In 2017, Oracle announced a dramatic change to the Java SE release cycle in their Oracle Java SE Support Roadmap. Beginning in Sept 2017, a new version of Java will be released every 6 months, with one version every three years being declared Long Term Support (LTS), starting with Java 8. 

Existing IBM customers who are using the IBM SDK for Java 8 as part of an IBM product or service are shielded from these changes. We are offering extended support on Java 8 until at least 2025 and will have IBM support for Java 11 (availability expected in 4Q 2018).  Java security updates will continue to be delivered in the manner in which IBM customers have come to expect.

Recognizing the impact that the release cycle changes will have with Java developers, IBM will partner with other members of the OpenJDK community to continue to update an OpenJDK Java 8 stream with security patches and critical bug fixes.  We intend to keep the current LTS version secure and high quality for 4 years. This timescale bridges the gap between LTS versions with 1 year to allow for a migration period.  IBM has also invested in an open build and test project (AdoptOpenJDK.net) along with many partners and Java leaders to provide community binaries across commonly used platforms of OpenJDK with Hotspot and OpenJDK with Eclipse OpenJ9.  These community binaries are TCK (Java SE specification) compliance tested and ready for developers to download and use in production.

For those looking for¬†24×7 support or¬†extended support beyond the planned 4 year period¬†and¬†the added assurance of a¬†team of¬†software engineers¬†to investigate their issues, IBM will also be offering a Support and Service Contract for the certified binaries produced at AdoptOpenJDK.net. See¬†the IBM Support for Runtimes offering.

There have been many changes recently in the Java world; the release cadence is changing and support lifetimes are changing. IBM is committed to working in the OpenJDK, Eclipse OpenJ9, and AdoptOpenJDK communities to ensure that secure, high quality binaries for all LTS Java releases are available freely to Java developers until one year beyond the release of the next LTS version.

2 comments on"IBM Supporting the Java Community"

  1. Volker Simonis May 02, 2018

    Hi Anthony,
    thanks for the informative write-up. What’s still not clear for me after reading your article is for how long does IBM intend to support OpenJDK 8? As far as I understand, you want to support LTS releases for 4 years to get 1 year of overlap between the releases. Does this also apply to OpenJDK 8? I.e. do you plan to support OpenJDK 8 one more year after OpenJDK 11 LTS will be released?
    Thanks,
    Volker

    • Anthony Renaud May 08, 2018

      Hi Volker, thank you for your question. Yes, your interpretation is right on the LTS releases, we want to work with the OpenJDK community to support each for 4 years. For Java8 specifically, that’s certainly our starting position, which would mean keeping the OpenJDK Java8 stream going through Sept 2019. But we recognize, and perhaps this is the reason for your question, that there is very likely going to be demand for a long tail on Java 8 support. Let me state that we would be interested, if there is sufficient support in the OpenJDK community, in working on seeing that stream stay updated to at least Sept 2022, concurrent with the 4 years for Java 11.

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