Oracle said this week it plans to transfer management of the Java EE project to an open-source foundation, such as Apache or Eclipse.
The announcement came ahead of Java EE 8's release this fall when Oracle seems poised to announce to whom Java EE development will be transferred.
The Java EE (Enterprise Edition) project is a collection of APIs for the Java platform that were specifically built to help developers create enterprise-scale applications.
The project, along with Java SE (Standard Edition) were already managed in a semi-open-source fashion.
Up until now, Oracle has welcomed the participation of the open-source community with suggestions and plans on how to develop the Java SE and EE platforms but has always kept a leading role over Java SE and EE's future, always having the final say in all matters.
According to a statement from David Delabassee, Java Evangelist at Oracle, the company plans to withdraw from its leadership role for the Java EE platform.
"We believe that moving Java EE technologies including reference implementations and test compatibility kit to an open source foundation may be the right next step, in order to adopt more agile processes, implement more flexible licensing, and change the governance process," said Delabassee.
"We plan on exploring this possibility with the community, our licensees and several candidate foundations to see if we can move Java EE forward in this direction," he added.
The Apache Foundation and the Eclipse Foundation are the primary candidates for taking over Java EE. Both manage a slew of Java-based projects and Oracle has previously off-loaded other tools in their laps.
For example, Oracle dumped the NetBeans IDE and the OpenOffice app suite to the Apache Foundation, and the Hudson server to Eclipse.
If Java EE were to be moved to a foundation outside Oracle, which one would you prefer?— Reza Rahman (@reza_rahman) August 11, 2017
Oracle said it will continue to provide feedback for Java EE development, but not from a leadership role. The company did not reveal a similar plan for Java SE.
Oracle has been moving away from Java to cloud-based solutions in recent years. In September 2015, the company fired most of its top Java evangelists.
The Java community felt that Oracle was starting to ignore Java development and in 2016 created the Java EE Guardians project to force Oracle to focus more resources on Java EE.
In January 2016, Oracle announced that they will be deprecating the use of Java browser plugins starting in JRK 9, with it ultimately being removed altogether in future versions of the Java runtime environment.
Java 8 is set to be released this fall, while Java 9 is scheduled for next year.
UPDATE [September 12, 19:00 ET]: Oracle announced it has selected the Eclipse Foundation as Java EE's new home.