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More MicroProfile 4.0 previews, MicroProfile LRA, and more Jakarta EE 9 features in Open Liberty

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Austin Bailey on Oct 27, 2020
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Open Liberty comes with previews of a range of MicroProfile updates, and support for Java SE 15. The MicroProfile updates include more features in MicroProfile 4.0 (MicroProfile Config 2.0 and MicroProfile JWT 1.2), as well as the new MicroProfile LRA. Also available for preview are a multitude of Jakarta EE 9 features amongst which are changes to the Jakarta RESTful Web Services specification and the addition of message-driven bean support.

We have two beta packages for Open Liberty:

  • All Beta Features: a larger package that contains all Open Liberty beta features (including Jakarta EE 9 beta features) and GA features and functions.

  • Jakarta EE 9 Beta Features: a lightweight package that contains only the Jakarta EE 9 features.

This means that you can now try out our in-development Open Liberty features by just adding the relevant coordinates to your build tools.

If you try either package, let us know what you think.

All Beta Features package

The All Beta Features package includes the following beta features:

New features in MicroProfile 4.0

Open Liberty provides another two feature updates for MicroProfile 4.0:

Other MicroProfile 4.0 features were part of earlier betas:

While we’d hoped to also include MicroProfile Rest Client 2.0 (also part of MicroProfile 4.0), we didn’t quite make it this time so it will make its debut in a future beta. However, if you just can’t wait until then, you can always give the feature a try in one of our nightly builds.

To enable all the available MicroProfile 4.0 features at once, just add our MicroProfile 4.0 convenience feature to your server.xml:


For more information about the MicroProfile updates included in this milestone, visit the release page.

New capabilities (Config Profile, Config Properties, ConfigValue support, and more) in MicroProfile Config (MicroProfile Config 2.0)

MicroProfile Config enables application configuration from different locations (ConfigSources). MicroProfile Config 2.0 in Open Liberty consumes SmallRye’s implementation of the specification.

MicroProfile Config 2.0 is a major version release (from 1.4) which introduces Functional and API/SPI changes in Microprofile Config 2.0.

Functional Changes

  • Provides a way to retrieve a number of related configuration properties with a specified prefix into a CDI bean, using the @ConfigProperties annotation.

    public static class BeanOne {
       private String name;
       int age;

    The code above retrieves the following defined properties for the name and age fields:
  • Allows you to easily determine which was the "winning" ConfigSource (the ConfigSource with the highest ordinal) for a specified property via ConfigValue. A ConfigValue object holds information about the configuration property name, configuration value, the ConfigSource name from where the configuration property was loaded and the ordinal of the ConfigSource. You can access these values with the following method:

    ConfigValue cv = Config.getConfigValue(String propertyName);
    cv.getSourceName() // the config source that supplies the configure value for the above property
  • Enables an application to include configuration for different environments and development stages while only one of them is active (e.g. dev, test, prod) using configuration profiles. The config profile can be specified using the mp.config.profile property, which can be set in any of the configuration sources. Once it is set, the corresponding properties associated with the active profile are used. The value can also be set at application start-up, for example:

    java -jar myapp.jar -Dmp.config.profile=testing

    The mp.config.profile property works on both the property level and config file level:

    On the property level profiles can be used by setting Config property values specific to the selected profile. For example, the property in the following example would be set to bike from the previous Config start-up command:

    If mp.config.profile was not set, would be set to lorry.

    On the config file ( level the property mp.config.profile also activates the corresponding microprofile-config-<mp.config.profile>.properties with as the fallback.

  • Supports Property Expressions, which provide a way to set and expand variables in property values. For example, in the following configuration properties, the property server.url will be resolved to


    Previous working configurations might behave differently if the configuration in use contains values with Property Expressions syntax.

  • Two new methods have been introduced to

    • Config.getValues(String propertyName, Class<T> propertyType)

    • Config.getOptionalValues(String propertyName, Class<T> propertyType)

      The methods have been added to enable you to retrieve multi-valued properties as lists instead of arrays. The methods return the resolved property values with the specified propertyType for the specified propertyName.

  • OptinalInt, OptionalLong and OptionalDouble are now provided as built-in Converters. The new Converters can be used like any of the other built-in Converters, converting injected Config property values to a defined type:

    @ConfigProperty(name = "")
    private OptionalInt optionalIntProperty;

Incompatible changes

If you move up from MicroProfile Config 1.x to 2.0, please take care of the following incompatible changes:

  • ConfigSource.getPropertyNames is no longer a default method. The implementation of a ConfigSource must implement this method.

