Update on Modernisation of Java Projects

Update on Modernisation of Java Projects

It’s been over a year since the release of Java 17 in September 2021 which introduced new features and platform improvements – check out our previous blog on the release.

Over the second half of 2022 and the start of 2023, ClearPoint are seeing new projects launching with Java 17 and older projects being actively migrated over to Java 17. Open-source libraries and frameworks are also gradually moving to expect newer versions of the Java platform as a base-line dependency. We encourage customers to drip-feed these upgrades into their software-engineering work-streams in order to avoid “big bang” upgrades later where there may be many more elements of a product or system needing to be handled concurrently at greater cost and risk.

The most notable Java framework to now require a minimum of Java 17 is the recent version 3 update to the highly popular SpringBoot framework released in November 2022. SpringBoot 3 paves the way for use of more sophisticated build, runtime and deployment techniques but there are breaking changes in this next major version.

The most impacting change with a move to Spring Boot 3 is the use of the repackaged JEE classes. Mixing libraries that use the old and new JEE packaging is not possible so this can mean needing to upgrade dependencies or, in the worst case, finding alternatives. Changes to Spring Security and also recently introduced restrictions around reflection in Java are also challenges that can come up during the migration.

In general, a frequent and well managed upgrade strategy will help maintain the value of Java software projects over the long-haul. In addition, a judicious selection of well maintained dependencies will contribute positively to the security posture of your systems. Hot on the heels of 17, Java 21, the next long-term-supported version, is coming in September 2023. For those still using Java 11 and especially Java 8, it would be prudent to look at your upgrade options.

Keep an eye out later these year as we outline what we can expect from Java 21 and how this may affect customers.


ClearPoint are happy to talk through upgrade paths for those customers wanting to modernise existing systems utilising Java 17 – get in touch today!

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