Wednesday Nov 05, 2008

Overview of GlassFish 3

GlassFish 3 is the third major Open Source release of what was originally Sun's Application Server.

The earlier releases GlassFish were under Sun ownership: GlassFish v1 (also released as the Sun Java System Application Server 9.0), GlassFish v2 (Sun Java System Application Server 9.1) and GlassFish v3.0.1 (Sun GlassFish Enterprise Server v3.0.1), but later releases have been done under Oracle ownership. The names and numbers have changed slightly under Oracle: the Open Source, Community, version is the GlassFish Server Open Source Edition, while the commercial distribution is called the Oracle GlassFish Server.

GlassFish 3 is a modular App Server built on an OSGi core. GlassFish 3 implements the Java EE 6 standards, including the new Web Profile; it is a small but highly performant app server that has very fast start-up, application deployment and re-deployment, is embeddable and can be updated through an update center. GlassFish 3 has tool support from all the major IDEs and supports non-Java languages.

All public releases also have an accompanying commercial, for-fee releases, but there are also sustaining releases only available through our Enterprise Support for GlassFish. All GlassFish 3 releases and patches are distributed as collections of IPS packages, which simplifies Upgrading Across Releases and Installing Patches.

Major releases use the "dot" terminology, starting with "3.0", then going to "3.1", etc. "Dot dot" releases are minor releases. The releases under Sun used the "v"; this has been dropped in the releases under Oracle.

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. The "No-Cost" term denotes a free release, while the "Restricted" term denotes a commercial release.

The current releases are:

GlassFish v3 Prelude (No-Cost - November 6th, 2008)
GlassFish v3 Preview (No-Cost - June 1st, 2009)
GlassFish v3 (No-Cost - December 10th, 2009)
  Oracle Completes Acquisition of Sun
GlassFish 3.0.1 (Community and Commercial - June 17th, 2010)
GlassFish 3.0.1 Patch 1 (Commercial - November 8th, 2010)

In a graphical presentation:

We strongly encourage users interested in the "v3" functionality to go directly to the latest version of the GlassFish 3 family. The v3 releases are developed in parallel with continued support releases in the GlassFish v2 family; users and customers interested in clustering and state replication should use GlassFish v2 until these features show up in GlassFish 3.1. Entries related to roadmaps are tagged as Roadmap@TheAquarium.

Note This is a running entry and will be updated as new releases occur.
Note-2 Entry has been back-dated so it shows before all the v3 releases.

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

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