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Oracle Kills Commercial Support For GlassFish: Was It Inevitable? 125

Posted by timothy
from the allocation-of-resources dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Oracle acquired GlassFish when it acquired Sun Microsystems, and now — like OpenSolaris and OpenOffice — the company has announced it will no longer support a commercial version of the product. Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation. said in an interview the decision wasn't exactly a surprise: "The only company that was putting any real investment in GlassFish was Oracle," Milinkovich said. "Nobody else was really stepping up to the plate to help. If you never contributed anything to it, you can't complain when something like this happens." An update to the open source version is still planned for 2014." GlassFish is an open source application server.
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Oracle Kills Commercial Support For GlassFish: Was It Inevitable?

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  • by Alex Meyer (3424249) on Saturday November 09, 2013 @01:42AM (#45375385)
    What the hell is a glass fish?
  • WTF is Glassfish? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by hawguy (1600213) on Saturday November 09, 2013 @01:49AM (#45375417)

    The Wikipedia article is no help for someone that isn't familiar with Java appservers:

    GlassFish is the reference implementation of Java EE and as such supports Enterprise JavaBeans, JPA, JavaServer Faces, JMS, RMI, JavaServer Pages, servlets, etc. This allows developers to create enterprise applications that are portable and scalable, and that integrate with legacy technologies. Optional components can also be installed for additional services.

    Built on a modular kernel powered by OSGi, GlassFish runs straight on top of the Apache Felix implementation. It also runs with Equinox OSGi or Knopflerfish OSGi runtimes. HK2 abstracts the OSGi module system to provide components, which can also be viewed as services. Such services can be discovered and injected at runtime.

    GlassFish is based on source code released by Sun and Oracle Corporation's TopLink persistence system. It uses a derivative of Apache Tomcat as the servlet container for serving Web content, with an added component called Grizzly which uses Java New I/O (NIO) for scalability and speed.

    Why would someone choose Glassfish over Tomcat, JBoss, or one of the commercial alternatives? Can someone explain it in plain english without requiring links to a dozen different projects?

    How popular is it?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I think the important part is that GlassFish is the reference implementation of all Java EE features.

    • From my experiance, Glass fish is ONLY used by people following the JEE tutorials from oracle (using netbeans too). It is not a competative-performant-scaleable JEE Application server.

      • Re:WTF is Glassfish? (Score:5, Informative)

        by CuriousKumar (1058312) on Saturday November 09, 2013 @02:25AM (#45375545)
        .

        From my experiance, Glass fish is ONLY used by people following the JEE tutorials from oracle (using netbeans too). It is not a competative-performant-scaleable JEE Application server.

        You seem to have limited experience then. Glassfish is the reference implementation of Java EE standard and therefore it is used in JEE tutorials. BTW, IT IS used extensively in many enterprise application, including very demanding stuff like stock broking and trading (I have designed it for a large customer myself who serve more than million trades a day, so I can speak with some authority). This is a big news exactly for the same reason. There are many enterprise customers who paid money to get commercial support on Glassfish. Now those companies will either have to depend of the community for support or switch to other commercial options like WebLogic or WebSphere or JBoss EAP.

        • by symbolset (646467) *
          People used to use Microsoft Java too.
        • by Shimbo (100005)

          BTW, IT IS used extensively in many enterprise application, including very demanding stuff like stock broking and trading (I have designed it for a large customer myself who serve more than million trades a day, so I can speak with some authority). This is a big news exactly for the same reason.

          In your obscure corner of the world, it may be big news. For the 95% of us who've never used it, sorry it's not, really.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          I feel terrible for the banking community. They are so friendly and generous - sadly, even if they pooled all their resources, I doubt that they would be able to come up with a meaningful amount of money to pay for further software development.

          I propose we start a fund - right here today on Slashdot!

          If we all give what we can, maybe we can help the banking community just enough. It breaks my heart to think of them having to use their own meager funds, no doubt earmarked for charitable works, just to pay the

        • Now those companies will either have to depend of the community for support or switch to other commercial options like WebLogic or WebSphere or JBoss EAP.

