Sunday Mar 30, 2008

SJS AS 9.0 (GF v1) - Public Release

GlassFish v1 was released at JavaOne 2006, May 2006, a year after announcing the project. GF v1 is based on the same code base as the JavaEE 5 Reference Implementation; the RI is a specific snapshot in time of GF that is provided by the JavaEE 5 Spec Lead (Sun) to the JCP, and thus GF v1 was the first AppServer that was JavaEE 5 compliant. GFv1, like later versions, was in the different JavaEE 5-based SDKs available from Sun (download page).

GlassFish v1 builds on earlier versions of Sun's AppServers, and also includes Oracle's contribution of TopLink Essentials to provide the JPA 1.0 implementation. It is Open Source and fully Free Right-to-Use. GF v1 does have some of the enterprise features of GF v2, like cluster support, but it is nevertheless a very useful release in production as shown in the early testimonials in our Adoption Stories.

The Sun distribution of GlassFish v1 is Sun Java System Application Server 9.0 and there is full commercial support for it; see GFv1 Overview.

The Java.Net distribution of this release is still available at GFv1 b48. I can't find a public link to the corresponding build at Sun.Com.

The latest public release of the GF v1 branch is GlassFish v1 U1 but we encourage new users to start directly with the latest GlassFish v2 public release. See Overview of GFv1.

Release Overview

Description
Major Release, GFv1.

Release Date
May 04, 2006

Status
OBSOLETE. Replaced by GlassFish v1 U1.

Overview of SJS AS 9.0 (GF v1) Releases

GlassFish v1 is Sun's first Open Source release of Sun's App Server; the corresponding Sun branded distribution is Sun Java System Application Server 9.0, reflecting many earlier, closed-source, releases of ancestors of this code base. The original release was aligned with the final release of Java EE 5.

All patches are cumulative, i.e. fixes are accumulated in subsequent releases and the last digit in the release number often, but not always, matches its name; e.g. -01 is "Patch 1", but note that -05 is "Patch 4"!

The "No-Cost" term denotes a free release, while the "Restricted" term denotes one only available through the for-fee subscription service, see Support Overview and How to Install a Patch Screencast

The releases and patches so far are:

SJS AS 9.0 (No-Cost - May 2006)
SJS AS 9.0 U1 (No-Cost - Oct 06)
SJS AS 9.0 U1 Patch 1 (Restricted - Dec 14, 2006)
SJS AS 9.0 U1 Patch 2 (Restricted - Jan 25, 2007)
SJS AS 9.0 U1 Patch 3 (Restricted - Mar 22, 2007)
SJS AS 9.0 U1 Patch 4 (Restricted - Oct 25, 2007)
SJS AS 9.0 U1 Patch 5 (Restricted - Sep 15, 2008)

Note: Most customers should consider switching to the GlassFish v2-based releases (SJS AS 9.1) as they have improvements in functionality, reliability and performance.

Note: Many of the links above are forward links to entries that I will publish in the next day or two.

Installing a GlassFish Patch - a Screencast

Added (on November 13th, 2008) - The links below no longer work. Check this Updated Entry for a workaround.

Yael has put together a screencast that shows how to get GlassFish Enterprise Support (see my previous post). The screencast covers the different portions of the experience, from buying subscription online to contacting Sun to installing the patches.

You probably want to start at the Top Page and use the left menu to navigate through the different sections. The top page starts with the introduction but give it a few sections to get started if you are in a slow connection.

Introduction
• How to Buy Subscription Online
• How to Contact Sun Online
• How to get Access to Patches
• How to Request Service Online

Note: This is Yael's first screencast and I also did some editing to the configuration files while posting them here, so let us know if you see any issues and/or feedback and we will try to fix them. From where I'm at now (an internet cafe with slow connection), I already see:

• You should wait a few seconds for the image to get started in each segment
• Stop/Pause/Resume is either flakey or not working

Saturday Mar 29, 2008

GlassFish Enterprise Support from Sun

Sun provides different types of GlassFish Support, including for-fee Professional Services and Engineering Services, free Community Support and a for-fee Enterprise-Quality Sustaining Support. When people ask for "GlassFish Support" they usually mean the latter as a way to support the use of GlassFish in a production environment, so that's where I'll start.

