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Eclipse GlassFish 5.1 Released

The Eclipse Foundation yesterday announced the release of GlassFish 5.1, considered a major milestone release belying the modest increase in its version number. GlassFish 5.1 comprises the full migration of GlassFish and associated Technology Compatibility Kit (TCK) code to Foundation stewardship.

This release of the open source Java EE reference implementation is the first since the Foundation became the steward of enterprise Java last year. Now called Eclipse GlassFish, it has been fully tested under both the newly open source TCK and the proprietary Oracle Java EE 8 TCK. It represents more than 13 million lines of code and 95,000 files, the Foundation said in a statement.

"We were able to onboard all of GlassFish, which has a huge, very mature code base," said Mike Milinkovich, executive director of the Eclipse Foundation, in a statement. "And we open-sourced the Java EE TCKs, which was an enormous change for the Java EE ecosystem. Shipping Eclipse GlassFish is a major milestone in fully establishing the Jakarta EE specification process, a major advance for the future of enterprise Java."

In an earlier ADTmag interview, Milinkovich underscored the importance of open sourcing the TCKs, which had been confidential and proprietary. "The fact that the TCKs are now open source and have become an integral part of migrating this code base forward -- that ability to do this open, public testing all the time is really going to help us innovate," he said. "And the community now has the ability to inspect tests and give feedback, and to give us more, better tests, which means we can expand the test coverage over time."

This release of GlassFish was tested with the open TCKs running on Eclipse Foundation hardware, Milinkovich said, ensuring that Eclipse GlassFish is Java EE 8 compatible.

The migration of GlassFish was an enormous engineering challenge, but also a legal one, because of Oracle's previously proprietary interest in the technology.

With this release, the Eclipse GlassFish code base has been re-licensed from CDDL+GPL and Classpath to Eclipse Public License 2.0 plus GPL with the Classpath Exception.

The migration effort actually started with EclipseLink and Yasson, which were already at the Eclipse Foundation. The first projects that were transferred from Oracle GitHub were JSONP, JMS, WebSocket and OpenMQ, work that was finished in January 2018. The GlassFish repository and CTS/TCK repositories were transferred in September 2018.

Because GlassFish is the reference implementation of Java EE, it supports Enterprise JavaBeans, JPA, JavaServer Faces, JMS, RMI, JavaServer Pages and Servlets.

The next version, Eclipse GlassFish 5.2, will be a Jakarta EE 8 compatible, the Foundation said, thanks to the support of all of the major vendors with Java EE 8 compatible versions of their commercial products. The companies have all committed to ensuring their products are Jakarta EE 8 compatible as well, the Foundation said.

In a great blog post, Payara's Arjan Tijms, a long-time Java EE developer, provides a chronicle of GlassFish's evolution, from the 1996 release of the Kiva enterprise Java app server.

GlassFish 5.1 can be downloaded here.

Posted by John K. Waters on January 30, 2019