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InfoQ Homepage News MicroProfile Group Holds Discussion Panel Event during JavaOne

MicroProfile Group Holds Discussion Panel Event during JavaOne

On 22nd September 2016, the MicroProfile group held a luncheon panel event in San Francisco to discuss the current and future situation of the initiative. Albeit not being part of JavaOne, the fact that it coincided in time and city with the conference made it easy for JavaOne attendees to be part of it. The panel included representatives from RedHat, Payara, SouJava, Tomitribe, IBM, and the LJC, and speculated about how movements like the MicroProfile might reshape the future of Java development.

The panel started with a statement about the current status of the MicroProfile, highlighting the recent milestone of releasing the first stable version. This led to a number of questions from the audience regarding the timing of the initiative. The panel reminded the audience that a smaller profile had actually been considered for inclusion in Java EE in versions 6 and 7, but at the time it was discarded since the concept wasn’t considered clear enough to create a standard out of it. They then proceeded to give credit to Reza Rahman for the creation of the Java EE Guardians, which triggered the necessary discussions for the MicroProfile initiative to start.

Members of the Microprofile panel held during JavaOne
From left to right: Rich Sharples (standing), Senior Director of Product Management at Red Hat; Mike Croft, Head of Support at Payara; Michael Nascimento Santos, Java Champion representing SouJava (in place of Bruno Souza, president of SouJava); John Clingan, Senior Principal Product Management at Red Hat; David Blevins, Founder & CEO of Tomitribe; Kevin Sutter, Java EE and JPA Architect at IBM; Alex Theedom, Senior Java Developer representing the London Java Community

Next steps for the MicroProfile were also discussed. In the short term, the group is considering creating a JSR to formalise the current format, and is also in the process of prioritising the features to be developed next. This prioritisation process is happening in the open, and any interested party can simply join the Google Group and weigh on in the discussion. Regardless of the order of development, what the MicroProfile work group is certain about is that all different contributors will collaborate so as to work on one feature at a time, enabling new features to be developed faster; this is in opposition to the way Java EE is usually developed, where contributors to different JEPs usually work independently, with all features being made available at the same time when the new version of Java EE achieves General Availability.

Questions about the longer term led to discussing the relationship the MicroProfile is going to have with the rest of the Java evolution process, particularly with Java EE. The panellists were adamant on the fact that the MicroProfile is not meant to be a fork of the standardisation effort that Java EE represents, but rather a way to feed ideas into these standards more quickly. Panellists even speculated the idea of the JCP itself being extended to create a formal body focused on innovation and research, but that’s unclear at this point and further discussions would be necessary.

Finally, in what seemed to be a reference to the lack of attention that Oracle paid to Java EE in the last year, MicroProfile members highlighted the need for the intellectual property of the MicroProfile to be owned by a vendor-neutral foundation, as opposed to by any specific vendor. This is to make sure that a change in the commercial strategy of vendors doesn’t affect the general community effort or, as David Blevins put it, “so the MicroProfile can withstand one or two projects blowing up and abandoning the project”.

Oracle was criticised by some members of the audience for not being in the panel, although an Oracle employee sitting in the audience highlighted Anil Gaur’s message during the opening keynote: Oracle has a roadmap for Java EE and is interested in its survival and evolution. He also emphasised the fact that, although Oracle is usually the company to be blamed, the MicroProfile is an initiative that lives in the realm of the cloud, and the biggest cloud providers, Amazon and Google, weren’t part of the panel either.

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