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Oracle Reveals Plans for NetBeans, Glassfish, and VirtualBox

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More revealing statements have finally surfaced about Oracle's future plans for popular Java tools.  Oracle recently updated its FAQ on the future of Sun technologies.  Glassfish, OpenOffice, NetBeans and VirtualBox were just some of the items mentioned.  Here are some specifics on each project:


Oracle intends to provide NetBeans as an "additional open source option" to complement JDeveloper and Oracle Enterprise Pack for Eclipse.  Oracle makes it clear however, that JDeveloper is still "Oracle's strategic development tool" for Oracle Fusion and future enterprise applications.  Oracle says that JDeveloper, Enterprise Pack, and NetBeans will all be options "for pure Java and Java EE development."

Oracle says it will "invest in aligning common infrastructure components and innovations" between Oracle WebLogic server and GlassFish.  They plan to continue the development of GlassFish Enterprise Server as the open source RI of Java EE specifications.  Oracle says it will actively support the GlassFish community.

Virtualization Products
Oracle "expects" to continue Sun's desktop virtualization products.  They include VDI, Secure Global Desktop, Sun Ray, and VirtualBox.

Open Office
Oracle will "continue developing and supporting OpenOffice as open source."  A commercial license for OpenOffice will also be available to customers that require enterprise level support and tools.

The plans for SPARC, Solaris, and MySQL are just reiterations of announcements made at Oracle OpenWorld.  Oracle puts a disclaimer in the FAQ saying that this document is not a binding statement however, it is the first news we've heard on the fate of several popular Sun technologies.


Otengi Miloskov replied on Wed, 2009/10/28 - 10:47am

What about Java and JavaFX, How they will drive it, How will be all that?.

Armin Ehrenreich replied on Wed, 2009/10/28 - 12:23pm in response to: Otengi Miloskov

From the cited document: "Delivering increased investment and innovation in Java

Oracle plans to accelerate investment in the Java platform for the benefit of customers and the Java community. Java is one of the computer industry’s best-known brands and the Java platform is one of the industry’s most widely deployed technologies. Oracle has been a leader in the Java community since the inception of the Java programming language and already has the world’s largest investment in the Java platform, which provides the foundation for its Oracle Fusion Middleware products and its next-generation enterprise applications. Oracle plans to not only broaden and accelerate its own investment in the Java platform, but also plans to increase the commitment to the community that helps make Java an ubiquitous, innovative platform unified around open standards."

Jacek Furmankiewicz replied on Wed, 2009/10/28 - 1:32pm

I hope I'm wrong, but I am afraid this will only last (most likely) till the first quarter when Oracle fails to meet financial expectations. Cuts wil have to follow and guess who will be up first. That's just how it works. Oracle can't maintain 2 or 3 competing product lines (and I can only imagine the amount of internal politics between JDeveloper and NetBeans teams, Glassfish vs Weblogic teams, etc).

That's why I've been wary of relying on Sun's open source product lines (afraid all the funding for them would dry up sooner or later), preferring instead OSS competitors that have proven to be successful on their own (Jetty, Spring, Eclipse, etc.).



Loren Kratzke replied on Wed, 2009/10/28 - 3:15pm

I see this aquisition as highly anticompetitive if allowed to take place.

As a Netbeans user, tell me how I stand to benefit from my development tool being owned by a strategic member of the Eclipse foundation (the primary platform and IDE competitor to Netbeans) and a company that also produces its own IDE (JDeveloper) which is a secondary platform and IDE competitor to Netbeans? Conversely, how do JDeveloper and Eclipse users benefit from this aquisition? Nobody benefits.

 As a MySQL user, tell me how I stand to benefit from my data storage tool being owned by a company that views MySQL as something that eats millions of dollars per year in potential Oracle database licensing? Conversely, how do Oracle users benefit from Oracle owning MySQL? Nobody benefits here either.

I have no requirement for Glassfish right now but it is at the top of my short list should I need a full blown EE server that does not cost $25,000 per CPU. How do Glassfish or Weblogic users benefit from the aquisition? (tumble weed rolls by)

In each case, the wolf is not only watching the hen house, the wolf is trying to buy the whole farm. I'm sorry Larry, your PR speak does nothing to convince me that there is anything even remotely altruistic in your intentions. I just don't see an upside for developers or consumers, but possibly for Oracle shareholders. It just smells anticompetitive in every respect.

By the way, I also use VirtualBox and Open Office, awsome tools.

