Oracle GlassFish Server and GlassFish Server Open Source Edition

The basic GlassFish model has remained constant since its first releases: this note is a revised version of Still No Bait and Switch, itself a revised version of Bait and Switch?. Also see the companion GlassFish Commercial Offerings from Oracle.

Oracle provides two main distributions of GlassFish: the GlassFish Server Open Source Edition and the Oracle GlassFish Server, both delivered using IPS packages.

The GlassFish Server Open Source Edition is available under an Open Source license (CDDL and GPLv2 licenses - you can pick whichever you want) and is supported by the Community, which Oracle leads and where it participates through many activities including Mailing Lists, Forums and Social Forums.

The Oracle GlassFish Server is available with the standard Oracle evaluation and production licenses (the OTN evaluation license) and builds on the GlassFish Server Open Source Edition by adding Oracle branding elements and AddOns - the only AddOn in GlassFish 3.0.1 is the Oracle GlassFish Server Control but other releases may have additional AddOns. Note that since Oracle GlassFish Server adds to the GlassFish Open Source Edition, the packages shared across the two releases are enterprise-quality.

Oracle only provides commercial support for the Oracle distribution but installing the extra IPS modules to upgrade to it from the Open Source Edition is very easy which means users can start with one and switch to the other when they are ready to buy support, or when they want to try or use the features in the AddOns.

The transitions across releases are facilitated by the consistent use of IPS as the basic packaging mechanism in GlassFish 3. All distributions (ZIP or native, for the web profile or for the full platform, public or patch releases) include the appropriate IPS packages and can later be managed as such. This is true even when GlassFish is Used in a Closed Networks

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