Sunday Dec 18, 2011

Difference between GlassFish Open Source and Commercial Editions

The GlassFish Server Open Source Edition provides a full Java EE 6 compliant, free, and an open source application server. It is also available in a Web Profile distribution and can be downloaded from The grey box in the diagram below shows functionality in the open source distribution. It is an easy-to-use (zip installer and NetBeans/Eclipse/IntelliJ integration), light-weight (downloads starting at 30MB, small disk/memory footprint), and modular (OSGi-based, containers start on demand) application server. It also provides clustering with high availability and centralized administration using CLI, web-based administration console, and REST APIs. The open source edition is supported using the GlassFish Forums and other social media channels.

The Oracle GlassFish Server is Oracle's commercially supported GlassFish Server distribution. The diagram below shows the additional set of features offered in the commercial edition above and beyond the open source edition. The Oracle GlassFish Server Control is a suite of features that improves performance, allows automatic backup of configuration and application data, enables fine-grained monitoring, and enables more secure and highly available production deployments. The customers also get 24 x 7 support all through out the year, priority for their bug fixes and patches/hot fixes for them. Indemnification protects you from legal action associated with the open source software distributed by Oracle. This edition can be downloaded for evaluation from OTN but a license is required for production use. Learn more about how support and sustaining is provided as part of the commercial distribution here.

In summary, GlassFish Server Open Source Edition has the following features:
  • Free community-supported application server
  • Full Java EE 6 platform support and Web Profile support
  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight; starts in a few seconds
  • Modular and extensible architecture (OSGi)
  • Fastest open source application server (
  • Clustering and centralized administration
  • Production reliability
  • Available from
Oracle GlassFish Server provide the following additional benefits:
  • Oracle's commercially supported GlassFish Server distribution
  • Includes Open Source Edition features
  • GlassFish Server Control (pdf)
  • 24 x 7 x 365 Oracle Support
  • Priority for bug fixes & feature enhancements
  • Patches, hot fixes
  • Indemnification
  • Available for evaluation via OTN license
  • Requires a license for production use

If you are using Oracle GlassFish Server 3.0.1 or 3.1.1 or commercially supported version of GlassFish 2.x then the following patches are relevant for you:

Here are some additional links to stay updated:

Thursday Nov 18, 2010

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


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


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