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WSO-2-EASY: Will WSO2 support Java 8?

Rob Blaauboer
Rob Blaauboer
Integration Consultant & WSO2 Trainer
WSO2Easy 3
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WSO2_EasyIf you have worked with WSO2 you might have asked yourself why you need the Java development kit (JDK) to run it. Well, WSO2 products are in fact just a bunch of Java programs in OSGi bundles. Core of the products is the Carbon Platform.  

How do you patch?

In fact, it is not just any JDK you need. WSO2 says that for many of the current products (based on Carbon 4.2.0) JDK 7 should be used rather than the newer JDK8 and that the Oracle JDK is the version that you should use.

For the Eclipse development environment it was actually recommended to use an even older version (Java 6, there are remnants of that in the startup script) although many run Eclipse using Java 7.

Since april 2015 this version (JDK 7) is no longer supported by Oracle with publicly available updates in favor of , as already mentioned, Java 8.

We are asked by many when WSO2 will support Java 8 in their products like the WSO2 API Manager, Enterprise Service Bus and so on.  

The answer is actually that the newer versions of WSO2 product that run on the Carbon 4.4.x platform (see the Release Matrix for details) support both Java 7 and Java 8.

At this moment the following products support Java 8 (as well as Java 7):

WSO2 product

Governance Registry 5.0.x

Business Process Server 3.5.0

Machine Learner 1.0.0

Complex Event Processor 4.0.0

Application Server 5.3.0

Enterprise Store 2.0.0

Enterprise Service Bus 4.9

 

As you can see, these are the latest versions. We omit from this list the Storage Server 1.5.0 because this is built on Carbon 4.3.0 and seems like to be in intermediary version.

When will the other products support Java8?

The quick answer is: when there will be a new release of the product. Several products are currently in beta or available as release candidates (e.g. Data Analytics Server or Development Studio.

Unfortunately there is no definitive timeline when all products will be supporting Java 8. However, given the fact that a new version of a product will be introduced at least once a year (our estimation) it might be that around this time 2016 all products will be supporting Java 8.

And of course there is another update, in this case of the carbon platform.

Carbon 5.0

Carbon 5 will be the next generation of WSO2 Carbon Platform. As you can see from the version number (5.0) this will be a major release of the platform. The changes will therefore be substantial.

Carbon has been around for about 5 years and has grown in size and complexity. There are modules that are no longer necessary and this impacts the performance but also the maintainability. It needs to go back to the core.

Base of it all is the Apache Axis2 kernel architecture. It is in essence a Web service engine but has also introduced a rich extensible server framework with for instance a configuration and runtime model, deployment engine and clustering API.

On top of that the architecture was expended and an OSGI based modular server development framework called Carbon Kernel was developed. It is tightly coupled with Apache Axis2 but this is going to change since there is not enough active development on Axis2.

Another reason for C5 is to make Carbon kernel a general-purpose OSGi runtime, specializing in hosting servers. The bare minimum features required for server developers in the Carbon kernel.

The Carbon platform will be rebuilt from the ground up with the latest and greatest technology and remove dependencies on Apache Axis2 and other legacy technology. The new version should last the next ten years.

Exactly how this new version will work and what products will be part of it is hard to say, work on this new platform has started (view the progress at Github). Even harder to answer is the question when we will see first products on Carbon 5.

A conservative estimate would be by the end of 2016, but like may things in life, this is not a certainty.

Only death and taxes are, so goes the saying.

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Working daily with WSO2 products we sometimes encounter things that even we did not know yet, but in fact are so handy we want to share it with the whole world. We have created a new group of articles called WSO-2-EASY that will show some of best tips and tricks that will help you to either save time or create tidier code  

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