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In order to better understand Java and its role in the larger software development ecosystem, New Relic published a new report based on data gathered from millions of applications providing performance data.

Over the past two years, software developers have shifted a large portion of applications to Java 11, demonstrating the utility and appeal of a Long Term Support (LTS) Java release. While the vast majority of applications operated on Java 8 (84.48%) as of March 2020, nearly half (48%) of applications now use Java 11 in production, compared to 46.5% of applications in Java 8. In comparison, Java 17 has not yet established a significant position but it is rapidly growing in popularity, and it’s expected to grab the top spot within a year. 

Fifteen years ago, Sun made one of the most consequential moves in the open-source movement by announcing that Java would be available as open source. That process began with the core Java Platform, but expanded to include the Open Java Development Kit (OpenJDK) a year later. Over time, the open source movement has seen a significant evolution, as developers migrate from Sun (now Oracle) to explore other JDK distribution sources. 

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In 2020, Oracle dominated the Java market, with roughly 75% of its users relying on its JDKs. However, the past two years have seen a significant democratization. While Oracle still leads the market at 34.5%, Amazon has grown to 22% of the market. Additionally, four vendors command a market share including Eclipse Adoptium with 11.5%, Azul Systems with 8.2%, Red Hat with 6% and IcedTea with 5.4%. 

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The original open sourcing of Java set the language on a path to a more user-friendly, adaptable future. What’s more, Sun’s shift in strategy offered an important example for other companies to provide open source options for important solutions, leading to widely popular tools including Kubernetes and OpenTelemetry.

Read the full report by New Relic.

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