Microsoft Announces Preview of OpenJDK

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A brief look at Java

Java has been a force to be reckoned with for nearly 25 years. It came with the promise of “write once, run anywhere”, the idea was to allow developers to compile their applications down to bytecode which could run on any platform which supported its Java virtual machine sometimes also referred to as a runtime environment.

Billions of devices and computers run Java. Although its use has declined lately, chances are in the early 2000s you were installing applications on your computer which required the deployment of the Java virtual machine. Fast forward to the year 2021 and there seems to be renewed interest in the platform. Microsoft itself runs a wide variety of Java powered systems behind their Azure cloud. In fact, some of their biggest IPs are backed by Java, a couple worth mentioning are LinkedIn, Yammer and some editions of Minecraft.

Microsoft OpenJDK

Microsoft supporting this development platform through OpenJDK is huge for developers that have invested heavily in it for the past few years and decades. it will become the default distribution for Java on Azure in the near future and the transition promises to be seamless.

My experience with Java has not been smooth from a development perspective, Although not necessarily was it directly related to writing code, I wrestled with getting SonarQube up and running on a Windows Server a few months ago. This is a tool many developers are familiar with as its used for scanning code for quality. I have been spoiled with seamless and automatic deployments of .NET runtime when deploying applications, and the process of standing up the environment which allowed SonarQube to run was a bit of a challenge. Hopefully Microsoft throwing their weight behind Java means a better and smoother experience for both developers and consumers of Java powered applications.

What are your thoughts on these investments from Microsoft into “competing” development platforms? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. For learn more about OpenJDK check out the official Microsoft website.

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