, Oracle is _very_nice_ to professional developers - most of whom mostly spend their time with commercial software. I am willing to bet that a Free (as in Beer) version of Solaris will always be available to developers. Open Source? Let's just keep those fingers crossed. -John

Solaris is going to be a great acquisition for Oracle but whether they are able to keep the innovation going and support other products and keep them open source still remains to be seen. Being conservative here.

JDeveloper originated in JBuilder before JBuilder moved to an Eclipse based platform (to be more precise, Oracle purchased the codebase for JBuilder 3). The current implementation however contains little if any of that code, it's a completely separate product.

Oracle does have an Eclipse based product in BEA Workshop, and an Eclipse hosted version of their SOA Suite designer (in parallel to JDeveloper which has that functionality built in).

Oracle has invested a lot of resources in mySQL (yes...), Eclipse, and probably (I can't confirm this) Solaris in the past. They have their own JPA engine, so no need to contribute major resources to OpenJPA which never amounted to much anyway (the major players being Oracle TopLink and Hibernate, both open source products).

Before slagging Oracle (I guess you're an IBM fan, take it from me, I used to work for Big Blue, you don't want to have IBM take control of your company and assets), read the information http://www.oracle.com/sun/sun-faq.pdf

IBM open sourced Eclipse mainly to save a lot of money on the development of Websphere Studio. They have tight control, others do the actual work for free, can't go wrong.

And Apache's "support" for Java (clearly driven by IBMs interests in controlling the platform) is pathetic. All they ever do is block JSRs, try to stop progress for the sake of making trouble.

I can't see those benefits. - As for me, all Oracle products are "old and stable". Oracle's innovation (from my perspective) is close to zero. I love Sun for innovations and bleeding edge. I am afraid that Oracle will not share this interest in bleeding edge and soon Java will be something conservative and "old-school". - Again, I can't see that Oracle supported OpenSource at all. IBM supports eclipse, Apache, many other, Sun supported NetBeans, Glassfish and many other, and Oracle? They are not listed EVEN as OpenJPA supporters. May be they just don't want to do it? And if this politics will take Sun... Summary: As for me, Oracle bought Solaris first, and Java as bonus.

I believe that JDeveloper derived from an old fork of JBuilder, from which Oracle bought the sources. So it's Swing. Oracle contributes to Eclipse foundation too.

I think these projects will benefit more from Oracle's stewardship than they would have from IBM's stewardship. Oracle's JDeveloper is based on Eclipse... but they didn't invent Eclipse. That's probably a better thing for Netbeans. Oracle owns Weblogic now... and perhaps that's scary for Glassfish. But Weblogic is conservative, tried and true, stable. Glassfish is testing the waters and on the bleeding edge. I can certainly see Oracle continuing to value that.

And what is the future of Sun supported projects like NetBeans, Glassfish and many other? Will they benefit?