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Sun To Provide Commercial Support for Glassfish

Sun is ramping up for the final release later this year of its next generation Glassfish Java EE application server. Glassfish V2, currently in beta, won't just be for developers but will also be suitable for full production deployments and will be commercially supported by Sun.

Glassfish is Sun's community project to develop a Java EE 5 application server reference implementation. Oracle is also a key contributor to the effort with its persistence framework, which Oracle is now also expanding with the Eclipse Foundation.

Out of the Glassfish effort, vendors will be able to use it as a base for their own Java EE 5 implementations. Among them is Sun's own Java System Application Server Enterprise Edition which was updated recently.

Ken Drachnik, community development and marketing manager for the Open Source Group told internetnews.com that the community using Glassfish has grown dramatically since version 1 was released.

"Glassfish version 1 was geared toward developers as a development platform," Drachnik explained. "Version 2 has the features from the enterprise version the Sun Application Server than enables people to use Glassfish in very high volume enterprise deployments."

Among those enterprise class features are clustering, administration and load balancing support that will enable Glassfish V2 to be highly scalable. Additionally, Glassfish V2 includes Web Services Interoperability Technology (WSIT) that integrates Web services with Web application technology and enables better interoperability between Microsoft Windows and Sun Java platforms.

The reason why Sun is rolling enterprise class features in their open source application server is simple. "We see enterprise starting to use open source Glassfish in production," Drachnik said.

With enterprise class features Sun will also be stepping up to the plate with full commercial support as well.

"Glassfish is a fully capable application server and Sun is going to sell it," Paul Hinz, director of application platform product management told internetnews.com. "We're going to come up with a few models of subscription based pricing."

In addition to enterprise features and support, Sun is also pushing Glassfish further into platforms beyond Sun's Solaris. Last November, Sun announced a deal with Ubuntu Linux to get Glassfish included as part of the Ubuntu Linux Distribution. Hinz noted that work on that effort is ongoing.

"Ubuntu Feisty Fawn is due to be released on April 19th," Hinz said. "We're right in the final throes of getting the licensing and final packaging considerations put together for that."