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Red Hat Renames JBoss Application Server to WildFly, Opens Up Commercial AS Binaries to All

by Charles Humble on Apr 24, 2013 |

Leading Linux vendor Red Hat has announced at JUDCon Brazil that JBoss Application Server is being renamed WildFly, said to represent JBoss AS's "extremely agile, lightweight, untamed and truly free" nature. Mailing lists, domains and other elements bearing the name JBoss AS are currently being renamed.

The decision to rename was taken to avoid confusion, with the JBoss brand referring to the application server, the JBoss Community, and a range of other JBoss Products.

The new name was chosen via a public vote in 2012, with members of the JBoss community asked to choose from five options selected from more than 2,000 submitted by the public. The alternatives were BaseJump (which ended up in 2nd place), jBeret (which was 3rd), Petasos, and Jocron.

According to the press release "WildFly represents both a brand refresh for the project and a renewal of its vision to drive the next generation of application server technologies".

In a separate announcement detailed by JBoss technical director Mark Little, Red Hat have started to make the binaries for their Enterprise Application Platform available for developers to download under an LPGL license for free.

...from the point where we start to productise the community project (e.g., AS7.1) we will release all product builds that we create as a result of this process into the community (e.g., EAP 6.0 Alpha 1, which is based on AS 7.1) so that all developers within our communities or with our customers can take advantage of them immediately. There will be no other community binaries for that major release of the community project after that point because the product builds are effectively a superset and we hope more beneficial to most developers. Of course community builds of the next major revision of the project will happen in parallel so you'll be able to contribute to and track those separately, so it's not a case of replacing community with product-only binaries. We're also changing the download processes and license for EAP so that it is as easy for developers to get hold of these bits as it is to get the community binaries. The net result is that everyone gets to experience the product whether or not they buy a full subscription with support.

The JBoss FAQ page says that there are no restrictions on how developers can use the binary, but strongly advise not using it in production without a contract with JBoss. Little suggested to InfoQ that he wasn't too concerned however - "That happens today and has happened since JBoss was started last decade. In fact it's what happens to all open source projects," he told us.

The new WildFly FAQ suggests that other than the name change not much else will change, at least in the short term. WildFly will continue to be a free download, and the WildFly open source project will remain the upstream project for Red Hat's commercial JBoss Enterprise Application Platform. WildFly even adopts JBoss AS's version numbering.

Whilst Mark Little hints at "a lot of other announcements over the coming months around WildFly" he didn't give much else away when we contacted him. We do know however that the first iteration of the project, WildFly 8, will be focussed on earning certification of the forthcoming Java EE 7 specification which is now expected to be released on May 13th.

Java EE 7 was originally planned for release at the end of last year, but suffered delays and cuts with both the headline cloud features and long-overdue caching API delayed to a future release. That said, it still comprises a number of welcome additions including Message Service 2.0, Batch Applications for the Java Platform, a Java API for JSON processing, a WebSocket API, and JAX-RS 2.0, as well as a minor update to the Bean Validation Specification.

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