          Jboss, like many Redhat products has free community editions, and pay for supported Corporate editions. Additionally, if your application only uses the JEE api, then migrating from glass fish to EAP should be easy.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Rhyas (100444)

      It's not terribly popular these days but was at one time, and it's still used in a lot of enterprise production environments these days. It was Sun's premier "Application Server" when it came to hosting products like their Portal software, Java CAPS, Access Manager, Identity Management tools, and various other JEE-level applications. It has enterprise level features like clustering, centralized management and deployment, etc. all built into the product. (Has had them for many years, though now you can get s

    • Tomcat is only a web server.
      Glassfish is an J2EE application server.

      • Tomcat may just be a Java based web server, but once you have Spring or delegating service implementations to other servers, much of what application servers provide become overkill, at least from what I have seen.

        • Yes, I agree. Full fledged J2EE Application Servers are often overkill. However I did not use any since EJB 3.0, so perhaps they are now worth more.

        • Yes. And it's not just overkill - with a Java EE server, you're stuck with whatever libraries the server provides; if you want to use a different implementation or newer version, it's usually a pain in the ass to make it work. In my experience, the Tomcat approach works a lot better.

      • by LDAPMAN (930041)

        Tomcat is NOT a web server. It is a lightweight application server that provides a servlet container. That servlet container is a subset of the J2EE spec. It is the subset that roughtly 90% of java apps actually need. Most of the applications running on JBoss, Websphere, etc. don't actually use the extra features available on this platforms.

        • Sorry, mister ignorant.
          A servlet container is a web server.

          • by LDAPMAN (930041)

            No, it isn't. To be pedantic, Tomcat can communicate to clients via HTTP but that is not it's intended purpose. In most real world implementations, a web server is used between the client and Tomcat. The communication between the web server and tomcat is not limited to HTTP.

            By your logic ALL app servers are web servers. My comment was in response to "Tomact is only a web server" which is not true.

            • Sorry, not By your logic ALL app servers are web servers

              It has nothing to do with me or you.

              Seems you don't understand what a servlet is, no problem. Seems you don't understand what a web server is, no problem either.

              The communication between the web server and tomcat is not limited to HTTP.

              It is not? Wow ... you likely mean the RMI hooks to remote control the Tomcat? Or do you really believe there is a standard to deploy a (web/not web) application on a tomcat that is communicating with the client via no

    • Netbeans seems to have better support for it and practically makes installing it mandatory for JEE apps. I actually thought for a while that it was supposed to be Tomcat's successor - Glassfish::Tomcat seemed to be the same as LibreOffice::OpenOffice, but this was not the case.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 09, 2013 @01:51AM (#45375427)

    I don't believe it. Right there in the summary.

    GlassFish is an open source application server.

    • by Megane (129182)
      Me either... that wasn't in the submission, so... a /. editor edited. Wow. And with the answer to the most obvious question, even.
  • This can't possibly be related to track record?

    It's CDDL licensed, as Solaris was, and the model is "managed community", the way Solaris was -- what guarantee did any contributor possibly have that Oracle wouldn't do to it exactly what they've done to the Open Source Solaris community? As in, *exactly* what they just announced?

    The problem with "managed community" is that the "manager" can yank the rug out from under you at any time.

    And who exactly thinks it's fun to work on Java based application server im

    • ....It's CDDL licensed, as Solaris was, and the model is "managed community", the way Solaris was ....

      I can tell you that Oracle absolutely hates CDDL licensing. It was Mission #1 to abolish all CDDL licensing after absorbing Sun.

      • by tlambert (566799)

        ....It's CDDL licensed, as Solaris was, and the model is "managed community", the way Solaris was ....

        I can tell you that Oracle absolutely hates CDDL licensing. It was Mission #1 to abolish all CDDL licensing after absorbing Sun.

        No doubt; and when IBM bought the startup I worked for around 2000, the missions was "abolish the GPL'ed code wherever it touches on IBM patents", which basically meant yanking the SQUID code out of the InterJet and replacing it with much dumber caching software so that IBM wasn't accidently granting a royalty free license to use those six patents.

        My point on the CDDL is that it has as an emergent property centralized control of the community with the company originally licensing out the code, since all con

  • drowned (Score:4, Insightful)

    by shentino (1139071) on Saturday November 09, 2013 @03:03AM (#45375695)

    Sun drowned, and oracle was the shark that ate the carcass and after digesting the IP used its bulked up legal muscles to go after google.

    Oracle has proven it would rather loot and pillage Sun's corpse than maintain it as a separate brand.

    • by Z00L00K (682162)

      So what we will expect to see is that sooner or later Java will get the axe too - or be an Oracle internal tool that will cost a crapload of money for anyone outside Oracle to use.

      • Java isn't going to get killed off or cost more than $0 to use, ever. Don't be a fool, wrap your internal tool.
      • Anything is possible, but at least it is GPL and currently there is a good community supporting OpenJDK. Killing Java doesn't make much sense, since I am betting a good number of Oracle DB clients have their software written in Java and killing Java would mean pissing off those people in larger numbers.

      • I don't believe Oracle can kill off Java. Several reasons:
        • Oracle is dependent on Java ecosystem. They push enterprise apps now, not just databases. And those apps, at least quite a big number of them is written in Java.
        • Oracle is selling Java servers, like WebLogic or Coherence.
        • OpenJDK is GPL anyway, and they cannot really close it off.
        • Oracle database users often implement their software in Java. Screw up Java- your database sales go down.
        • Java is part of Oracle Database.

        So for Oracle ruining Jav

        • by HiThere (15173)

          They can't easily close it, but several applications already object if you aren't running Oracle branded Java (Neo4j, for one).

          What they can do is slowly emasculate it, and release libraries under licenses of their choice to fix the problem. If they're at all sneaky about this, there's a good chance that OpenJDK will change in lock step to maintain compatibility. So they'll be able, eventually, to sell those libraries at a fancy price, and simultaneously to keep anyone else from competing. (Since they'l

    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      Sun drowned for a reason.
      No buyer, including Oracle, would ever "maintain it as a separate brand".

      • The engineers and tech didn't kill Sun, bad Management and cheap Intel Linux boxes did. Sun should have dropped their hardware division sooner. Why buy 1 $100,000 Sun box when I can buy 5 $2,000 Intel boxes for the same.

        Cheap labor didn't help them either. Sun boxes were a breeze to admin compared to Linux, but when wages for high level IT plummeted in the wake of off-shoring and outsourcing saving 20% on your admin's time wasn't worth as much. Heck, he was probably salaried so you could work him as man
        • by jeremyp (130771)

          The engineers and tech didn't kill Sun, bad Management and cheap Intel Linux boxes did. Sun should have dropped their hardware division sooner. Why buy 1 $100,000 Sun box when I can buy 5 $2,000 Intel boxes for the same.

          Remind me never to hire you as my purchasing manager.

    • by symbolset (646467) *
      Uncle Larry is not in the "giving stuff away business".
      • by tigersha (151319)

        Well, Sun was in the "giving stuff away" business and now they are not in business anymore and Oracle still is.

        Bankruptcy happens when you get in less money than you spend and you cannot pay your people anymore.
        Should the Sun enigneers stay and work for handouts to keep the Java community happy? Out of altruism?

        Who knows, Maybe Uncle Larry was right after all.

    • by dwpro (520418)

      You're mixing your metaphors. You can't eat your carcass and pillage it too.

    • I'm confused by your comment. Why wouldn't Oracle or any company do whatever they want with a company they just purchased?
  • How many J2EE/EJB containers does the world really need? Certainly the world would be diminished if Oracle killed Glassfish completely because it is, after all, the reference implementation. But dropping commercial support only means that Oracle not going to support it as a commercial implementation. Keep in mind that Oracle also owns WebLogic, a more prominent and I dare say more successful competitor in this arena.

