05 November 2013

No More Commercial Support for GlassFish - So What?

"GlassFish reduced to toy product" and "R.I.P. GlassFish" are some of the headlines regarding Oracle's announcement to withdraw commercial support for the application server acting as Java EE reference implementation.

Oh well, I've stopped using GlassFish 3.x on a regular basis about a year ago when it became apparent that GlassFish was a dead end for the Java EE 6 Open Source product (see comments of the linked blog post), and I've never really started using GlassFish 4.0 except for quick demos, knowing the release policy would be just the same as for 2.x and 3.x, where the Open Source release was more of a public beta for the closed-source commercial product.

It's nice to know you can get commercial support for a server if you need it and if somebody is willing to pay for it. On the other hand, lots of companies run successful businesses with applications built on Open Source web containers or application servers without any commercial support, because commercial support is not affordable in their business models. Moreover, commercial support is not a guarantee for getting a hot-fix when you need it, if the vendor's priorities happen to differ from your own.

Like many others, I've turned from GlassFish to JBoss AS/WildFly (after evaluating and dismissing TomEE for lack of stability and documentation). JBoss AS 7 has surpassed GlassFish in terms of usability and reliability, and it's just a shame that RedHat has now converted JBoss AS to a Not-So-Open Source project, hiding branches and tags in a private repository and no longer publishing Community binaries. But that's another story...

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