Oracle Java popularity sliding, New Relic reports

Oracle Java has fallen to just 34% of Java distributions in use, with Amazon rising to 22%, according to New Relic’s 2022 State of the Java Ecosystem report.

Oracle Java popularity waning, New Relic reports
Nathan Dumlao / Lagarto Film / Unsplash

While still the industry’s leading Java distribution, Oracle Java’s popularity is half what it was just two years ago, according to a report from application monitoring company New Relic.

The finding was included the company’s 2022 State of the Java Ecosystem report, released April 26, which is based on data culled from millions of applications providing performance data to New Relic. Among Java Development Kit (JDK) distributions, Oracle had roughly 75% of the market in 2020, but just 34.48% in 2022, New Relic reported. Not far behind was Amazon, at 22.04%, up from 2.18% in 2020.

New Relic said its numbers show movement away from Oracle binaries after the company’s “more restrictive licensing” of its JDK 11 distribution before returning to a more open stance with JDK 17, released in September 2021. Behind Oracle and Amazon were Eclipse Adoptium (11.48%), Azul Systems (8.17%), Red Hat (6.05%), IcedTea (5.38%), Ubuntu (2.91%), and BellSoft (2.5%).

Other findings in the 2022 State of the Java Ecosystem report:

  • Java 11 has become the most commonly used Java version. A Long-Term Support release published in 2018, Java 11 is now used by more than 48% of applications in production, up from 11.11% in 2020. Java 8, also an LTS release, came in second at 46.45%. Java 8 held an 84.48% share in 2020.
  • Only 2.7% of applications in production use non-LTS Java versions. Java 14, from 2020, is the most popular non-LTS release, but was in use in only .95% of the applications monitored.
  • More than 70% of Java applications reporting to New Relic do so from a container.
  • G1 was the favorite garbage collector for those who have left Java 8 behind.

Data from New Relic’s report was drawn entirely from applications reporting to New Relic in January 2022 and does not provide a global picture of Java usage, the company said. New Relic anonymized and deliberately coarse-grained the appropriate data to provide general overviews of the Java ecosystem. Any detailed information that could help attackers and other malicious parties was deliberately left out of the report.

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