Oracle's Java direction a 'worry' says Jaspersoft CEO

Survey results were optimistic about Oracle's handling of MySQL and Java

Jaspersoft CEO, Brian Gentile

Jaspersoft CEO, Brian Gentile

Jaspersoft CEO and former Java development evangelist, Brian Gentile, has expressed concern over Oracle’s stewardship of the programming language since it acquired Sun Microsystems. saying it’s a worry how the software giant is treating open source projects.

Oracle inherited Sun’s Java technology when it acquired the company in 2009, but since has sued Google for alleged IP violations relating to the use of Java in Android and the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) resigned its position on the Java Executive Committee.

Gentile said Jaspersoft, like thousands of other businesses around the world, relies heavily on Java as a technology for developing its open source and commercial business intelligence software.

“I worry about how Oracle is now treating open source projects like MySQL and Java,” Gentile said.

“Apache has pulled out of Java so I would be lying of I said wasn't worried about its future.”

Gentile should know about the Java development ecosystem as prior to Jaspersoft he was a vice-president at Sun Microsystems, where he created the company’s first worldwide developer relations team. He also helped establish the Sun and Java developer connection programs, which reached more than two million active members during his tenure.

Before Sun, Gentile led Apple’s evangelism and developer relations team.

“Because so many businesses like us rely on Java it's a global worry,” he said.

Interestingly, Jaspersoft surveyed its customer base last year about the future of Java and MySQL under Oracle.

“Contrary to dark predictions by many in the open source community, prior to its acquisition of Sun, Oracle was viewed by most respondents as a better steward of Java and MySQL than Sun,” according to Jaspersoft. “Indeed, most large organizations planned to use more Java than before and most expected to see MySQL innovate and improve faster under Oracle than under Sun.”

Of the 500 survey respondents, 43 per cent believe MySQL development and innovation will improve under Oracle and 80 per cent of respondents believe the Java process will improve or stay the same.

In responding to the findings Gentile said: “It’s clear that our enterprise customers and community are prepared to give Oracle the benefit of the doubt. And it’s likely that the software industry may see a resurgence in the use of Java.”

That survey, however, was before the Google lawsuit and the ASF’s resignation.

Jaspersoft claims some 250,000 downloads of its open source products globally and by the end of March will pass 13 million downloads since the first release.

“This puts us in an elite group of companies,” Gentile, who is in Sydney for a Jaspersoft BI seminar, said.

“About 48 per cent of our customers over time began as users of the free and open source editions.”

Gentile said Jaspersoft doesn't compete with other open source BI products as much as it competes with Oracle, SAP and IBM.

Read more: Scala: Productivity gains but complexity remains

“When we replace something we replace Crystal Reports and displacing them is not hard,” he said.

Locally, Jaspersoft appointed Michael Woodham six months ago to head up sales and marketing across Australia and New Zealand.

There are now six people in the Asia Pacific region at Jaspersoft, up from two a year ago.

Follow Rodney Gedda on Twitter: @rodneygedda

Follow TechWorld Australia on Twitter: @Techworld_AU

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Tags open sourceOraclejavabusiness intelligenceJasperSoftBrian Gentile

More about ApacheApache Software FoundationAppleGoogleIBM AustraliaIBM AustraliaMySQLOracleSAP AustraliaSun Microsystems

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