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[ee4j-community] When to use Jakarta EE, and when to use EE4J


We've noticed lots of confusion around these names so hopefully this email will help.

Ivar Grimstad published a similar post yesterday when he described the relationship between Jakarta EE, EE4J and Java EE. But I had already written this, and decided that it was still worth sending to the list.

The easiest way to describe when you should use Jakarta EE is this: any time you would have previously said âJava EEâ, you would now use Jakarta EE. Unless, of course, youâre actually referring to Java EE, as Java EE will remain in the marketplace at the Java EE 8 level, and the vendors will continue to support it for many years to come. The new Jakarta EE brand will replace Java EE for future versions of this technology.

Specifically Jakarta EE is the trademark which can be used by an implementation which has passed the (TBD) Jakarta EE compliance tests and the (TBD) brand usage requirements to denote it as a compatible implementation.

Also, the future Jakarta EE Specification Process will be replacing the existing Java Community Process for future versions. So using the term Jakarta EE Specifications will also be appropriate going forward.

But more generally, Jakarta EE will be used as the name which denotes the future platform that this community will be creating. As such, we expect that some amount of brand hijack will take place, and folks will say things like âI am a Jakarta EE developer.â

Which leaves the question of EE4J, and when do you use that name? The short answer is âsomewhere between rarely and neverâ.

The Eclipse Enterprise for Java (EE4J) top-level project and its Project Management Committee (PMC) is the place where the Jakarta EE Specs, APIs, TCKs, and most of the reference implementations (e.g. Eclipse Glassfish) are developed. As such, EE4J is basically an organizational artifact, rather than a brand. I don't think it would make sense to say âI am a EE4J developerâ, although it would make sense to say âI am a committer on an EE4J project.â

There are some weird corner cases here, such as it may be possible that in the future we could have a project under EE4J which is developing, for example, the Jakarta EE Servlet 5.0 specification. Maybe at some point in the future weâll create a separate top-level project to hold the artifacts that are specifically Jakarta EE related. But at the moment our collective focus is to get these projects moved over and running as quickly as possible. So please bear with us while things are under construction.

We realize that for some months EE4J was the only name we had, and people got used to calling the platform EE4J. In a perfect world we would have had the Jakarta EE name picked first. However, weâre really happy with the Jakarta EE brand that was selected by the community and think it will serve all of us extremely well over the coming years. Hopefully this will help explain when and how to use it.

Hope that helps!

Mike Milinkovich
(m) +1.613.220.3223