The development life-cycle continues to accelerate at an incredible rate. Developers are being asked to turn ideas into production-ready apps more quickly than ever and scale those apps to reach more people.

We created Liberty five years ago to enable developers to easily and quickly create applications using agile and dev/ops principles. It has been an incredibly successful and popular transformation for WebSphere and now is the time to take it to the next level by moving the essential Liberty code base into the open.

This week IBM launched the Open Liberty project and moved our Liberty development effort to it. The code is available in GitHub under the Eclipse Public License V1, and our ongoing development for WebSphere Liberty will be based on this project. Open Liberty is focused on creating a runtime to support Java microservices that can be frequently updated and easily moved between different cloud environments. It is also fully supported by IBM when a commercial WebSphere product license is applied.

Committed to open community innovation

Although the creation of the Open Liberty project is a significant change for Liberty, it is part of a broader and long-standing commitment from IBM to open source. As well as creating Open Liberty (our Java EE and MicroProfile implementation), we have also contributed the IBM J9 VM to Eclipse as Eclipse OpenJ9. The combination of OpenJ9 and Open Liberty provides the full Java stack from IBM with a fully open licensing model.

IBM is also a founding member of the Eclipse MicroProfile project, which is defining common API’s and infrastructure to make it easy to create microservices applications without vendor lock in. The implementation of these API’s in Open Liberty provides a first class, and fully open, microservices platform. IBM was also instrumental in the creation of the Istio project, a collaboration between IBM, Google and Lyft, to create an open service fabric to simplify the integration and management of microservices, something we are keen to see Eclipse MicroProfile integrate well with.

The Eclipse MicroProfile project has proven that a software foundation can effectively steward API specifications. It is excellent news that Java EE will be moving to join the Eclipse Foundation, putting the future of server side Java in one place. The task ahead of Oracle (with IBM and RedHat’s help) is significant, (we know, getting Liberty to this point has taken a lot of time and effort), but we know it will be a success.

The combination of Eclipse Open J9, Eclipse MicroProfile, Java EE at Eclipse and Open Liberty provides for a complete and open stack for developers to build, test, run and scale Java applications and services in any cloud.

What do I get with Open Liberty?

Open Liberty provides developers with the core components for building Java apps and microservices.  Open Liberty uses the robust and proven Java EE foundation from WebSphere Liberty along with the latest innovation from the MicroProfile community.

At any time, developers can move up to the commercial versions of WebSphere Liberty, adding dedicated technical support and more advanced capabilities. Because Open Liberty and WebSphere Liberty are built on the same codebase this transition is seamless, so there’s no need to modify your applications. WebSphere runs complex apps for some of the world’s largest companies – so we’re confident we have your needs covered as your apps grow and demands change.

Where can I download Open Liberty?

Download it from Developers can make contributions to the code through GitHub. Our development team will work closely with the community, developing and reviewing new features in the open, to ensure Open Liberty remains the most robust and capable runtime for Java apps.

We hope Open Liberty will help more developers turn their ideas into full-fledged, enterprise ready apps. We also hope it will broaden the WebSphere family to include more ideas and innovations to benefit the broader Java community of developers at organizations big and small.

We welcome you to join the community at and enjoy using and contributing to Open Liberty.

4 comments on"IBM open sources WebSphere Liberty code to support Java microservices and cloud-native apps"

  1. Alfredo Gan October 27, 2017

    This is good news for IBM customers!

  2. Alfredo Gan October 27, 2017

    Can you clarify the following statement?
    “It is also fully supported by IBM when a commercial WebSphere product license is applied.”
    If, for example, a company has application A that is running in Open Liberty and another application B that is running in “commercial licensed” Liberty, would IBM only support application B?
    How about if application A is deployed in Development using Open Liberty and in production using “commercial licensed” Liberty? Would IBM only support the application in Production?

  3. Please let me know i am also interested to know the answer for this question

Join The Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *