Why should I buy a subscription when community support is good enough?

Sun’s fiscal year recently came to an end and I can tell you that GlassFish subscriptions are doing well. I can’t really say more other than it includes many new customers. Winning new customers is hard, so we’re pretty happy. I’ve previously commented on the value of support but in the meantime, I’ve heard other concerns which I’d like to adress here.

There is no one good true model for open source monetization and I don’t pretend ours is perfect, but here’s what you get when you buy a GlassFish subscription. Feedback welcome.

Hotline for Bug fixing

Of course you could say that community support (email, forum, blogs) is really good and maybe good enough. Fair enough. When you file issues (remember, we love bug reports, we’re even about to give away $50,000 to bug submitters), it is considered as community support and thus best effort on Sun’s side. As a side note, we probably have progress to make in bug triage but that’s a different topic. The only reliable way to escalate an issue and have it fixed is the GlassFish subscription. This is what will get your bug fixed and delivered to you under an SLA.

Access to patches

sunsolve.sun.com is where patches (incremental add-ons to a production system vs. reinstall of an unknown quality build from glassfish.org’s trunk) are made available to customers with GlassFish subscriptions. Eduardo is maintaining a high-quality blog about everything released via that mechanism at blogs.oracle.com/GlassFishForBusiness. Take a look and see what you’re missing out on. GlassFish v2ur2 Patch 2 should be out day now.


It seems that the value of indemnification heavily depends on the part of the world you’re from, ranging from “absolute must-have” to “indemnifi-what?”. In a nutshell, Sun takes extreme care in managing is source code which includes things like the Sun Contributor Agreement (SCA) which enable us to provide the protect you from patent claims people expect.

Questions? Suggestions? Fire!


Author: alexismp

Google Developer Relations in Paris.