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SAP builds its own Java distribution

SAP has released a “friendly fork” of open source Java, called SapMachine.

The project, which began in December 2017, serves as a downstream version of OpenJDK maintained by SAP. SAP customers and partners can use it to run their applications. OpenJDK is the open source version of Java.

Despite its being another Java distribution, which could vie with other Java offerings from companies such as Oracle and IBM, SAP maintains it is not looking to divide the Java community. “We want to stress that this is clearly a ‘friendly fork.’ SAP is committed to ensuring the continued success of the Java platform,” the company wrote. SAP pointed out it serves on the JCP (Java Community Process) executive committee and has contributed to OpenJDK.

SapMachine releases align with releases of OpenJDK. The current production version is SapMachine 11 Long Term Support. Up next is the release of SapMachine 12, an implementation of Java Development Kit (JDK) 12, which is due on March 19. Afterward, work will begin on SapMachine 13.

SapMachine is supported on Windows, Linux, and MacOS. Docker images are available for most versions. Releases have passed the Java Compatibility Kit, for certifying compatibility with OpenJDK. Starting with JDK12, SAP will maintain active branches of SapMachine for several Java versions.

Where to download SapMachine

The production release of SapMachine is available from SAP.

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