Over the years as JBoss and then Red Hat, we've tried very hard to ensure that we work as an open organisation helping our communities. Whether you're a paying customer using the subscription to get great support, or an organisation/individual who doesn't need support (maybe because you can self support) you're all important to the wider success of JBoss and enterprise open source. Now prior to Red Hat, we at JBoss would support pretty much any combination of projects and their versions, as well as the cross-product combination. Of course that couldn't scale indefinitely and when we were acquired by Red Hat we moved to a more stable and scalable solution: the products would only be based on a very specific version of each project at a given point. I won't go into the details of how we take the projects and create the products but suffice it to say that there's a lot of work done by the development teams, QE, docs and of course productisation. This work goes into the up stream community projects but it can take a while for us to create new community binaries that benefit from it, due mainly to the effort we have to put in to supporting our customers, building other releases etc.
Now it should not come as a surprise that open source is core to everything we do and everyone we employ. It's in our blood and we will do a lot to ensure it continues to be a success. Sometimes we hear that the community is lagging behind the products, or that we're not as responsive as some might want us to be because of our product focus. What we really want to do is give the best possible experiences to our customers and our wider community, with the best Java middleware implementations around. Therefore, we've been thinking long and hard about the problem and how to resolve it. It's not easy and there are a number of ways to try to tackle it. However, there is one solution we've come up with that I think allows us to continue to provide the best products and support to our customers whilst at the same time ensuring that our communities are able to benefit too in a much more timely manner. It is this solution that I want to announce today.
What we are proposing to do is pretty simple: 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. Now of course the value of the full subscription is much more than just the product binaries and support, and we all hope that people will want to migrate to a full subscription, but it's not going to be a requirement unless you want to put JBoss products into deployment. If you are a developer then you can use the same binaries as customers with this new subscription without having to worry about evaluation periods, or missing critical bug fixes.
I believe this is a great step in the evolution of JBoss/Red Hat and enterprise open source in general. We're continually breaking down barriers to adoption of open source and enterprise middleware, whether by making EE6 much more easily consumable via approaches such as AS7 and CDI, or pushing into new communities with efforts such as TorqueBox or Immutant. With this change that I have announced, we're now removing another barrier by ensuring that all of our communities can get access to our product releases!