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Oracle unveils Java 21 with enhancements to boost developer productivity
Wed, 20th Sep 2023

Oracle has launched Java 21, the latest version of the globally leading programming language and development platform. The newest incarnation, Oracle JDK 21, brings a wealth of enhancements, including stability, security improvements, and elements to boost developer productivity and innovation within their organisations. The news emerges from Oracle CloudWorld, taking place this week in Las Vegas, NV.

Java remains the favoured language and platform for developing robust, secure, and scalable applications utilised by organisations and individuals worldwide, according to Georges Saab, Senior Vice President of Oracle Java Platform and Chair of the OpenJDK governing board. Saab stated: "The new enhancements in Java 21 enable developers to build better applications even faster than before.” He also highlighted that customers would benefit from commercial support for at least eight years, "to enable customers to migrate at their own pace."

Java 21 offers updates and improvements through 15 JDK Enhancement Proposals (JEPs), covering various facets from language improvements to performance updates and maintenance and deprecation features. Despite the abundance of languages available today, Java endures, says Stephen O'Grady, Principal Analyst and Co-founder at RedMonk. He specified: "As the world evolves, Java's ability to adapt will help it continue to play a key role in offering value to developers."

In addition to the extension of long-term support for Java 21 for at least eight years, Oracle has announced that long-term support for Java 11 will continue at least until January 2032. This offers organisations the flexibility to maintain applications in production with minimal maintenance and migrate at a pace that suits them best.

Java 21 brings several significant updates under various categories including Project Loom features, performance updates, language updates and improvements, and Project Panama preview features. These range from enriching the Java language to improving application performance, thereby increasing developer productivity.

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) is among the first hyperscale clouds to support Java 21, providing optimal performance, efficiency, and innovation. Customers are likely to see cost savings at scale by deploying Java on OCI, with the Oracle Java SE, Oracle GraalVM, and the Java SE Subscription Enterprise Performance Pack all offered free of charge on OCI.

Dr. Venkat Subramaniam, Founder of Agile Developer, Inc., expressed excitement for Java 21, claiming it to be "one of the most significant releases of Java, as Virtual Threads will impact how we develop and deploy asynchronous applications, from microservices to enterprise applications." Likewise, Drew University Professor, Barry Burd, appreciated the Unnamed Classes and Instance Main Methods preview feature signifying that it assists students to "start quickly and easily without confusion or fanfare."

In parallel to the launch of Java 21, Oracle is unveiling the Java Playground on, the official web portal for Java developers. The new feature lets users try out snippets of Java 21 immediately and from any browser. further enriches its content catalogue by accepting community contributions.