Red Hat Rebrands JBoss App Server 'WildFly'

Red Hat has officially rechristened the JBoss Application Server (JBossAS) project "WildFly," a name selected by members of the open source community in a special election in late 2012. This is more than just a rebranding move, the company insists, but a true "refresh" of the app server project that will offer a faster and more transparent development process.

Mark Little, Red Hat VP of middleware engineering, announced the official name change during his keynote at the JBoss Users and Developers Conference (JUDCon) in Brazil on Friday, calling WildFly the "successor" to the JBossAS community project. WildFly, he said, is part of a long-term plan "to evolve and drive the next generation of application server technologies."

"WildFly continues the decade-long tradition of Red Hat JBoss middleware to push the boundaries of enterprise software development," Little said in a statement. "It also represents a significant opportunity for wider community adoption and involvement."

Development efforts on WildFly 8, the first iteration of the newly renamed project, are focused on certification of the Java EE 7 specification, the company said. That certification "brings simplicity, standardization and embeddability for both cloud and mobile development scenarios." The Java EE 7 specs WebSockets and improvements to Contexts and Dependency Injection (CDI), a Java standard for dependency-injection-based module configuration at runtime, which Red Had pioneered in Java EE 6.

Red Hat expects WildFly will eventually incorporate and support polyglot programming, broad developer ecosystems and the ability to operate in hybrid cloud environments.

"What Red Hat seems to want to do is to create a new brand around its app server, which will increasingly be more than just a Java EE app server," IDC analyst Al Hilwa told "EE7 certification is what they're working on, but the new name is also about differentiation from the unsupported community bits. It think that it's good for Red Hat to invest in a unique brand in the long run and they have done that openly. Developers can download and use the new branded product for no cost and switch to the supported version without disruption when they go into production."

The first WildFly 8 alpha build is scheduled to be available for download in May 2013. More information on the WildFly project is available on and

Currently in version 7, the open source, Java-based JBossAS was first released in 1999. Two years later, JBoss Group was founded to provide technical support services for the software. Marc Fleury, who wrote the first version of JBoss, founded the for-profit, Atlanta-based company to provide "resources, technology direction and core development." Red Hat purchased JBoss in 2006.

The list of new names proposed for the project included: BaseJump, jBeret, Petasos and Jocron. On the Web site, "WildFly" was promoted because "a wild fly is extremely agile, lightweight, untamed and truly free."

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].