Adam Bien's Weblog

GlassFish Became A Killer Appserver, Now It Is Just Great: Oracle Drops Commercial Support For GlassFish

GlassFish eventually became a killer application server, now it is just a great developer runtime:

"Oracle recommends that existing commercial Oracle GlassFish Server customers begin planning to move to Oracle WebLogic Server, which is a natural technical and license migration path forward"
and
"Oracle will no longer release future major releases of Oracle GlassFish Server with commercial support – specifically Oracle GlassFish Server 4.x with commercial Java EE 7 support will not be released."
but
"To summarize, Oracle is committed to the future of Java EE. Java EE 7 has been released and planning for Java EE 8 has begun. GlassFish Server Open Source Edition continues to be the strategic foundation for Java EE reference implementation going forward. And for developers, updates will be delivered as needed to continue to deliver a great developer experience for GlassFish Server Open Source Edition. We are planning for GlassFish Server Open Source Edition 5 as the foundation for the Java EE 8 reference implementation, as well as bundling GlassFish Server Open Source Edition 5 in a Java EE 8 SDK, which is the most popular distribution of GlassFish."

I was able to introduce GlassFish to many larger organizations just by mentioning the availability of commercial support. The mix of "Reference Implementation" and "Commercial Support" was a huge selling point. The only problem: only few customers knew about the availability of Oracle's commercial support offerings.

You could start with GF as developer environment then proceed to production having commercial support available. This was particularly interesting for smaller companies and start-ups.

I'm not sure whether it is reasonable to develop on GlassFish and deploy to WebLogic. I would always use the same runtime for both.

However this announcement and Oracle's "optimizations" is the perfect opportunity for other vendors like TomEE with commercial support by tomitribe, or wildfly with commercial support by redhat or the WebSphere liberty with support from ibm, to step in.

Also, there is room now for any company to offer commercial support for GlassFish (IBM, SAP, SalesForce or RedHat would be fun :-)). GlassFish is open source and provides interesting HA features, even rolling updates, session replication and cluster management. Many companies are running critical software on GlassFish... GlassFish comes even with pragmatic monitoring tool :-).

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Comments:

"I'm not sure whether it is reasonable to develop on GlassFish and deploy to WebLogic. I would always use the same runtime for both"

From what I've understood, the long term plan for Weblogic is that it will more or less become a set of "modules" on top of Glassfish, so it'd be much closer to the same runtime than it currently is.

Then again, you don't need a license to develop on Weblogic so I don't really see why you wouldn't develop on Weblogic if you're going to deploy on Glassfish.

Posted by Chooty on November 05, 2013 at 07:40 AM CET #

Hi Adam

So what happens when they drop Glassfish as the reference implementation and use WebLogic as the RI?

I hope that some of the other companies sees this as a opportunity to take over Glassfish and provide commercial support.

Posted by Rentius on November 05, 2013 at 10:06 AM CET #

I am very glad that I always recommended JBoss to my customers because that this would happen was just a question of time.

But to be honest a migration from JBoss <= 6 to JBoss 7 or WildFly is the same as from GlassFish to WildFly :-)

@Rentius WebLogic would never become the RI because it's not open source.

Posted by Simon Martinelli on November 05, 2013 at 04:58 PM CET #

Bah. Netbeans doesn't support WildFly yet and I wonder how much effort they will put into that, if any.

I was expecting the Oracle "Midas touch of Gold" to start affecting projects and it looks they finally got to Glassfish after killing Sun Webserver, Solaris and Sun Ray.

Hudson has been marginalised and so is Open Office.
The first cracks around MySQL are starting to form.

So is Java next?

Posted by Barry on November 05, 2013 at 05:49 PM CET #

I have been using Glassfish for a couple of years now, and it has been the best choice. The fact that Oracle drops support will not stop me from using it. I would be glad to offer commercial support if I had a company ;-)

Posted by Jan on November 05, 2013 at 07:47 PM CET #

Oracle will be Oracle!

When Oracle bought out SUN, Red Hat must of went wild (pun intended), now JBoss AS (Wildfly) will replace GlassFish as the "Innovative" JEE server, with support as well.

Red Hat is the new SUN...

I'm a bit worried, because a NetBeans lover, Oracle may end up with the same way with JDeveloper, yikes!!!

Posted by George de la Torre on November 05, 2013 at 09:15 PM CET #

@Chooty,

"Then again, you don't need a license to develop on Weblogic so I don't really see why you wouldn't develop on Weblogic if you're going to deploy on Glassfish."

Why to risk anything? IMHO development, integration and production environments have to be identical. Similar is not enough. I had already trouble in the past just with minor version differences of used libraries.

If you would like to run the application on WebLogic, you should also develop on WebLogic... Everything else is a nasty workaround.

cheers!,

adam

Posted by Adam Bien on November 05, 2013 at 09:25 PM CET #

@Rentius

WebLogic as RI would be interesting.

I would offer you commercial support for GlassFish :-). However I'm just a singleton and so irrelevant. Commercial support has to be offered by a credible, large company. Everything else will not pass any golf course decisions...

thanks for commenting!,

adam

Posted by Adam Bien on November 05, 2013 at 09:28 PM CET #

@Simon,

"I am very glad that I always recommended JBoss to my customers because that this would happen was just a question of time."

I used JBoss since EJBBoss and was a huge fan. I even use JBoss as server for examples of some of my books around 2002. However: JBoss had problems around version 6. And it took way too long for JBoss to adapt JavaEE 5 and 6.

So I do not regret my recommendations back then. I alway warn my customers: "Oracle could move in strange ways" what eventually happened.