    • Yeah, agreed, WebLogic is pretty good. Unfortunately it's also pretty expensive.
      • by tigersha (151319)

        An Aston Martin DB9 is also pretty good. It is also pretty expensive. Same can be said for a lot
        of things in this world. What is your point?

        • If you can't figure it out you are a retard or hoping to sound intelligent by making a snide comment. Sorry, you still sound like a retard.
  • No way! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Charliemopps (1157495) on Saturday November 09, 2013 @03:29AM (#45375791)

    Oracle bought some software company, provided shitty support for a couple of years, then complained no-one was using or contributing to it and then canceled support for it out of the blue leaving their customers that are using it screwed? eee gads! This has never happened before! Oh wait, that's right, this is what Oracle does with EVERYTHING THEY BUY.

    • Oracle bought some software company, provided shitty support for a couple of years, then complained no-one was using or contributing to it and then canceled support for it out of the blue leaving their customers that are using it screwed?

      From TFS: An update to the open source version is still planned for 2014.

  • All I ever used glassfish for was the Sun/Oracle IDM services. It was "different"

  • meh (Score:2, Insightful)

    "Nobody else was really stepping up to the plate to help. If you never contributed anything to it, you can't complain when something like this happens."

    Actually, that raises the question why was it being put out there as open source in the first place? If you're only putting out an open source product _because_ you expect others to contribute, then your priorities are fucked up.

    You should put it out there because it might be genuinely useful to others. Don't pollute the open source world with half baked

    • by HiThere (15173)

      There's actually no reason to NOT hope that people will contribute fixes and suggest improvements. But if you want that to happen, you need to have a license and project that supports this activity. E.g., the license can't allow you to "take the money and run", or people will be reluctant to trust you.

      The CDDL is, IIRC, an open source license (it's been awhile since I read it), and glassfish is thus an open source program. But you can't mingle CDDL code with GPL code...in either direction. And Oracle's

  • Seems not real...
  • yes, it absolutely was inevitable. no program or product lasts forever, everything dies.

  • Glassfish, that name must have been generated using a startup product name generator:

    #!/bin/bash

    declare -a ADJECTIVE
    declare -a CRITTER

    ADJECTIVE=(white red blue pink green brown dark light big small tiny earth glass air)
    CRITTER=(frog hound fish lizard gator moose monkey whale hippo)

    echo ${ADJECTIVE[$(($RANDOM % ${#ADJECTIVE[*]}))]^}${CRITTER[$(($RANDOM % ${#CRITTER[*]}))]^}

    Feed it a real list of adjectives and critters and you'll be in hog heaven - ehh, sorry, HogHeaven - for years,

    • by Megane (129182)
      Someone should pass the output of that script to whois and see how many combinations are already registered. For instance, pinklizard? CHECK! airfish? CHECK! brownwhale? CHECK! (oh wait, brownwhale.net hasn't been registered! better hurry!)
      • by knarf (34928)

        Someone should pass the output of that script to whois and see how many combinations are already registered. For instance, pinklizard? CHECK! airfish? CHECK! brownwhale? CHECK! (oh wait, brownwhale.net hasn't been registered! better hurry!)

        I fed it a list of ~1400 adjectives, with 'interesting' results...

        SnivelingHound, UntidyMoose, PaltryGator, FumblingMonkey, DampWhale - and it only took 15 runs of the script to produce these. Maybe I should rename the script to 'IP Enforcement company name generator scri

        • by tigersha (151319)

          The company I used to work at published a journal with Elsevier. They sent us a password that we then passon on to the customur. The password was generated by such a script. Once the password was 'fancyknickers'. It was assigned to a woman.

    • by HiThere (15173)

      You left out fire, ice, and thunder.
      Also bird, fox, dove, and ape.

  • by msobkow (48369)

    I'll use whatever server is bundled with OEPE. I just need one for development and debugging; I'm not interested in the intricate details of different servers. In theory they all use the same APIs, so why should I care what is used for deployment?

  • No. It was both foreseeable and unavoidable, knowing Oracle's true nature.

"Just Say No." - Nancy Reagan "No." - Ronald Reagan

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