5 November 2013

Oracle Dropping Commercial Support of GlassFish : My View

Oracle have just announced that commercial support for GlassFish 4 will not be available from Oracle. In light of this announcement I thought I would put together some thoughts about how I see this development.

I think the key word in this announcement is "commercial", nowhere does Oracle announce the "death of GlassFish" in contrary Oracle reaffirm;
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
so GlassFish is not about to go away soon. In a similar fashion RedHat do not provide commercial support for WildFly and only provide commercial support for JBoss EAP. Admittedly JBoss EAP and WildFly are much closer together than GlassFish and WebLogic but WildFly and JBoss EAP are absolutely NOT the same thing.

The key going forward to the viability of GlassFish as a production platform is how the GlassFish community develops;

  1. How often does the community release binary builds?
  2. How open is the community to bug fixes?
  3. How much engineering resource does Oracle commit to GlassFish?
At this stage we just don't know the answers to these questions. 

If the GlassFish open source project continues on it's current trajectory without a commercial support offering then I don't see much of a problem. Oracle just have to work harder to sell migration paths to WebLogic in the same way as RedHat have to sell migration paths from WildFly to JBoss EAP.

In the meantime C2B2 continues to offer support for your operational JEE applications running on GlassFish and we will endeavour to work with the community to get any bugs fixed. The key difference is we can no longer back our Expert Support with a support contract from Oracle for patches and fixes for any release greater than 3.x.


  1. You're right .. they did not announce the end .. but until the open questions aren't resolved it is comparably close to the end of GF as a suitable product ..

  2. Hi Markus.

    I absolutely agree. Until we see how it pans out we just don't know. However similar caveats apply to WildFly, Tomcat, WebSphere Liberty Profile and TomEE. Similar debate has raged around WildFly with the last JBossAS 7 community release being March 2012.


  3. Interesting. I suppose it makes the Oracle Java EE server position much clearer - if you want an enterprise grade, fully supported application server with all the goodies you buy WebLogic, otherwise you hunt around the community offerings and see what suits your needs best.

  4. Yes as many people do. We see many customers with production Tomcat, GlassFish and JBoss AS 7.1 (there is no GA WildFly) and they self support. Similarly there are many production systems running on Ubuntu, CentOS and Oracle Linux without support. I'm not sure the open source community offerings aren't "enterprise grade". They certainly don't offer "support" but product code support is just one aspect of production support. Being told by a vendor that the bug is fixed in the next release and won't be downported is not what I call "support".