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

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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.

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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.

Comments:

Do you use subversion?

Posted by Sean on April 01, 2008 at 02:23 AM PDT #

Hi Sean, sorry for the delay replying - Yes, we are using Subversion. The long-term destination is Hg, but we moved from CVS to SVN as an interim step. - eduard/o

Posted by Eduardo Pelegri-Llopart on July 23, 2008 at 12:52 AM PDT #

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