Sun Ships New Version of Java Platform: Over 100 New Features Set J2SE 5.0 for Next Generation of Java Developers

October 1, 2004

“J2SE 5.0 is delivering greatly improved developer productivity and outstanding quality by relying on the deep values of the Java language,” said Graham Hamilton, vice president, Sun fellow and lead architect for the J2SE 5.0 release. “Working through 15 Java Community Process expert groups, the Java community has delivered the most significant update ever to the Java platform. It sets the stage for the next wave of network systems innovation.”

Java Evolves to Meet Emerging Needs of Programmers and Applications

J2SE 5.0 is derived from the work of 15 component Java Specification Requests (JSRs) encompassing advanced capabilities for the language and platform. Industry leaders participating in the J2SE 5.0 expert group include Apache Software Foundation, Apple Computer, BEA Systems, Borland Software Corporation, Cisco Systems, Fujitsu Limited, HP, IBM, Macromedia, Nokia Corporation, Oracle, SAP AG, SAS Institute, SavaJe Technologies and Sun Microsystems. Highlights of the new Java platform include:

  • Ease of development: Java language programmers can be more efficient and productive with new Java language features that enable faster and more secure coding. Generics, enumerated types, metadata and autoboxing of primitive types enable easier and faster coding.
  • Monitoring and management: A key focus for the new platform release, the Java Virtual Machine and Java technology-based applications can be monitored and managed with the built-in support for Java Management Extensions. This helps ensure your employees’, customer’s and partner’s systems stay up and running longer. Support for SNMP-based enterprise management systems is also viable.

  • Rich client desktop: A new, more modern default Java technology-based application look and feel provides an up-to-date GUI for Java technology-based applications. J2SE 5.0 has full internationalization support and also features support for hardware acceleration via the OpenGL(R) API for Linux and Solaris(tm) operating systems.

  • Greater Performance and scalability: The new release includes performance improvements such as faster startup time, a smaller memory footprint, and JVM auto-tuning to drive greater overall application and development performance on J2SE 5.0 over previous versions.

“In accord with the increasingly open Java Community Process policies and guidelines, several major components of J2SE 5.0 were conceived and led by members of the Java development community,” said Doug Lea, professor at the State University of New York, Oswego. “All 15 component JSRs had plenty of community involvement, leading to more advice, feedback, review, testing and midcourse improvements than ever before in a major Java platform release. As specification lead for the Concurrency Utilities specification, it’s great to see the results of all these component JSRs efficiently coordinated and available in J2SE.”

“Above all else, this is a developer-focused release. When the Java platform was introduced by James Gosling and his team in 1995, it took off like a rocket because it struck a chord with developers – and J2SE 5.0 is building on that legacy,” said Joshua Bloch, specification lead for new language features (JSR-201), metadata (JSR-175) and author of Effective Java (Addison Wesley, 2001). “I’ve had the good fortune to use the new features for the last year-and-a-half in the course of their development. I find them a joy to use and I have every confidence that other developers will too.”

The Java technology platform’s leadership and impact on innovation in the network computing industry is undisputed. The J2SE platform is the foundation platform for delivering Java on the desktop and throughout the enterprise. Over the course of both beta phases for the release, over a half million downloads of the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) and Software Development Kit (SDK) have signaled tremendous interest in the Java platform among developers.

The installed base of Java-based technology users continues to dominate in the enterprise and on the desktop with an estimated 150 million downloads of J2SE since its availability in December 1998. Additionally, nine out of the 10 leading PC manufacturers, cumulatively representing over 60 percent of the PC market, are now factory-installing the Java Runtime Environment on their systems. These manufacturers include Acer, Apple, Dell, Gateway, HP, Fujitsu-Siemens, Samsung, Tsinghua Tongfang and Toshiba.

“Beyond the technical improvements delivered by J2SE 5.0 over its predecessors, we were pleased to observe tight collaboration across the community in the development of this new platform,” said Geir Magnusson Jr., The Apache Software Foundation’s JCP SE/EE Executive Committee member. “Individual, academic, open source and corporate entities have worked together to deliver what is now the best Java Platform the Java development community has ever seen,” added Pier Fumagalli, The Apache Software Foundation’s representative on the J2SE Expert Group. “This is a major step in the right direction, and we are looking forward to even broader community participation and process transparency for J2SE 6.”

“J2SE 5.0 is the culmination of many years’ work and a major step forward for the Java community” said George Paolini, Vice President and General Manager of Borland’s Developer Tools Business Unit. “Enterprises around the globe will benefit from the ability to extend legacy systems through its implementation of web services and be able to integrate heterogeneous environments much more easily than before. Borland’s Jbuilder 2005 is among the first Java development tools to fully support J2SE 5.0. and make this a reality.”

In conjunction with today’s news, Zero G Software announced that it is the first to deliver full installer support for J2SE 5.0. Users of InstallAnywhere from Zero G, the de facto standard for multiplatform software deployment and delivery and the most widely used installer authoring tool for Java-enabled software, will reap the benefits of the newest Java features including the ability to bundle the J2SE virtual machine with installers, and have their applications use J2SE 5.0. The integration of J2SE 5.0 functionality also provides InstallAnywhere users with a significant increase in installer and build performance.

“InstallAnywhere has always been the first to support the latest innovations in Java technology,” said Eric N. Shapiro, CEO at Zero G Software. “Working with Sun, we are continuing our commitment to provide customers with the latest technologies to improve the software installation process by integrating support for J2SE 5.0, and jump-starting its adoption by the thousands of developers who use InstallAnywhere for deploying Java-based applications.”

Pricing and Availability

The J2SE 5.0 platform and JRE are now available for download at For more information on Java, visit the Sun Developer Network at

About the Java Community Process

Since its introduction in 1998 as the open, inclusive process to develop and revise Java technology specifications, reference implementations and technology compatibility kits, the Java Community Process program has fostered the evolution of the Java platform in cooperation with the international Java developer community. The JCP has over 800 company and individual participants; more than 250 Java technology specifications are in development in the JCP program, of which 46 percent are in final stages. For more information on the JCP program, please visit

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision — “The Network Is The Computer” — has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that make the Net work. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the World Wide Web at

Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Java, J2SE, Java Community Process, JCP, Solaris and The Network Is The Computer are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries. OpenGL (R) is a trademark or registered trademark of Silicon Graphics, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries worldwide.