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Glassfish NetBeans highlights

by Rob Barry

Though Oracle has lately worked to quell concerns that it might dump support for Sun Microsystem’s GlassFish application server and NetBeans IDE, many still feel doubtful that any legitimate resources will back the open source tools.

In a discussion on TheServerSide.com, some saw Oracle’s message as perhaps a small comfort rather than a great reassurance.

“I think that in the short period, it would be difficult for Oracle to suspend any big activity by Sun,” wrote Francesco Ladanza, “as it would lose part of the splendid open source community that is one of the best values that Sun has earned in these years.”

Oracle will want to get as much value from the Sun acquisition as possible and it is tough to ignore the open source community that GlassFish has developed. Bill Wilkins wrote that the fact that GlassFish V3 is built on an OSGi core may also make it attractive to the company’s app server strategy.

That being considered, GlassFish would be competing with the Oracle WebLogic Server and Netbeans with JDeveloper and Enterprise Pack for Eclipse. Those are more internally-competing products than Oracle may be able to justify in the mid-term, Wilkins wrote.

The jury is out on whether Oracle will condense these pieces of Sun’s legacy into existing products or allow them to develop in tandem. But Jens Eckels was not exactly reassured.

“It’s hard not to notice they never said they were committing to monetarily supporting NetBeans strategically, or that they see it as a viable entity,” said Eckels. “They specifically talk about throwing money at other Sun products, and then carefully tread around NetBeans with “committed to choice” and “complement” language.”

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