Btw. JBoss is very interesting right now. However: the WildFly <-> JBoss naming, branding and support is not as simple and obvious as the GlassFish model way. It was a huge selling point for GlassFish.

thanks for your comment!,

adam

Posted by Adam Bien on November 05, 2013 at 09:31 PM CET #

@Barry,

"So is Java next?"

We are saver here, because of openJDK. RedHat, IBM, SAP, Twitter etc. are already contributing to openJDK.

Btw. IBM's Java implement ion already exists and does work well.

See also: http://icedtea.classpath.org/wiki/Main_Page

thanks for your comment. Yes, I also like Java :-)

cheers!,

adam

Posted by Adam Bien on November 05, 2013 at 09:34 PM CET #

@George de la Torre

"I'm a bit worried, because a NetBeans lover, Oracle may end up with the same way with JDeveloper, yikes!!!"

Yes, everything could happen now :-)

However, I think Oracle is aware of the fact, that also considerable amount of projects is driven by developers. Not everything is decided on management level...

NetBeans + GlassFish is (was?) a genius combo to get "infected". GlassFish could be used as a backdoor to WLS, Exalogic and Exadata.

Everyone would understand, if only WLS were commercially supported on Exalogic, not GlassFish.

"Red Hat is the new SUN..."

I said exactly that yesterday to someone :-)

thanks!,

adam

Posted by Adam Bien on November 05, 2013 at 09:41 PM CET #

Glassfish is no loss if Oracle is going to continue with development of Netbeans. A netbeans application cannot connect to Glassfish. Glassfish has been unable to serve up a DataSource for DB2 or Postgresql to a remote EJB in my experience. It leads me to believe Glassfish has architectural "issues" that are difficult to overcome in order for it to become a complete JEE environment. Since a browser is of no interest to me I'm happy to say "so long" to Glassfish.

So far the only thing that has worked for me is JBoss. I've tried the developer version of WebLogic but it won't build the wlfullclient.jar due to missing files.

I would like to use openEJB/TomEE+ in Netbeans as a light weight environment.

Just my $.02.

Posted by Chuck Davis on November 06, 2013 at 06:33 AM CET #

@Adam
Yes, I see I messed up my comment. What I was going to say was that since you don't need a license to develop on weblogic, if you're going to deploy on weblogic in production why wouldn't you also develop on weblogic. So I agree with you there, there's simply no real reason to develop on one and deploy on the other, especially when there's no money to be saved for the customer in licenses (not counting that God kills a kitten every time you chose to use weblogic).

Posted by Chooty on November 06, 2013 at 08:32 AM CET #

I am not going to say that everything under [the] Sun was in tune.

But at least, there was 1 part that I don't see in other big companies: the true innovation. Sun started many projects (real-time Java, Jini, JXTA, Carlets to name a few), and most of them failed while some became a success. Java itself was a very innovative project.

I see this kind of (cool but risky) innovation today in smaller companies, but not in big companies. Therefor, I think there is no new Sun (yet).

Posted by Johan Vos on November 06, 2013 at 12:15 PM CET #

No offense, but some people are overreacting. It is not because Oracle drops commercial support that Glassfish will die. For the last 10 years we have been using open-source product without commercial support whatsoever. Once in a while we fixed some bugs and committed them back to the projects.

Oracle doesn't kill off Glassfish - only the commercial support. Yeah well, whatever. I have all my projects running on GF and I will not change because of this. This would only cost me time and money.

We will see where GF is going the coming year. I took a brief look at Wildfly but wasn't really impressed. Maybe that will change, but not for now.

Are the people who are crying about the end of Glassfish the same who cried about the end of Java some years ago? Maybe GF will die, maybe not. It too early to tell. Just don't overreact to this news. Glassfish remains RI; so I'm happy with that (for now). For me, nothing changes.

Posted by Jan on November 06, 2013 at 12:20 PM CET #

@Rentius

>So what happens when they drop Glassfish as the reference implementation and use WebLogic as the RI?

Surely interesting, but I wonder if that wouldn't require WebLogic to become open source.

The Java EE 7 JSR has this question in it:

"- I am using open-source processes for the development of the RI and/or TCK."

Don't know if it's really absolutely required for an RI to be open source, but I think a closed source RI would not make things easier.

Posted by Arjan Tijms on November 06, 2013 at 03:52 PM CET #

WebLogic is too huge and slow to use in a development environment. Can not be compared with Glassfish.

And yes - there are some differences between two servers. I know this from my own experience.
But we're still using Glassfish in development environment and build with Hudson/Jenkins for both Glassfish and WebLogic (which is our production environment).

Posted by Emil on November 06, 2013 at 04:14 PM CET #

@Jan: At the company i am working for commercial support is the main reason management chose one application server over the other.
There is absolutely no way to start a technical discussion about using some other applicationserver when there is no commercial support available.

Posted by Gustav on November 06, 2013 at 06:45 PM CET #

We've used GlassFish for 3 years, and the only issue we have with it is when we have to update the annual SSL certificate. The first issue we have is that nearly all HOWTOs on this stuff (e.g. sslwizard . co) provide instructions on all servers except for GF. So I have to fish around and it take days of continuous experimenting for it to get working. We document teh steps each year only to find the next year it doesn't work again so we have to try some other experiments. I have found support for GF to be poor.

Posted by TenG on March 13, 2015 at 05:11 PM CET #

Just installed GlassFish following the guide at https://www.rosehosting.com/blog/install-glassfish-4-on-a-debian-8-vps/ and I think it is great. I will test it for some time before moving to development.

Posted by Marius on September 04, 2015 at 07:02 PM CEST #

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