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Introducing Payara Server Streams

26 May 2017

In the last few weeks, we have released two builds of Payara Server; our new major version 172 and third patch build of version 171 - 171.3. This is the first time we've ever released two distinct builds in the same month, so why are we doing it?

 

Finding a Balance

Since we first launched Payara Server back in 2014, we've always had two streams, although we never really called them that. For each new major version, we released two additional patch builds in the interim months, specifically for customers. Both new patch builds and new versions have always, and will continue to be, built from the same codebase. As Steve Millidge, our Founder, puts it:

 

"Our intention was never to create two products - an innovative but unstable open source edition and a slowly updating but reliable "Enterprise" edition.
Our aim with Payara Server is to keep both regular features and stability in the same product to create the best possible open source application server."

 

So how can we make sure that we can offer both stability to those customers with strong requirements for reliability and new, bleeding-edge features to those customers who need fast innovation? Until now, you could always wait for the second patch build before upgrading; after that, the two streams would re-synchronise at the next major version.

 

Such regular releases are often challenging for customers maintaining legacy applications. While the applications can be updated to fix any bugs, it is very common for such legacy applications to have budget restrictions, so introducing new continuous integration may not be feasible for everyone. In these cases, customers still need regular updates to make sure they stay ahead of any security issues, among other things.

 

Introducing the Stability Stream

 

Beginning with version 171, we will continue to push out patch builds for the first release of a calendar year for a full 12 months. After 12 months, the three streams will re-synchronise and the process will begin for another year.

 

Triple-Stream-Release-for-Customers-Web.png

 

In the image above, each major version is shown in orange and patch builds are shown in blue. The Community Stream re-synchronises with the Feature Stream four times every year, whereas the new stability stream re-synchronises with the other streams just once a year.

 

It is important to note that all the same fixes are available to both the Feature Stream and the Stability Stream, but the Stability Stream will not receive any new features until it re-synchronises with the other streams.

 

What Does Each Stream Provide?

 

The key differences between each stream can be summarised as follows:

 

Community Stream

  • 4 releases per year
  • Quarterly features
  • Quarterly bug fixes

Feature Stream

  • 12 releases per year
  • Quarterly features
  • Monthly bug fixes

Stability Stream

  • 12 releases per year
  • Annual features
  • Monthly bug fixes

 

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