On the deck but still flapping: GlassFish soldiers on

Elliot Bentley

GlassFish development continues, with the WebSocket component getting an update this week. But is it swimming or sinking?


ending of commercial GlassFish support
came as a shock to the
Java community last November, so much so that Oracle still appear
to be dealing with the fallout.

Java EE blogger Markus Eisele was one of many commentators to
write it off,
that “GlassFish Server as we know it today is
deprecated from a full blown product to a toy product”. The public
dismissal of the application server was so strong, Oracle
evangelist Bruno Borges felt compelled to write a blog post
insisting that “GlassFish Open Source Edition is not dead”.

As the new year begins, there does appear to be life in the old
fish yet, with development continuing – albeit now strictly as a
reference implementation for Java EE.

This week saw the release of a new version
of Tyrus
, used within GlassFish, which also serves as reference
for the Java API for WebSocket. Support for the bi-directional,
real-time WebSocket protocol was one of the headline features of
Java EE 7.

Tyrus 1.4 includes WebSocket Extensions, a more advanced feature
that can filter incoming and outgoing data transferred via the
WebSocket connection; and a shared client container, which
increases the number of simultaneous client connections possible.
It’s promised to soon be integrated into the GlassFish tank.

Separately, Oracle staffer David Delabassee
updated the GlassFish blog
, emphasising that commercial support
for GlassFish 3.x is set to continue “for years to come”. Though
not new, Delabassee’s post is likely an attempt at damage control
following last year’s controversy.

Those who are already invested in GlassFish, and don’t intend to
change their current setup for some time, may be relieved to know
that Oracle’s ‘Extended Support’ won’t expire until March 2019.
‘Sustaining Support’, which does not include patches or software
updates, will continue “indefinitely”.

However, newer versions of GlassFish (from v4.0 onwards) will
not be covered by these subscriptions. Users who want both modern
features like WebSockets and commercial support will need to look
elsewhere – and Oracle are probably hoping that users will pick

Photo by Dave

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