We are very excited about the upcoming release of Payara 5! With the new Data Grid, MicroProfile 1.2 support and incorporation of the Java EE 8 reference implementations it is shaping up to be a great release.
With the release imminent, I thought now is a good time to let people know about some of the changes taking place in Payara Release Streams and Development, and how this affects both customers and users of the community version of Payara.
Payara Product Releases and Streams
Just to set the context, currently Payara 4 has three Release Streams, as shown in the picture. The Community Stream is the community version of Payara Server available to both customers and community users on both Maven Central and via download from our website. The Community Stream is released every 3 months in a regular cadence and includes both new features and bug fixes.
In addition to the Community Stream, support customers also get access to downloads on two other streams. The Feature Stream is released every month and synchronises with the Community Stream every 3 months, in between quarterly releases, monthly patch releases containing bug fixes are provided. The Feature Stream is for customers that want to take advantage of the latest and greatest changes in Payara Server, knowing that any new bugs will be rapidly fixed and released in the first patch version. The Stability Stream also provides releases every month but is based on the first release of the year and then receives bug fixes for 12 months. This stream provides greater stability for production deployments. Last year, the Stability Stream was based on 171. For 2018, it will be based on both 4.181 and 5.181. Customers are free to download whichever version suits their deployment across all three streams.
Payara 5 Releases and Streams
Once Payara 5 is released, we will be maintaining our current three streams set up for Payara 5. We will continue development in the Payara 5 Community Stream with quarterly releases as before. Payara 5 support customers will also get access to the Payara 5 Features Stream and the Payara 5 Stability Stream. The Payara 5 Stability Stream will be based on Payara Server 5.181, the first release of Payara 5 in the year. Each customer-only stream will release monthly patches as before.
Payara 4 Releases and Streams
As previously announced, the Payara 4 Community Stream will stop with Payara Server 4.181 being the terminal release of the Payara 4 Community Stream. For Payara support customers, the Payara 4 Features Stream and the Payara 4 Stability Stream will both continue throughout 2018 and into 2019. The Payara 4 Features Stream will still continue and quarterly feature releases and monthly patch releases will continue as usual. We have additional Payara 4 features planned with MicroProfile 1.3 support under development and many new features will target both Payara 5 and Payara 4.
People who are currently using the Payara Server 4 Community Stream in production without a support contract are encouraged to purchase a support contract to continue to receive updates for Payara 4 or will need to switch their target Payara version to Payara 5.
Payara Support Lifecycle
Both Payara 4 and Payara 5 are supported for 10 years and we've recently updated our Support Lifecycle time line (see the image below). We also recently announced support for Zulu JDK for Payara support customers as part of their support contract for Payara Server, and major JDK version support has also been incorporated into the support time line.
Payara 4 will get Full Support, including Feature Stream releases, until the 191 releases. After that, it is envisaged that Payara 4 will enter Maintenance, whereby the Stability Stream will continue with monthly patch releases, fixing bugs, upgrading components and certifying on new versions of operating systems and databases etc. In 2022, we envisage Payara 4 entering Extended Support, where new releases will be ad-hoc as required to incorporate fixes for critical bugs and securty patches.
Payara 5 will also get a minimum of 10 years of support from its release date. Payara 5 Full Support is envisaged to continue until 2022 with Maintenance Releases until 2025 and finally Extended Support envisaged for 5 to finish in 2028.
Payara GitHub Development Branches
The Payara Team do all our development in open source on GitHub, we maintain some maintenance branches internally for customers but all bug fixes on these branches are first merged into the GitHub repository and then merged or backported into maintenance branches. We are committed to this way of working and this will continue with the release of Payara 5. Currently, all development is done on the master branch and the master branch currently targets Payara 4 with Payara 5 development activity on the Payara-5 branch. Before the release of Payara 5, we will switch this around. Master branch will become the development branch for Payara 5 and a new Payara-4-Maintenance branch will be created containing all changes to Payara 4 going forward. This Payara-4-Maintenance branch will not have binary releases or tags but will continue to receive Payara 4 source code changes until Payara 4 reaches end of life.
Payara 4 Continued Support
Payara 4 will continue to receive support for customers with support contracts until 2025 at the earliest. We encourage all teams that rely on Payara 4 in production to purchase a support contract with the Payara team. We are an open source team and these support contracts fund all of our development efforts, both in the Payara community and the Jakarta EE and MicroProfile initiatives. We work very closely with our support customers to drive new features both in our product and in the wider industry initiatives.