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MicroProfile Becomes Eclipse MicroProfile

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MicroProfile, the community initiative to provide a microservices standard platform for enterprise Java, has joined the Eclipse Foundation to become an Eclipse project. The move is aimed at ensuring that MicroProfile remains a vendor-neutral project, and hopes to leverage the resources and momentum of the Eclipse Foundation. The decision hasn't come without drawbacks though, causing some arguments and temporarily diverting efforts from other objectives.

Despite being born out of the collaboration of several Java EE vendors, MicroProfile champions always wanted to keep it separate from the vendors themselves; MicroProfile was to be a reference platform, with the different vendors providing their own implementations for it. For this reason, the transfer to the Eclipse Foundation has required that the MicroProfile project break some ties with the vendors that helped to create it, with intellectual property being transferred from the vendors to the Foundation.

The transfer hasn't been an easy process though. On one side, the required paperwork has been rather onerous, and arguments have been raised regarding the package naming convention MicroProfile should follow, and regarding the license under which the project should be published. In the end, contributors finally accepted to follow Eclipse Foundation's naming standards, while the foundation accepted to have the project published under ALv2, as opposed to EPL, the standard for Eclipse projects. On the other hand, the necessary work has diverted efforts from releasing a new version after MicroProfile 1.0 was announced at JavaOne in September 2016; a 1.1 version was initially expected by the end of 2016, but the team is now considering Q1 or even Q2 of this year.

Discussions to transfer MicroProfile to a foundation started in August 2016, soon after the MicroProfile initiative was announced. After pondering both the Apache Software Foundation and the Eclipse Foundation, the community finally settled for the Eclipse Foundation. An official request was then submitted in November 2016, with the foundation formally accepting after approximately one month.

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