GlassFish reduced to

Lucy Carey

To the disappointment of many, Oracle withdraws commercial support for open source server.

In a GlassFish and Java EE roadmap update yesterday, it was revealed that going forward there would be no more commercial major releases of the popular Oracle GlassFish Server. 

Oracle is ushering those looking for an alternative towards the WebLogic Server – however, it insists that GlassFish is in no way dead.

In terms of practicality, having two commercial servers in one company never made sense. Ultimately one was going to have to go, and unfortunately for GlassFish’s community, their product bit the dust.

For now, the plan is for GlassFish Server to continue to underpin Java EE reference implementations in future releases – however, it remains to be seen how the server will thrive now that it’s been cast out of the Oracle commercial fold.

The community around GlassFish certainly isn’t convinced. Java EE specialist Markus Eisele lamented in his blog that “GlassFish Server as we know it today is deprecated from a full blown product to a toy product”. He added that, with the lack of commercial support, overall quality and reliability was bound to suffer. Not to mention the fact that development will hugely slow, and users can expect far less frequent updates from now on.

There had been rumblings that something was afoot in Larry Ellison’s empire. Two weeks ago, loyal Java EE and GlassFish evangelist Arun Gupta made an abrupt departure for software open sourcers Red Hat.

Whilst he couldn’t tell JAXenter whether he was aware that this move was coming, Gupta made it very clear that, with no commercial backing, GlassFish is simply not the viable option for Java EE that it once was.

He told  us that “now that Oracle is not planning any commercial support, WildFly definitely emerges as the leader in this space. So while all the rapid innovation will continue in WildFly, developers / customers can be assured that their deployments will be commercial supported with JBoss EAP”.

In recent years, Red Hat has set a bit of a precedent for picking up the slack when the Java stewards have left their dependents high and dry. This spring, the trilby crew stepped up with OpenJDK 6 when Oracle dusted its hands of Java 6, and with Arun and his huge band of followers, it seems likely that it’ll be gaining a host of new WildFly adherents in the months to come.

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