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 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 new IBM Runtimes for Business 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.