May 20, 2024 By Keri Olson 3 min read

In today’s digital world, organizations are continuously developing, enhancing, upgrading and modernizing Java applications as part of their hybrid cloud strategy. While these are common development activities, they are often wrought with challenges, especially when working with complex enterprise applications that are monolithic, poorly documented or laden with technical debt. By harnessing the power of generative AI and automation, organizations have an opportunity to significantly reduce costs, decrease risk and improve time to value for development teams working with enterprise Java applications.

At this week’s Think 2024 conference, we are excited to announce an upcoming preview of IBM watsonx™ Code Assistant for Enterprise Java Applications, a product engineered to help businesses simplify and accelerate their Java application lifecycle with automation and generative AI-powered capabilities for code generation, code explanation and test generation. This product joins IBM watsonx™ Code Assistant for Red Hat® Ansible® Lightspeed and IBM watsonx™ Code Assistant for Z, a growing family of watsonx code assistants that are trained on domain-specific data and tailored for specific use cases.

Designed to accelerate development, IBM watsonx™ Code Assistant uses generative AI based on IBM® Granite™ foundation models on the IBM watsonx™ platform. By combining these products with IBM Consulting® and its deep domain expertise and experience, clients are already seeing the potential benefits of accelerated application modernization and IT automation capabilities. For example, during a watsonx Code Assistant for Z pilot, the team at Westfield Insurance saw an 80% time reduction in application discovery analysis and a 30% time reduction for a developer to explain and document application code.

With the introduction of IBM watsonx Code Assistant for Enterprise Java Applications, IBM can help organizations enhance developer productivity, improve code quality and manageability, and streamline their Java application lifecycle.

Key capabilities and use cases

IBM watsonx Code Assistant for Enterprise Java Applications is designed to support the end-to-end application lifecycle, with capabilities that help organizations:

  • Understand: Navigate complex code structures by using generative AI to summarize their application’s key functions, services and dependencies.
  • Plan: Receive a prescriptive plan describing the changes needed to upgrade, modernize or enhance your application, with a detailed assessment of complexity and required development effort.
  • Transform: Use automation to quickly implement code and configuration changes. Transform code with generative AI assistance to resolve more complex issues. Use generative AI to document your application and code changes.
  • Validate: Import existing unit tests easily and use generative AI to create new tests that help maintain critical application functions.

By harnessing the power of automation and generative AI, developers can help support their business’s efforts to improve agility by:

  • Optimizing Java development: Enhance and develop new Java applications with generative AI code recommendations, explanations and testing.
  • Accelerating Java upgrades: Identify changes required to upgrade Java code, automatically apply fixes and use generative AI to transform Java code.
  • Streamlining application and runtime modernization: Analyze the Java application runtime and modernize it to a more lightweight, flexible and efficient runtime. For example, from IBM WebSphere to IBM WebSphere Liberty, with assistance from generative AI and automation.

Learn more

IBM watsonx Code Assistant for Enterprise Java Applications is set to be available as a technical preview in June and is anticipated to be generally available later this year. Do you want to be the first to know everything there is to know about IBM watsonx Code Assistant for Enterprise Java Applications? Sign up for the waitlist.

We also recommend exploring IBM Cloud Pak® for Applications to accelerate your modernization and new application delivery efforts by using IBM and Red Hat Java runtimes, such as WebSphere Liberty, along with Red Hat® OpenShift ®, a leading hybrid cloud application platform.


IBM’s plans, directions and intentions might change or be withdrawn at any time at IBM’s discretion, without notice. Information about potential future products and improvements is provided to give a general idea of IBM’s goals and objectives and should not be used in making a purchase decision. IBM is not obligated to provide any materials, code or functions based on this information. This statement replaces all prior statements on this topic.

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