  • Previous versions of the specification would not evaluate property expressions. As such, previous working configuration may behave differently (if the used configuration contains values with property expressions syntax). property expressions can be disabled by setting the property with the value of false.

  • Empty values or other special characters are no longer valid Config property values. This means that Config.getValue(String propertyName, Class<T> propertyType) will never return null; a NoSuchElementException will be thrown if either a Config property value is not defined, is defined as an empty string, or its converter returns null. In the previous release, the empty value was returned as an empty value. For more information, please refer to this section of the spec.

To enable the new beta features in your app, add them to your server.xml:

   <feature>cdi-2.0</feature> <!-- required for supporting configuration injection -->

For more information:

New configuration properties for MicroProfile JWT (MicroProfile JWT 1.2)

With MicroProfile JSON Web Token (JWT) 1.2 you can use a JWT token for authenticating and authorizing requests to a service. MicroProfile JWT 1.2 simplifies the configuration for managing the validation of the JWT by introducing new MicroProfile Config properties. Enhanced signature algorithm support is added in this Open Liberty beta.

MicroProfile JSON Web Token 1.2 adds the following MicroProfile Config properties to control different aspects of the JWT validation.


The mp.jwt.token.header property allows you to control the HTTP request header which is expected to contain a JWT token. You can specify either Authorization (default) or Cookie values.

The mp.jwt.token.cookie property allows you to specify the name of the cookie which is expected to contain a JWT token. The default value is Bearer if not specified.


The mp.jwt.verify.audiences property allows you to create a list of allowable audience (aud) values. At least one of these must be found in the claim. Previously, this had to be configured in the server.xml file. Now, you can configure the audiences in the MicroProfile Config property as follows:



The mp.jwt.verify.publickey.algorithm property allows you to control the Public Key Signature Algorithm that is supported by the MicroProfile JWT endpoint. The default value is RSA256 if not specified. Previously, this had to be configured in the server.xml file. Now, you can configure the public key algorithm used for verification of the JWT in the MicroProfile Config property as follows:


The specification also adds support for the ES256 signature algorithm, while this Open Liberty beta supports using the RS384, RS512, HS384, HS512, ES256, ES384, and the ES512 signature algorithms.

To enable the the MicroProfile JWT 1.2 feature in your app, add the feature to your server.xml:


For more information:

Enable loosely-coupled services to coordinate long running activities (MicroProfile LRA Participants 1.0 & MicroProfile LRA Coordinator 1.0)

Long Running Actions (LRA) provide a cloud-native transaction model based on a compensating Saga system. This allows loosely coupled services to coordinate long running activities, guaranteeing eventual data consistency without the need to put locks on data.

Two features have been provided for LRA support, a Coordinator feature and a Participant feature:

  • The Coordinator is a dedicated service with which participant microservices implicitly register their LRA’s through the use of annotations. It has the responsibility of driving actions such as completing or compensating on an LRA.

  • A Participant is a JAX-RS microservice that wishes to participate in an LRA and has been annotated appropriately.

In order for an LRA to be used a single instance of the Coordinator feature must be enabled which will start a Coordinator application. Then a participating mircoservice must be written with the Participant feature enabled to allow the LRA annotations to be used.

To start or join an LRA use the @LRA annotation. Depending on the type provided it may create a new LRA, join the existing LRA or continue outside one if none is provided. A full list of options can be found in the Microprofile Long Running Actions specification.

An example of always creating a new LRA when called would be:

    public Response startAction(@HeaderParam(LRA_HTTP_CONTEXT_HEADER) URI lraId)
         * Business logic that may call upon other services to participate in this Long Running Action
         return Response.ok().build();

Once the LRA has been successfully finished all participating services will have their @Complete annotated methods called to perform the necessary cleanup:

    public Response completeAction(@HeaderParam(LRA_HTTP_CONTEXT_HEADER) URI lraId)
         * Business logic to cleanup resources once the LRA has closed successfully
         return Response.ok().build();

Should a service in an LRA be canceled or timeout, the @Compensate methods for each participating service in the LRA will be called:

    public Response compensateAction(@HeaderParam(LRA_HTTP_CONTEXT_HEADER) URI lraId)
         * As the LRA has been canceled business logic to compensate any changes is necessary
         return Response.ok().build();

To enable the LRA Coordinator feature in your app, add the feature to your server.xml:


To enable the LRA Participants feature in your app, add the feature to your server.xml:


<lra port=<port>” host=<hostname> path="lrac" />

Where <port> is the default HTTP port of the Open Liberty server with the Coordinator feature is enabled, and <hostname> is the hostname provided for that Open Liberty server.

MicroProfile Long Running Actions is not a part of the MicroProfile 4.0 specification, and so needs to be explicitly added as a feature to be used.

