An Oracle blog about Java Technology

Java EE and GlassFish Server Roadmap Update

Guest Author

2013 has been a stellar year for both the Java EE and GlassFish
Server communities. On June 12, Oracle and its partners announced the release of Java EE 7, which delivers on three major themes – HTML5, developer productivity, and meeting enterprise demands. The online
attracted over 10,000 views in the first two days!

During the online event, Oracle also announced the
availability of GlassFish Server Open Source Edition 4, the world's first Java EE 7 compatible application server. The
primary role of GlassFish Server Open Source Edition has been, and continues to be, driving adoption of the latest release of the Java Platform, Enterprise Edition.
Oracle also announced the Java EE 7 SDK, which bundles GlassFish Server Open Source Edition 4, as a Java EE 7 learning aid. Last, Oracle publicly announced the Java EE 7 reference implementation based on GlassFish Server Open Source Edition 4. Java EE is a popular platform, as evidenced by the 20+
Java EE 6 compatible implementations
available to choose from.

After the launch of Java EE 7 and GlassFish Server Open
Source Edition 4, we began planning the Java EE 8 roadmap, which was covered during the JavaOne Strategy Keynote. To summarize, there is a lot of interest in improving on HTML5 support, Cloud, and investigating NoSQL support. We received a lot of great feedback from the
community and customers on what they would like to see in Java EE 8.

As we approached JavaOne 2013, we started planning the GlassFish
Server roadmap. What we
announced at JavaOne was that GlassFish Server Open Source Edition 4.1 is
scheduled for 2014. Here is an update to that roadmap.

  • GlassFish Server Open Source Edition 4.1 is
    scheduled for 2014
  • We are planning updates as needed to GlassFish
    Server Open Source Edition, which is commercially unsupported
  • As we head towards Java EE 8:
    • The trunk will eventually transition to GlassFish Server Open Source Edition 5 as a Java EE 8 implementation
    • The
      Java EE 8 Reference Implementation will be derived from GlassFish Server Open Source Edition 5. This replicates what has been done in past Java EE and GlassFish Server releases.
  • Oracle will no longer release future major releases of Oracle GlassFish Server with commercial support – specifically
    Oracle GlassFish Server 4.x with commercial Java EE 7 support will not be
  • Commercial Java EE 7 support will be provided from WebLogic Server.
  • Oracle GlassFish Server will not be releasing a
    4.x commercial version

Expanding on that last bullet, new and existing Oracle GlassFish Server 2.1.x and 3.1.x commercial customers will continue to be supported according to the Oracle Lifetime
Support Policy

Oracle recommends that existing commercial Oracle GlassFish Server customers begin planning to move to Oracle WebLogic Server, which is a natural technical and license migration path forward:

  • Applications developed to Java EE standards can be deployed to both GlassFish Server and Oracle WebLogic Server
  • GlassFish Server and Oracle WebLogic Server have implementation-specific deployment descriptor interoperability (here
    and here).
  • GlassFish Server 3.x and Oracle WebLogic Server share quite a bit of code, so there are quite a bit of configuration and (extended) feature similarities. Shared code includes JPA, JAX-RS, WebSockets (pre JSR 356 in both cases), CDI, Bean Validation, JSF, JAX-WS, JAXB, and WS-AT.
  • Both Oracle GlassFish Server 3.x and Oracle WebLogic
    Server 12c support Oracle Access Manager, Oracle Coherence, Oracle Directory Server, Oracle Virtual Directory, Oracle Database, Oracle Enterprise Manager and are entitled to support for the underlying Oracle JDK.

To summarize, Oracle is committed to the future of Java EE.  Java EE 7 has been released and planning for Java EE 8 has begun. GlassFish Server Open Source Edition continues to be the strategic
foundation for Java EE reference implementation going forward. And for developers, updates will be delivered as needed to continue to deliver a great developer experience for GlassFish Server Open Source Edition. We are
planning for GlassFish Server Open Source Edition 5 as the foundation for the Java EE 8 reference implementation, as well as bundling GlassFish Server Open Source Edition 5 in a Java EE 8 SDK, which is the most popular distribution of GlassFish. This will allow GlassFish releases to
be more focused on the Java EE platform and community-driven requirements. We continue to encourage community
, bug
participation on the GlassFish forum,
etc. Going forward, Oracle WebLogic Server will be the single strategic
commercially supported application server from Oracle.

