The end for WebSphere and WebLogic?

Open source Java software winning cloud war says survey

The tide in the open source server battle appears to be turning, with Apache Tomcat and Jetty being the clear choice for web-application developing Java enterprises, a new survey has revealed.

Web application performance company New Relic, who conducted the state of open source Java survey, found that from a sample of 1,000 top Java Enteprise companies, over 80% favoured the open source servers of Apache Tomcat and Jetty over the commercial options of WebSphere and WebLogic. By quite a margin.

The shift from the reliable commercial vendors of old to the open source servers that have cropped up over recent years can clearly be documented. Little over 2% were using Oracle's WebLogic and IBM's WebSphere, effectively sounding the death knell for their enterprise efforts unless something can be done quicksharp to turn that round. A key advantage that open source servers have is the ease of licensing when deploying to the cloud.

Interestingly Oracle's open source server Glassfish doesn't appear to have encouraged the adoption that their caretaker would want, with less than 3% of those surveyed using it. JBoss's AS holds steady at just under 10% of those questioned, which is a fairly good chunk when against the might of Apache and Eclipse.

Apache Tomcat is lightyears out in front as the choice for developing web applications with a 54% majority. Companies are likely to favour the server's longevity - after all it's in its 7th incarnation and has over ten years experience. After recent weeks where debates have raged over the benefits of having the Apache label in the longrun, it appears that Tomcat is going from strength to strength, after getting the certification rubber stamp for TomEE back in October.

It's interesting to note that the survey from New Relic included a broad cross-section of industries (as noted above), including companies such as IGN, AT&T and Comcast. It's clear that some servers are tailored for needs of certain industries. These findings do show that open source servers may be streets ahead, but an informed decision based upon the enterprise needs is the best method to take.

Strangely, a survey conducted by EnterpriseDB back in 2010 found that almost half of those asked believed open source would 'barely hang on' under Oracle's guidance. How foolish that view looks now. Open source is still rising.

Chris Mayer

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