When Oracle bought Sun, many people worried that Oracle would stop supporting Sun's open-source programs. We were right. Oracle first abandoned OpenSolaris, then OpenOffice, and now Oracle's Glassfish Java Enterprise Edition (JEE) 7 server.
Officially, Oracle is still developing Glassfish Indeed, GlassFish Server Open Source Edition 4.1 is still scheduled for a 2014 release and its trunk code will eventually become the basis of GlassFish Server Open Source Edition 5 as a Java EE 8 implementation. In turn, Oracle continues, "the Java EE 8 Reference Implementation will be derived from GlassFish Server Open Source Edition 5."
But, and it's a big but, Oracle also said that it would "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." Instead, "Oracle recommends that existing commercial Oracle GlassFish Server customers begin planning to move to Oracle WebLogic Server."
If your company is currently using GlassFish 3.1 with Oracle support, the clock is ticking. Premier support ends on March 2016 and extended support comes to its conclusion on March 2019. (PDF Link)
Oracle concluded, "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."
That sounds good, but Java developers aren't buying it. Markus Eisele, a principal technology consultant working for msg systems ag in Germany, summarized Oracle's announcement as, "basically [being] about one thing: GlassFish Server as we know it today is deprecated from a full blown product to a toy product."
Without commercial support, Eisele sees Glassfish becoming less and less relevant to Oracle's customers and thus to Oracle and its WebLogic Server as well. Looking ahead, Eisele only sees one open-source JEE Server that he'll be able to recommend to business customers: Red Hat's WildFly, formerly known as JBoss Application Server.