Java EE is Officially Retired. It’s Now Called Jakarta EE. How Did We Get Here?

This post was written by Buhake Sindi, a Java EE Guardian.

The results are out and it’s official: Java EE has been retired. This announcement was made by The Eclipse Foundation’s executive director, Mike Milinkovich on his Life at Eclipse blog.

Almost 7,000 people voted in our community poll, and over 64% voted in favor of Jakarta EE.


Goodbye JavaEE, hello Jakarta EE. I was one of the fortunate voters who voted (after a tough thought and decision) on Jakarta EE. Now, I have read responses on Twitter and Reddit that there were only 2 options to choose from (i.e., lack of choice) so let’s have a bit of a history lesson.

How did we get here?

1) The Announcements

On 12 September 2017, David Delabassee announced on the Oracle blog that, along with IBM and RedHat, that:


 After careful review, we have selected the Eclipse Foundation as the foundation that we will work with going forward to make the above a reality. The Eclipse Foundation has strong experience and involvement with Java EE and related technologies. This will help us transition Java EE rapidly, create community-friendly processes for evolving the platform, and leverage complementary projects such as MicroProfile. We look forward to this collaboration.

The Eclipse Foundation welcomed the move, and on 29 September 2017, Eclipse Foundation announced a new top-level project called Eclipse Enterprise for Java (EE4J).

2) Brand Name Selection Phase 1: Name suggestions

On 15 November 2017, The Eclipse Foundation reached out to the community and the world to “Help Pick the New Name for Java EE” (The primary reason for the name suggestions was due to the Java name copyright. Oracle owns the name Java and now that the project moved to The Eclipse Foundation, they could not have any projects that started with the word Java). Wayne Beaton (Director of Open Source Projects at The Eclipse Foundation) opened up the GitHub issue and the responses were “awesome” (his word). It was in phase 1 that GitHub user, Kenneth J. Jaegersuggested the name “Jakarta Enterprise Edition”.

3) Brand Name Selection Phase 2: The vote.

On 07 February 2018, the voting was announced for the brand name selection and it began under the Working group, which is similar to Java Community Process (JCP) with Oracle. The vote ran until the 23 February 2018.

Why Jakarta?

As mentioned on point 2, it was suggested during phase 1 of the name brand selection process. Jakarta (was) an Apache trademark and it has a significant history in contributing to open source Java solutions. Apache Jakarta was retired on 21 December 2011. David Blevins, CEO and Founder of Tomitribepoints out the advantage of the new name Jakarta EE and how Apache Software Foundation have agreed & given the rights to The Eclipse Foundation to use the Jakarta name:


 While “Jakarta EE” is not only great because it can be shortened to
“JEE”, referred to simply as “EE” and provides us with a free pass on
any acronyms that have “J” in them, it also has room to grow.
The bare word “Jakarta” would be ours and in the future we could
create other things under this brand if we wanted. This may include
“Jakarta ME”, “Jakarta MicroProfile” or a conference called
“JakartaOne.” All of these names roll off the tongue, are instantly
familiar and most importantly are community owned and free of any
external licensing restrictions.

In Summary

In the words of Mike Milinkovich:

However, as of today, it is preferred that when you are generically referring to this open source software platform that you call it Jakarta EE rather than EE4J. EE4J, the Eclipse Top-level project, is the only name we’ve had for a couple of months, but as we at least tried to make clear, that was never intended to be the brand name.

So, the terms J2EE and Java EE are no longer valid. It’s a hard pill to swallow but the name is here to stay.


This post was written by a Java EE Guardian, Buhake Sindi, and first appeared here. Buhake is a DevOps engineer, Java & Jakarta EE Developer, Engineer & Consultant with over 12 years of Development experience. He also participates in teaching programming to children through Devoxx4Kids South Africa.

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