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Oracle Unveils Helidon 4: Leveraging Java Virtual Threads for High-Performance Microservices

Oracle recently unveiled Helidon 4, marking a significant milestone in the realm of microservices frameworks for Java. This latest version introduces a powerful server implementation that leverages virtual threads to achieve enhanced performance.

The announcement of Helidon 4 Version 4 took place on October 24, with comprehensive instructions available at helidon.io, including a migration guide for users transitioning to this new release. Unlike its predecessor, which relied on Netty as the foundation and featured a reactive API, Version 4 introduces a novel server internally dubbed Nima. This server is meticulously designed to harness the capabilities of Java 21 virtual threads. The primary goal behind this innovation is to significantly diminish the effort required to develop and maintain high-throughput concurrent applications.

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The adoption of virtual threads represents a paradigm shift, moving away from the management of threads as a finite resource to regarding them as readily available assets that can be dynamically generated to handle an extensive number of concurrent requests. Moreover, Helidon 4 comes with Helidon MP’s support for the Eclipse MicroProfile 6.0 enterprise Java microservices architecture.

Helidon 4 mandates the use of Java 21 or later versions. Proponents describe Helidon as an open-source suite of cloud-native Java libraries expressly crafted for creating microservices that can operate on a swift web core, powered by Java virtual threads. There are two distinct flavors available: Helidon SE, which follows a microframework model with a compact footprint and limited functionalities, and Helidon MP, catering to enterprise Java developers by offering a declarative style with dependency injection capabilities.