The latest release of Java is now available. Java 17 is a long-term support (LTS) release, the last of which was Java 11. According to Oracle, over 70 JDK Enhancement Proposals (JEPs) have been added to the language since Java 11.
With this LTS release, Oracle is also working to enhance support for customers. It worked with the developer community to improve LTS scheduling to give companies more flexibility on when to migrate to a new LTS version. The next LTS release will be Java 21 in September 2023, and this would change the LTS release cadence from three to two years.
“Over the last three years we’ve heard how much developers love the latest features, and we’ve seen the ecosystem truly embrace the six-month release cadence,” said Georges Saab, vice president of development, Java Platform Group at Oracle. “One of the biggest challenges Java developers face today is that their organization only allows them to use the latest LTS release. By moving LTS releases to every two years, developers that are with conservative organizations now have more choice and access to the features that they love and want to use.”
In order to make it easier to access, Oracle has made changes to the Java license. Java 17 and subsequent Java release will be provided under a free-to-use license until a year after the next LTS release. The company will continue to provide OpenJDK releases under the GPL as well.
Another main focus of this release is accelerating Java adoption in cloud settings. Recently, the company introduced Java Management Service, which is an Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) service for managing Java runtimes and applications. According to the company, it provides visibility over Java deployments, highlights unplanned Java applications, and checks that the latest security patches have been applied.
Along with Java 17’s release, Oracle is updating Java Management Service with new language enhancements, library updates, support for Apple M1 Silicon, and removal and deprecation of legacy features.
Other enhancements in Java 17 include a macOS/AArch64 port, a new macOS rendering pipeline, sealed classes, and more.
A full list of new features is available here.