Disclaimer: The preceding
is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for
information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract.It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, and timing of any features or
functionality described for Oracle’s products remains at the sole discretion of

Join the discussion

Comments ( 11 )
  • Antonio Goncalves Monday, November 4, 2013

    The return of the good old J2EESDK : a RI to play with, not to use in production.

    Oracle, if you think that customers will move from WebSphere to Weblogic, or from GlassFish to Weblogic, then we live in different planets. They will move to WildFly or TomEE.

    Future will tell if this is a good or bad strategy (I already have my point of view on the topic, and could even bet on it).

    Antonio (a former BEA employee and Weblogic consultant)

  • guest Tuesday, November 5, 2013

    Antonio, thanks for the comment.

    To put the GlassFish roadmap in perspective, neither WildFly nor TomEE are commercially supported. WildFly does not have the same code stability or QA investment of JBoss EAP (as positioned by Red Hat), and TomEE does not support the full Java EE platform specification. In this context, GlassFish should continue to get strong consideration. GlassFish is also the only open source application server that currently supports Java EE 7 (full platform and/or Web Profile) -- so far.

    GlassFish and WebLogic share quite a bit of code, and that helps with application and configuration portability between the two. So, organizations can continue to develop on GlassFish and leverage that development by deploying on WebLogic.

  • Antonio Goncalves Tuesday, November 5, 2013

    I don't know the internals of Weblogic, but I'm sure its code if far away from GlassFish (that's why Oracle can't follow it up, maintaining two different code bases is a lot of work). WildFly == JBoss (same code, different QA process).

    Next year, I might add another comment to this blog entry asking "how many engineers in the GlassFish team in 2012/2013/2014". I'm pretty sure it will be a decreasing number : organizations will not develop on a J2EESDK that does only implement specifications and not suited for production.

  • zhifeng hu Wednesday, November 6, 2013

    Hope Java going to stronger than ever before. Oracle, Do your best to keep running.

  • David Blevins Wednesday, November 6, 2013

    Note to guest. Apache TomEE is commercially supported via Tomitribe, announced this JavaOne. The main parts of the Full Profile that TomEE does not support are CORBA and JAX-RPC. Things like JMS, JAX-WS and JAX-RS are all there in TomEE Plus.

  • guest Thursday, November 7, 2013

    The problem with having Glassfish being just a RI and not having commercial support from Oracle is that usually a RI just comply with the spec but it lacks of good performance and doesn't enjoy security audits. How many iterations will pass until Glassfish code start to suffer issues on this aspects?

  • Reza Rahman Thursday, November 7, 2013

    Keep in mind, continued community contributions towards total quality is always welcome, just as it is for OpenJDK.

  • John Clingan Thursday, November 7, 2013

    Guest, thanks for the comment. GlassFish is not just the RI. It is also an open source distribution. Java EE licensees license the RI, which is a subset of GlassFish Server Open Source Edition. For example, the RI does not include the administration console. We are also working with Serli (major community contributor) to include a new feature in GlassFish Server Open Source Edition 4.1 called Production Redeployment.

    In addition, Oracle takes security very seriously, and GlassFish Server Open Source Edition must comply with Oracle security policies. We will continue to address security vulnerabilities. For example, the Java EE SDK, which bundles GlassFish and the JDK, has been tracking the latest JDK Critical Patch Update, and we plan to release a refresh soon.

    Serli: http://www.serli.com/

    Production Redeployment: https://wikis.oracle.com/display/GlassFish/ProductionRedeployment

  • DE Thursday, November 7, 2013

    What version of Weblogic supports jee7? I don 't see this specifically stated in the wls docs

  • Arturo Tena (aka 'guest') Friday, November 8, 2013

    @John Clingan,

    Thank you for the clarification ("GlassFish is not just the RI. It is also an open source distribution.") My fears were that nobody would take care of the performance and security areas. BTW, Glassfish is great. Good job!

    Now, is there some official slide or document from Oracle in which it is clarified that Glassfish is the testbed for the new features of Java EE, and WebLogic is the current Oracle offering of a robust and production-quality product? I think it may be of interest to my employer.

    P.D. In this form, if you preview your comment, your name will be reverted back to guest. That's why I commented as "guest" before :)


  • John Clingan Friday, November 8, 2013

    Arturo, thank you for the comment and product compliment!

    The best place to point your employer is to this blog entry, or the "formal" location for commercial customers is on My Oracle Support (knowledge id 1598393.1). The content of the two is pretty similar.

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