Fabrizio Giudici replied on Wed, 2009/10/28 - 7:23pm in response to: Loren Kratzke

I see this aquisition as highly anticompetitive if allowed to take place.

From a perspective, every acquisition is partially anticompetitive. In any case, the alternative was IBM (the "owner" of the Eclipse Foundation) or the failure - well, failure is anticompetitive by its very nature, as things mostly vanish in thin air. So, if the acquisition doesn't take place, it will be much worse.

For the rest, I think we're discussing on weak basis. Basically the document published today doesn't say anything or just a few things. I believe that Glassfish is here to stay, because JEE is open sourced and needs a Reference Implementation, thus justifying the existence of two separate products. For NetBeans, Oracle didn't say anything, as "is expected to provide..." doesn't make clear who will fund this "expectation". I believe that for NetBeans and other products there is still no decision.

José Luis Jaimes replied on Wed, 2009/10/28 - 8:09pm

Where is Java ME?

Nick Apperley replied on Wed, 2009/10/28 - 8:26pm

We all know what Larry's plans are for JavaFX so it is likely to be supported by Oracle. As for NetBeans it is most likely that Oracle will continue its support and funding but will likely cut back on Java EE support for the IDE, and increase its JavaFX/Java SE/Java ME support. I can easily see NetBeans being recommended by Oracle for developing consumer applications (desktop, mobile, embedded) on the Java platform, with JDeveloper being recommended for developing enterprise applications (web, SOA, mobile web). It would be very foolish for Oracle to drop support for VirtualBox considering that it is rapidly becoming a major contender for consumer virtualisation alongside VMWare Workstation and Virtual PC. I don't think Oracle has any good product(s) for covering consumer virtualisation.

As for Oracle's plans on supporting Java ME and Java Embedded it is likely that they will support it, despite that fact that Oracle haven't mentioned anything about it. It is interesting to note that Oracle is no longer a company that is just involved on the enterprise side. Recently in the last few years Oracle have started to get involved in the consumer side.

Jess Holle replied on Thu, 2009/10/29 - 7:03am

Would you rather simply see the corporate backer of NetBeans, MySQL, and Glassfish go under?

Sun had to be acquired at this point, unfortunately -- as much as I'd have loved to see them succeed on their own.  They were natually going to be acquired by someone in the industry.

I think all of these products have a much better future than if IBM had bought Sun.  They may not all have perfectly rosy futures, but better than Sun just going belly up.

Chris Arthur replied on Thu, 2009/10/29 - 8:21am

Personally I always hated JDeveloper. Not disliked or wasn't fond of, I hated it. I haven't tried to use it in quite some time so it could be better now, but it was garbage before so it could only go up in my opinion. I find Netbeans to be the best Java IDE there is. Eclipse is broken up and scatterbrained. It was intended to be a workbench that housed many interoperable tools, but that strength has become its weakness in my mind. Netbeans is integrated and looks and feels like one toolset instead of the smattering of tools that it actually is. The more Larry and his team talk about their plans for Sun's products, the more I find myself opposing the purchase. I am not interested in becoming the step-children hidden in the back room of Oracle.

 I find it interesting to note that while Oracle is touting the greatness of all its own junk while purchasing Sun for pity it seems since Oracle has vastly superior stuff, Microsoft is announcing their embracing of Eclipse developers in the Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 operating systems. I am hearing the hammering of Netbeans coffin nails if this doesn't cease soon. No matter how hard I've tried in the past to stay angry at Microsoft and embrace Java and open source, all this with Oracle may be the final staw for me. Microsoft has major flaws but at least I won't have to worry about losing good tools to someone whose ego is larger than their world headquarters complex.

Loren Kratzke replied on Thu, 2009/10/29 - 3:15pm

The hardware, virtualization, and office products are the good part of the acquisition because they expand the Oracle portfolio. The interesting upside is the the potential internal competition at Oracle that the remaining products will cause. As I recall, MySQL was profitable before Sun aquired them. They offered consulting. I wonder if Netbeans can do something similar. Oracle is pretty good at turning a shiny penny in the consulting business.

Gauthier Willia... replied on Thu, 2011/07/07 - 3:35am

If these succeed then oracle will surely have a great portfolio. The nice thing about his plan is that netbeans, glassfish and virtualbox are all what some programmers need to fasten and improve the uses of these products.  The plans are really something and I hope oracle will get all the support. Senior Healthcare Consultants

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