Oracle Corporation completed the process of acquiring Sun Microsystems nearly nine years ago. That was big news then and similarly big news was announced today: IBM and Red Hat have agreed to IBM's acquisition of Red Hat. The main IBM page announces "IBM to acquire Red Hat." It then states, "This changes everything." It is likely that this announced acquisition is going to leave many Java developers wondering what kinds of changes are coming to the Java ecosystem.
Since Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems, Oracle has eliminated multiple products that were formerly competitive products. For example Oracle still has its JDeveloper IDE, but has provided NetBeans (acquired from Sun) to Apache Software Foundation. Oracle has also dropped commercial support for Sun-acquired GlassFish while retaining its WebLogic Java EE application server.
I, of course, have no idea what will happen to the products and tools available to Java developers as currently provided by IBM and Red Hat. However, there are some obvious overlaps that come to mind from this $34 billion (USD) acquisition.
|JDK Builds/Binaries||OpenJDK||IBM SDK / AdoptOpenJDK|
|Java EE Application Server||JBoss / Wildfly||WebSphere / Liberty|
|OpenJDK Support/Contributions||OpenJDK Life Cycle and Support Policy||IBM Supporting the Java Community|
|Java Community Process (JCP)
Executive Committee (EC)
|Mark Little (Scott Stark alternate)||Steve Wallin (Tim Ellison alternate)|
|Integrated Development Environment (IDE)||Eclipse-based Red Hat JBoss Developer Studio||Eclipse-based IBM Rational Application Developer for WebSphere|
Both IBM's version and Red Hat's version of the acquisition press release (which share much of the same wording) state, "With this acquisition, IBM will remain committed to Red Hat's open governance, open source contributions, participation in the open source community and development model, and fostering its widespread developer ecosystem." Perhaps even more encouraging, the press releases also state, "Upon closing of the acquisition, Red Hat will join IBM's Hybrid Cloud team as a distinct unit, preserving the independence and neutrality of Red Hat's open source development heritage and commitment, current product portfolio and go-to-market strategy, and unique development culture. ... IBM intends to maintain Red Hat's headquarters, facilities, brands and practices."
Both IBM and Red Hat are significant contributors to OpenJDK and to Java in general. Therefore, it should not be surprising if Java developers wonder how this acquisition will affect these two organizations' respective contributions.
At the very least, I image the question "Why choose JBoss Enterprise Middleware over IBM WebSphere?" likely won't remain on the JBoss page after this acquisition.