Java 11 and Java 17 lead Java usage, Azul survey finds

Overwhelming majority of Java professionals surveyed run a Long Term Support release, with Java 11 and Java 17 ahead of Java 8.

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Java 11 and Java 17, designated Long Term Support (LTS) versions of the language by Oracle, are the most widely used Java versions, closely followed by Java 8, according to a recent survey by Java software provider Azul.

Azul found that Java 11, released in September 2018, and Java 17, released in September 2020, were used by 48% and 45% of respondents, respectively. Java 8, an LTS version released in March 2014, trailed at 40%. These findings were published in the Azul State of Java Survey and Report 2023 on October 24. The report is based on a worldwide survey of 2,062 Java professionals and users of Java-based applications conducted in May and June.

Azul found that 85% of respondents used an LTS version of Java, meaning the Java version is backed by several years of support from Oracle, and 64% used more than one Java version. Azul said it was encouraged to see critical mass move beyond Java 8 to more recent LTS versions, adding this likely indicated that application teams had moved beyond interoperability issues introduced in Java 9, which arrived in September 2017.

New releases of Java are published every six months, with LTS versions from Oracle arriving every two years. Short-term releases, or feature releases, get just six months of support, and are published when an LTS release is not due. It is common practice for companies to skip these feature releases, Azul said. The latest release of Java,  JDK 21, was published in September as an LTS release.

 Other findings in the Azul State of Java Survey and Report 2023:

  • 95% of companies have taken steps to lower cloud costs in the past year, with higher performance Java implementations playing a critical role in cloud cost optimization. But nearly 70% of companies say they are paying for at least 20% of cloud capacity they do not use.
  • Nearly 80% of companies report having been impacted by the Log4J library vulnerability from 2021. Nearly half had to allot extra engineering time in the wake of the vulnerability, and nearly one-third were impacted by the vulnerability itself.
  • 57% of respondents said at least 60% of their applications were Java-based.
  • 66% of companies pay for Java support.
  • 31% of companies used Java microservices frameworks, led by Spring Boot.
  • 72% of Oracle users considered switching to a different Java Development Kit due to Oracle’s changes to Java pricing in January 2023

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