Microsoft has officially signed the Oracle Contributor Agreement in order to contribute to OpenJDK, the open source implementation of the Java Platform.

Contributing to Java development

According to a message to the OpenJDK mailing list from Bruno Borges, product management for Java in Microsoft’s Developer Division, Microsoft’s team will initially focus on smaller bug fixes and back ports. 

Borges says this approach is because ‘there’s more to learn’, such as the fact that discussing changes before posting patches is preferred.

The announcement is a natural step for the vendor, which is ‘heavily’ dependent on Java in different ways. For instance, Microsoft supports Java development in its open source Visual Studio Code editor, and, significantly, offers Java runtimes in Microsoft Azure cloud to its customers.

Advancing Microsoft’s involvement

Prior to the announcement, Microsoft’s Java engineering team, led by Martijn Verburg, principal engineering group manager for Java, was already working with other Microsoft groups and subsidiaries using Java as well as partners in the Java ecosystem including Azul Systems, Oracle, Pivotal, Red Hat, Intel and SAP.

According to Borges, the wider team will join the OpenJDK mailing lists in order to better participate in conversations and Java development as a whole.

OpenJDK, which stands for Open Java Development Kit, was founded by Sun Microsystems in 2006. Sun was acquired by Oracle in 2010, subsequently taking over ownership of hardware and software product lines including Java.

In the message, Borges wrote, “On behalf of the Microsoft Java Engineering Team, I’d like to say that we are thrilled to officially join the OpenJDK project and be ready to work with you.”

“Microsoft recognises the immense value that Oracle’s successful and effective stewardship of the OpenJDK project has bought Java and the wider software ecosystem and we look forward to playing our part in contributing back.”