Open Source and Product Support

Briefly...

A customer using the Sun Java System Application Server (SJS AS) 9.0 product ran into a problem. Knowing that this product is based on the GlassFish open source project, the customer sought help from the GlassFish community by posting in the GlassFish forum. I and some others joined the discussion through the forum and through e-mail exchanges outside the forum. We made some progress but after a while we hit the limit to what we could do along the lines of free support through the community. I'm sure we would have eventually found the problem and resolved it, but we just couldn't devote more cycles to it at that time via the community.

Fortunately, this customer has a paid support agreement with Sun for the SJS AS 9.0 product. The customer opened a formal support case with us, which helps Sun mobilize other people to work on it. And, frankly, it helps to raise the priority of the issue with people - me included - who had already spent some time on it but couldn't devote further effort to it via free community support. With Sun support and engineering now involved formally we could apply additional people, time, and diagnostic tools that helped us identify exactly what was happening on the customer's system.

Eventually, the support folks and I discovered that the problem was exposed by one key aspect of the customer's configuration, but not before accessing the customer's system remotely (with permission!) and doing a fair amount of detective work duplicating the scenario on our systems at Sun. I found a fix that worked in our environment, and the support team provided it to the customer for testing to see if it worked there as well. It did, and the fix will appear in a future build of GlassFish and a future release of the SJS AS.

The point of this story is this: Timely and accurate help via forums and mailing lists is a key component of a vibrant open-source community, and I think we're seeing that more and more in the GlassFish community. Paid support from the vendor of a product based on open-source software - like support from Sun for SJS AS - brings an added level of resources and commitment that for many customers is worth the investment.

[shameless plug follows] You can find out more about Sun's software support offerings here.

GlassFish



Comments:

We're looking into support for a new manufacturing application we're putting into production. We know there are some issues in the 9.0 download from the Sun site that are fixed in the latest glassfish 9.0 ur1 release. Does the support allow us to use 9.0 ur1 instead of the one from the Sun site? Thanks, Dave

Posted by Dave on October 24, 2006 at 04:59 AM CDT #

Hi, Dave. This is not an official answer, but because there is not Sun Java System Application Server release 9.0 UR1 yet that is released (although it is very close), my guess is that there would be no official support for the GlassFish download...at least not yet. I am checking internally to see if I can get the folks in the support organization talking with you. - Tim

Posted by Tim Quinn on October 24, 2006 at 05:52 AM CDT #

Thanks Tim, If it helps, the support would be on 4-5 new Solaris servers running 9.0 UR1, 3 of which are already ordered (CDW). This is one of those projects that if it takes off, will lead to more purchases of hardware and software from Sun. :-) Dave

Posted by Dave on October 25, 2006 at 01:47 AM CDT #

hi Dave, Your question was: Does the Sun support contract allows a customer to use 9.0 UR1 instead of the one from Sun site ?

The official answer is "yes"!.

The AS PE9.0 UR1 is being released on 10/30/06 and if customers have an active support contract (Standard or Premium), it will support the new upgrade (UR1). Support contracts (standard or Premium) will allow the customer to use 9.0 UR1.

I would suggest that you contact your Sun sales representative or Account Manager for details on the support contracts. Please let us know if you have any further questions.

Cheers, Vasanth

Posted by Vasanth on October 26, 2006 at 10:34 AM CDT #

Excellent!! That just made my week. BTW, the Java webstart support for app clients is just flipping cool. Of course I think the whole project I'm doing is rather cool. I have a Swing GUI built in Netbeans/Matisse, with a JEE (Glassfish) server dealing out Oracle apps. information to the clients, and I'm relaying PLC information via a Java modbus library to the clients via JMS for furnace control temperatures and forging press data. Not your typical everyday humdrum enterprise app. ;-) Thanks Tim and Vasanth.

Posted by Dave on October 26, 2006 at 11:54 AM CDT #

Hi Dave. Nice to heard about happy customers. We are beginning to collect public descriptions of deployments based on GlassFish in a Wiki page [1]. I have captured this thread in there but if you wanted to give us more details - and gain some more fame :-) - drop us an email. The app sounds fun enough that others will likely want to hear about it. [1] http://www.glassfishwiki.org/gfwiki/Wiki.jsp?page=GlassFishAdoption - eduard/o

Posted by Eduardo Pelegri-Llopart on October 27, 2006 at 01:38 AM CDT #

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News and musings on the technology I work on at Oracle.

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