UPDATED 08:00 EDT / SEPTEMBER 20 2017

websphere-liberty-ufo CLOUD

IBM open-sources WebSphere Liberty code for building Java cloud-native apps

IBM Corp. today announced the launch of the Open Liberty project, which will see the development process for its WebSphere Liberty Java application server become open-source.

All further development of Liberty will be based on the Open Liberty codebase and like any other open-source project, it will accept contributions to the code from developers.

“Today IBM launched the Open Liberty project and moved our Liberty development effort to it,” Ian Robinson, IBM distinguished engineer and WebSphere chief architect said on the IBM blog. “The code will be available on GitHub under the Eclipse Public License V1, and our ongoing development for WebSphere Liberty will be based on this project.”

WebSphere Liberty acts as a fast, reliable Java application server that is designed with rapid development and cloud-based apps in mind. With Liberty developers have at their fingertips a runtime stack that allows them fast server startup times, no server restarts to pick up updates and a simple extensible markup language configuration system.

IBM also developed Liberty with an eye towards Agile and DevOps rapid lifecycle development practices and tools that enhance those approaches. As a result, Liberty integrates with other frameworks such as Docker, Chef, Puppet, Jenkins and UrbanCode Deploy.

All of these framework integrations can be found at the web developer community portal for WebSphere available at IBM’s WASdav.net.

“We created Liberty five years ago to enable developers to easily and quickly create applications using agile and dev/ops principles,” said Robinson. “It has been an incredibly successful and popular transformation for WebSphere and now is the time to take it to the next level by moving the essential Liberty code base into the open.”

IBM continues to focus on the open-source industry with additional products and projects added to the ecosystem. In March, IBM said that open-source technology is a disruptive force in the computing industry and in May the company entered into an initiative with Google LLC and Lyft Inc. to launch the open-source project Istio for microservices application control.

In the enterprise, the Java EE 7 platform, that WebSphere runs on, continues to be fairly popular. A Java tools report from ZeroTurnaround showed 31 percent of 2,040 respondents in July 2016  used it. Some 34 percent said they relied on a microservices architecture and 12 percent intended to move, athough only 5 percent used WebSphere in production.

At any time, developers using Open Liberty can move up to the commercial versions of WebSphere Liberty – thus receiving dedicated technical support and more advanced capabilities. Because Open Liberty and Websphere Liberty run on the same codebase, there is nothing to change during this transition and no need to modify applications.

Open Liberty can be downloaded from the openliberty.io website and developers are welcomed by IBM to make contributions to the codebase through GitHub. According to IBM, the development team will work closely with the community to keep the developing and renewing new features in the open.

Image: IBM

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