The first thing to understand is the basic release cycle of GlassFish: there are Daily, Weekly, Milestones (frequency varies) and Final Releases. Each Milestone is a mini-release cycle, with its own stabilization phase at the end.

DailyWeeklyMilestone Releases

Although Milestone releases are quite stable, they are not intended for production deployment and Sun provides formal Sustaining Support only for final releases. Of course, since this is Open Source so you make your own risk assessment and go on production with, say, a Release Candidate milestone, but we may discover a bad bug that may cause significant changes before the actual final release.

The next thing to understand is the relationship between the App Server builds you can get from the GlassFish web site at Java.Net and those you can get directly from Sun's download pages at Sun.Com (like the Java EE SDK Downloads). As I explained previously in my No Bait and Switch note, there are no differences in the JARs in the two distributions, the only differences are the installer, the presence of a few extra JDBC drivers and that Java.Net has all the builds: daily, weekly, and all milestones and finals, while the Sun.Com distros only have the most stable milestones (called EA, TP, or Betas) and the Final releases.

Now I can describe the sustaining story for GlassFish. We use carefully controlled repositories forked from those of the Final GF Releases into which we contribute fixes for important bugs. We create regular sustaining patches from that repository that are available to commercial subscribers (via SunSolve), as well as the usual 24x7, worldwide support, knowledge database, etc (see my note on Commercial Support) and Alexis's Support for GlassFish - What's in it for me

ALT DESCR
ALT DESCR

To ensure that the bugs don't reappear, we also propagate the bug fixes in the sustaining repositories into the public repositories, although the timing and details of this will vary depending on the cycle, and, of course, the public repositories also receive many other changes at the same time, some of which will be new bugs :-(. This process is described in my note on Productizing Open Source - The GlassFish Approach.

Finally, Alexis' Note also explained how sustaining tests the bug fixes, including longevity testing, to ensure the bug fixes are very solid.

ALT DESCR

With all of this in context, many of the posts in this blog will correspond to individual sustaining (aka patch) releases and will describe the bugs fixed in there. We will start with the patches for the GFv1 branch and then will cover the current, v2, branch.

I hope we have explained the role of the sustaining releases in the support offering. If you are interested in purchasing support, talk to your Sun representative, or Buy Support Online.

Introducing a new Blog - GlassFish For Business

This is the first post in a new group news blog: GlassFish For Business.

GlassFish For Busness will provide information on Sun's offerings related to the GlassFish community, including the GlassFish Application Server and OpenMQ Server. We will cover the basics of the subscription offerings from Sun, the differences between the free community releases and the for-fee commercial releases, training (free, for-fee, web-based, instructor-led), consulting-services (professional, engineering), other distributions, Update Center, Sun Partners for GlassFish, etc.

Our goal is to cover all the aspects needed for the successful deployment of GlassFish in production / commercial situations and, over time, we may expand the topics covered here based on your feedback.

This blog complements and builds on other existing blogs, including:

The Aquarium - focused on the Community activity
Stories - informal articles on GF in production
GlassFish Podcasts - interviews and more

There are a number of bloggers that write about GlassFish, some notable mentions include Miles to Go and Bistro!; we try to cover them all at TheAquarium (you can also try the experimental GlassFish Planet). TheAquarium itself is localized to several languages, including English, Chinese, Spanish, Japanese, Russian and Korean.

Like TheAquarium, GlassFish For Business is a Group Blog and several authors will collaborate to cover the different topics and to keep the information current.

This blog will include a series of posts for all the free (public) and for-fee distributions. Moving forward we will try to publish these entries as soon as the releases are available but since a number of these distributions were made available before we started this blog, we will retroactively document them as a reference point for our readers.

About

Oracle's announcements related to using GlassFish software in production.

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