During Oracle OpenWorld and JavaOne last year, the company’s announcement of the release of a new enterprise-ready JavaScript framework named JET (JavaScript Extension Toolkit) seemed to slip under the radar. With the release of JET 2.0 however, thanks to a decision to open source the framework, the news has caught some traction.

Although traditionally the perception has been that Java developers are resistant to JavaScript, with the advent of things like React Native, Node.js and AngularJS, the JavaScript ecosystem has been increasingly encroaching into new territory, moving far beyond its traditional bounds as a mere web scripting language to native mobile apps and even the desktop

Oracle Senior Principal Product Manager John Brock has also noticed an uptick of interest in the language from the Java community in recent times, commenting, “I’ve spoken at JavaOne for the last three years on the topic of JavaScript UI frameworks, and the sessions have always been packed. I believe that the more Java developers work on REST interfaces and other types of Web Service interfaces, the more demand they have for at least understanding the pure client-side UI frameworks that will consume those interfaces.”

In JET 2.0, new additions to the mix include mobile hybrid support, a Yeoman generator for speedy application whip up and Data Visualization components and enhancements, as well as a number of performance enhancements.

As for the the open sourcing of JET, Brock explains that this was always on the map; “We’ve been using this collection of open source JavaScript libraries, along with our own libraries, internally for the last few years. After we announced the Oracle JET toolkit at Oracle OpenWorld in October of last year, we knew that we needed to take that next step and release what we have developed to open source so that not only the internal teams at Oracle could take advantage of what we have developed, but also our partners, consultants and really just about anyone that wants a set of features that meet the common needs of larger enterprise applications like accessibility and internationalization.”

He adds that, “In the end, it was something that we had planned to do from the very beginning, and we’ve always felt it was the right thing to do.  It was just a matter of getting everything ready before we could release it.”

Oracle certainly isn’t alone in its increasing investment in the JS space. Red Hat’s purchase of Irish startup FeedHenry back in 2014 wasn’t solely a mobile focused investment. With FeedHenry technology grounded in Node.js, Head of Middleware Mike Piech remarked in an interview last year that, “one of the significant aspects…for us is that we’re able to move beyond that Java core and to make a real move into Node.” Red Hat currently stands as a Platinum Member of the Node.js foundation, and has also made  moves into other node-centric industry movements. As Piech stated at the time, “Node is the fastest growing alternative / complement to Java in the enterprise application space, so again, watch that space, because we will continue to invest and make moves in there.”

In a similar vein, along with the release of JET, Oracle also unveiled the Node.js Cloud Service at OpenWorld 2015, and whilst Brock cannot speak for the company as a whole, he affirms that “You can definitely expect more from the Oracle JET team. We are excited about our first release and definitely see it as just that, the first release. “ Moreover, he says that the team “hope to deliver updates and new features at a regular pace going forward, as well as moving toward an even more open source approach with our product as time goes by.”



Oracle Bangs the JavaScript Drum with JET 2.0 Open Sourcing

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