GlassFish is not the first Sun product Oracle has given up trying to directly make money on, following its 2011 decision to submit the OpenOffice.org code base to the Apache Software Foundation.
Oracle's decision regarding GlassFish didn't come as a huge surprise to technology consultant Markus Eisele.
"GlassFish was something to worry about right from the start," Eisele wrote in a blog post on Tuesday, noting that Oracle killed its own application server in favor of WebLogic, which it gained by purchasing BEA.
But in fact, "Oracle did a decent job in nurturing the [Glassfish] community and keeping their stuff together," Eisele said. However, "Oracle obviously did not make enough money out of the commercial licenses otherwise they wouldn't have killed the offering at all," he added.
But GlassFish may suffer as a purely open source project, in Eisele's view. "If a vendor is not only developing an open source alternative but also has a commercial offering, this leads to different things that will be taken care of implicitly," such as the fact that bugs found by customers will end up in the open-source release, he wrote. In addition, "customers demand more frequent releases and security patches which also end up in the OSS version."
It would be beneficial for GlassFish users if Oracle created a "clear upgrade path" to WebLogic, he added. "Find a way to at least support a development setting based on a very lightweight server and only deploy to a full blown [WebLogic Server] in production."
Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com