The following table provides the timeline for the significant major versions of the Java SE platform.
|Java SE Version1||Code Name||End-of-life (free2)||Release Date|
|Java SE 9 (Early Access)||None||future||2017-07-27 (estimated)|
|Java SE 8||None||future||2014-03-18|
|Java SE 7||Dolphin||2015-04-14||2011-07-28|
|Java SE 6||Mustang||2013-04-16||2006-12-23|
|Java SE 5||Tiger||2009-11-04||2004-10-04|
|Java SE 1.4.2||Mantis||prior to 2009-11-04||2003-06-26|
|Java SE 1.4.1||Hopper / Grasshopper||prior to 2009-11-04||2002-09-16|
|Java SE 1.4||Merlin||prior to 2009-11-04||2002-02-06|
|Java SE 1.3.1||Ladybird||prior to 2009-11-04||2001-05-17|
|Java SE 1.3||Kestrel||prior to 2009-11-04||2000-05-08|
|Java SE 1.2||Playground||prior to 2009-11-04||1998-12-08|
|Java SE 1.1||Sparkler||prior to 2009-11-04||1997-02-19|
|Java SE 1.0||Oak||prior to 2009-11-04||1996-01-21|
The links are to online copies of the respective releases documentation on Oracle's website. The documentation for many older releases no longer online, though it typically can be downloaded from the Oracle Java Archives.
Most historical versions of Java SE have passed their official "end of life" dates. When a Java version passes this milestone, Oracle stop providing free updates for it. Updates are still available to customers with support contracts.
|Java SE Version||Highlights|
|Java SE 7||String switches, try-with-resource, the diamond (|
|Java SE 5||Generics, annotations, auto-boxing, |
|Java SE 1.4||The |
|Java SE 1.3||HotSpot JVM included. CORBA / RMI integration. Java Naming and Directory Interface (JNDI). Debugger framework (JPDA). JavaSound API. Proxy API.|
|Java SE 1.2||The |
|Java SE 1.1||Inner classes. Reflection. JDBC. RMI. Unicode / character streams. Internationalization support. Overhaul of AWT event model. JavaBeans.|