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ZeroTurnaround Announces Free Version of JRebel as Part of 4.5 Update

by Charles Humble on Sep 21, 2011 |

ZeroTurnaround today released JRebel 4.5 and announced JRebel Social, a beta version of their popular "redeploy killer" that is free for non-commercial use, provided you are willing to give ZeroTurnaround access to your social network.

JRebel, which can be thought of as a more extensive Hotswap, allows Java developers to instantly see any code change they make, without the need to build or redeploy the application. A previous InfoQ article provides many of the technical details.

According to today's announcement, the 4.5 release includes support for:

  • Java 7, JBoss AS 7, Apache Wink, Spring Web Services, JAXB
  • Managed beans and JSF components
  • Injecting EJB references into Servlets on WebLogic 10.3.x & GlassFish 3.x
  • Adding new EJBs to JBoss 6
  • A new embedded JRebel plugin for IntelliJ IDEA

JRebel is available as a yearly subscription, starting at US$265 per developer, per year for the Base edition. The company also offers an Enterprise edition, which includes a License Server that supports "floating" licenses and management reporting for larger teams. Premium Support for teams of 10 and larger is also available.

JRebel Social, currently offered in beta, is free to use for non-commercial projects. It requires you to allow ZeroTurnaround to use your Facebook or Twitter account to let everyone know how much time you've saved. David Booth, CEO of ZeroTurnaround, told us

Once a month, through Facebook or Twitter, we'll make a post that says, "This month I saved x hours, eliminated Y redeploys using JRebel Social for free." In return for that little bit of access to someone's social network, and the caveat that you are not using it on commercial products, we thought everyone should be able to use JRebel.

Of course, since you are giving ZeroTurnaround access to your social network there is an element of trust here. In the case of the Twitter version, for example, you specifically authorise ZeroTurnaround to:

  • Read Tweets from your timeline
  • See who you follow, and follow new people
  • Update your profile
  • Post Tweets for you

This said, Booth did stress to InfoQ on the phone that ZeroTurnaround has no plans to access user information from the social sites as they're not interested in data collection, and are too busy anyway for that type of work. 

The decision to offer a free version of the product is quite bold. ZeroTurnaround started life within another company called Webmedia. They went from a 2 person team at the beginning of 2008 to their current size of around 30 people, seeing annual growth of 200-300% over the last 3 years. In July of this year Bain Capital Ventures bought out Webmedia Group's ownership of the company, though ZeroTurnaround isn't Venture Capital funded, surviving entirely off their JRebel revenue.

The firm has received a large number of awards this year, including a Jolt Productivity Award, JAX 2011 Most Innovative Java Technology, and Estonian Innovation 2011.

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