Feeds

Money gone, people gone: Oracle's open-source blowback

GlassFish sucks dollars, Hudson quietly moves

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Oracle loves open-source projects and technologies – it's just not crazy about other people running them.

Now, Oracle has a growing reason to dislike the projects themselves and it's got everything to do with the two things Oracle values most: money and control.

Oracle has said that customers are picking the former Sun Microsystems' open-source GlassFish Java application server as an alternative to IBM's WebSphere and Red Hat's JBoss app servers. This means that those moving to GlassFish are not taking out an Oracle license for WebLogic, Oracle's flagship application server that they bought with BEA Systems in 2008 for $8.5bn. Oracle picked up GlassFish with a grab bag of other software – including Java – from Sun for $5.6bn.

There are two versions of GlassFish: the free community edition, and the version based on the community code that's sold by Oracle, called Oracle GlassFish Enterprise Server, starting at $5,000 per processor and with a support contract priced at $1,000.

GlassFish Enterprise Server is half the price of WebLogic Server Standard Edition, which starts at $10,000 per CPU with $2,200 in support, according to Oracle's February 2011 price list.

GlassFish was a project kicked out by Sun and intended as a reference implementation of Java Enterprise Edition (Java EE), as Sun tried to undercut more expensive EE implementations on the market – implementations such as, yes, WebLogic.

Ajay Patel, Oracle's vice president of product development for application grid products, put the best possible corporate gloss on GlassFish's success during an Oracle web cast Tuesday discussing the year since Oracle bought Sun.

Patel said that Oracle is giving customers a choice of application servers by offering GlassFish and WebLogic, and that it's making money from the GlassFish support contracts.

He also said, though, that there has been a 20 per cent increase in downloads of GlassFish, and the former Sun's NetBeans open-source IDE, in the year since Oracle's deal to buy Sun closed. Not bad for two projects nobody cared about while Sun was running them.

"GlassFish is getting a lot of momentum – people are moving from IBM and JBoss to GlassFish with the side effect of people adopting the technology and putting it in production," he said.

Patel claimed that one unnamed European carmaker had decided it would "move aggressively" to GlassFish. It's not clear whether that manfacturer had been a WebSphere or JBoss user.

Oracle, meanwhile, has quietly dropped its boisterous and damaging objection to continuous-build management system Project Hudson moving off its hosting servers and on to GitHub. The few remaining members of Hudson have apparently agreed to move Hudson to GitHub, following in the footsteps of the Hudson community who recently voted overwhelmingly to fork and move the project off of Oracle's servers and out of Oracle's control.

Hudson can now be found on GitHub here.

Oracle does not appear to have moved to stop Hudson moving off of its servers and onto GitHub – the very issue that sparked the Hudson fork called Jenkins in the first place. In fact, Oracle's chief Hudson maintainer Winston Prakash reserved an account on GitHub following the Jenkins fork.

The move to GitHub was broached by Sonatype, the software and services company working with the open-source Maven system. Following the Jenkins fork, chief executive Wayne Jackson had said that Sonatype would continue developing for Hudson. Now it looks like Sonatype is following the money – or at least the critical mass of community members, as Hudson now sits on GitHub next to Jenkins.

Oracle had moved to prevent the original GitHub migration by claiming it owned the Hudson name (technically, it doesn't; it has merely applied for a trademark). It said that anybody moving Hudson off its hosting servers could not continue to use the Hudson name. Hudson users wanted to move, citing the unreliability of Oracle's servers.

The Hudson community members voted by 214 to 14 to move and fork, and took with them not just the weight of those working with the project but also Hudson's valuable mailing lists and archives, along with its code. They also created a governance board to run Jenkins.

That left Oracle with just the Hudson name and the old archives and code. With the community gone, Parakesh blogged valiantly at the time that Oracle, partners, and "current Hudson community members ... will continue to build and grow the Hudson project and community."

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.