For more information:

Support for Java SE 15

Any official Java SE 15 release from AdoptOpenJDK, Oracle, or other OpenJDK vendor will work with Open Liberty. Java SE 15 is not a long-term supported release, with standard support scheduled to end in March 2021.

Keep in mind, Eclipse OpenJ9 typically offers faster startup times than Hotspot.

The primary features added in this release include:

  • JEP 379 Shenandoah: A Low-Pause-Time Garbage Collector

  • JEP 377 ZGC: A Scalable Low-Latency Garbage Collector

  • JEP 378 Text Blocks

  • JEP 384 Records (Second Preview)

  • JEP 360 Sealed Classes (Preview)

For more information on downloading a version of Java 15, see, or

For working with the server.env file in Open Liberty, see the Configuration Files section of the Open Liberty Server Configuration Overview documentation.

For more information on new features available in Java 15, see OpenJDK.

Try it now

To try out these features, just update your build tools to pull the Open Liberty All Beta Features package instead of the main release. The beta works with Java SE 15, Java SE 11, or Java SE 8.

If you’re using Maven, here are the coordinates:


Or for Gradle:

dependencies {
    libertyRuntime group: 'io.openliberty.beta', name: 'openliberty-runtime', version: '[,)'

Or take a look at our Downloads page.

Jakarta EE 9 Beta Features package

The main change visible to developers in Jakarta EE is the names of packages changing to accommodate the new jakarta.* namespace. In this Open Liberty beta, we have a number of new API Release Candidates to join the expanding library of supported Jakarta packages.

This Open Liberty beta introduces the following Jakarta EE 9 features which now possess their all-new Jakarta EE 9 package names:

  • Jakarta WebSocket 2.0 (websocket-2.0; now with full CDI integration)

  • Enterprise Beans Remote Client 2.0 (ejbRemoteClient-2.0)

  • RESTful Web Services 3.0 (restfulWS-3.0 and restfulWSClient-3.0)

  • Jakarta Server Faces 3.0 (faces-3.0)

  • Jakarta Connectors 2.0 (connectors-2.0)

These join the Jakarta EE 9 features in previous Open Liberty betas:

  • Jakarta Enterprise Beans Remote 4.0 (ejbRemote-4.0)

  • Jakarta EE Application Client 9.0 (javaeeClient-9.0)

  • Jakarta Authentication 2.0 (jaspic-2.0)

  • Jakarta Authorization 2.0 (jacc-2.0)

  • Jakarta Persistence 3.0 (includes Eclipselink 3.0-RC1.) (jpa-3.0)

  • Jakarta XML Binding 3.0 (jaxb-3.0)

  • Jakarta Managed Beans 2.0 (managedBeans-2.0)

  • Jakarta Concurrency 2.0 (concurrent-2.0)

  • Jakarta Enterprise Beans Home 4.0 (ejbHome-4.0)

  • Jakarta Enterprise Beans Lite 4.0 (ejbLite-4.0)

  • Jakarta Bean Validation 3.0 (beanValidation-3.0)

  • Jakarta Contexts and Dependency Injection 3.0 (cdi-3.0)

  • JDBC 4.2 & 4.3 (jdbc-4.2 & jdbc-4.3)

  • Jakarta Transactions 2.0 (transaction-2.0)

  • Jakarta JSON Binding 2.0 (jsonb-2.0)

  • Jakarta JSON Processing 2.0 (jsonp-2.0)

  • Jakarta Servlet 5.0 (servlet-5.0)

  • Jakarta Server Pages 3.0 (jsp-3.0)

  • Jakarta Expression Language 4.0 (el-4.0)

Enable the Jakarta EE 9 beta features in your app’s server.xml. You can enable the individual features you want or you can just add the Jakarta EE 9 convenience feature to enable all of the Jakarta EE 9 beta features at once:


Or you can add the Web Profile convenience feature to enable all of the Jakarta EE 9 Web Profile beta features at once:


Try it now

To try out these Jakarta EE 9 features on Open Liberty in a lightweight package, just update your build tools to pull the Open Liberty Jakarta EE 9 Beta Features package instead of the main release. The beta works with Java SE 15, Java SE 11, or Java SE 8.

If you’re using Maven, here are the coordinates:


Or for Gradle:

dependencies {
    libertyRuntime group: 'io.openliberty.beta', name: 'openliberty-jakartaee9', version: '[,)'

Or take a look at our Downloads page.

Your feedback is welcomed

Let us know what you think on our mailing list. If you hit a problem, post a question on StackOverflow. If you hit a bug, please raise an issue.