Eclipse releases GlassFish 5.1 for Java EE 8

Eclipse Foundation reaches a key Jakarta EE milestone with the release of its own GlassFish application server

Moving forward with its development of enterprise Java, the Eclipse Foundation will provide its own version of the GlassFish application server, which traditionally has served as a reference implementation of the Java EE (Java Enterprise Edition) platform.

Eclipse GlassFish 5.1 is compatible with the Java EE 8 specification and represents the full migration of GlassFish to the open source Eclipse Foundation. The GlassFish application server supports enterprise technologies including JavaServer Faces, Enterprise JavaBeans, and Java Message Service.

From Oracle to Eclipse Foundation

Eclipse, which took over the evolution of enterprise Java from Oracle starting in 2017, said the release serves as a step toward ensuring backward compatibility with Jakarta EE, which is Eclipse’s planned successor to Java EE. The next version of Eclipse GlassFish, Eclipse GlassFish 5.2, will serve as a Jakarta EE 8-compatible reference implementation.

The migration of GlassFish to Eclipse was an “enormous” engineering and legal challenge, the foundation said. GlassFish and Oracle Java EE API contributions to Jakarta EE now are complete. Java EE TCK (test compatibility kits), formerly confidential and proprietary, now are open source and hosted at Eclipse. Also, the Eclipse GlassFish code base was re-licensed from the CDDL-GPL (Common Development and Distribution License, GNU General Public License) and Classpath to the Eclipse Public License 2.0 plus GPL with the Classpath Exception.

From Java EE to Jakarta EE

Jakarta EE is a brand and a set of specifications, just as Java EE was a brand and set of specifications. Java application servers will be moving from Java EE to Jakarta EE. However, the Jakarta EE specification process is still in development. The first release of Jakarta EE will be Jakarta EE 8, equivalent to Java EE 8. Eclipse hopes to release Jakarta EE 8 by mid-year. Afterward, plans call for considering the addition of capabilities such as modularization, microservices, and a reactive, non-blocking model to Jakarta EE. Modularization would keep enterprise Java in sync with Java SE (Standard Edition). Jakarta EE will be focused on cloud-native deplloyments. Eclipse also calls for multiple, compatible reference implementations of Jakarta EE.

Where to download Eclipse GlassFish 5.1

The production release of Eclipse GlassFish 5.1 will be downloadable from Eclipse beginning Tuesday, January 29, 2019.