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Admittedly new to this but I wanted to understand why there is a gap between Red Hat's JBoss EAP project (their enterprise version) and JBoss AS/Wildfly/community project.

Looking at this post from Red Hat, it seems that they don't withhold the source/patches. Makes sense since withholding the source would be a GPL violation, which in spirit wants source distributions so end users can recreate/reuse the binaries.

So if the sources are identical, then why isn't the AS/community version exactly at par with the EAP version? Shouldn't they be bit-exact, like having the same SHA256 value? It appears that the AS/community version usually lags by several hundred patches (from here, "Intro" section)

Talking about the latest JBoss Application Server is always tricky. Red Hat simultaneously offers two versions of JBoss: community edition, the current release where is 7.1.1-Final, and Enterprise Application Platform, EAP, edition where JBoss AS component version is 7.1.3-Final. The difference between these is actually a few hundred bug-fixes, which is enormous ...

Since EAP binary distribution is controlled by Red Hat, surely there is enough community interest that the community itself rebuilds and redistributes AS/Wildfly binaries that are at-par with the EAP binaries, right? (a single Maven server should suffice).

I mean look at the popularity of CentOS (the community version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux) - the community IS interested in using software in production without RedHat's blessings/support.

So, what am I missing here?

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It looks like all boils down to the differences mentioned on this page

While the community version is mainly used for prototyping and testing, the enterprise version is intended for commercial production use. Due to the service level agreements (SLAs) that are mentioned for the jboss enterprise edition (which centers around the EAP), it is no wonder that commercial customers might require fixes that are not of particular interest for the community edition as the target audience is different.

As the development process is different for both versions, such fixes could be integrated at a later stage into the community edition where the focus lies on different aspects. (e.g. innovating)

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    Judging by the popularity of CentOS vs RHEL, I'd say the community is interested in long term stability and all the other nice words in that Red Hat video. The community could have a Community-EAP branch that mirrors EAP exactly 1:1, right off the same GIT tree (aka CentOS), right?
    – Cat Nap
    Dec 20 '13 at 0:25
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When community is finished, that's the start point for JBoss EAP. It goes through a much more harden software process than the community version. https://docs.jboss.org/jbossas/docs/Server_Configuration_Guide/beta500/html/ch01s01s01.html

Since enterprise is the "enterprise version", new features get developed, features are backported, security is backported, etc etc. In community, once it's done, it's done, no more enhancements. The developers move to the next version.

So there are a lot of differences.

As a Red Hatter, I would encourage you to contact Red Hat to get the real story. Too much FUD on internet.

Updated: Here's a video from Red Hat on the differences. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ty328F9Li4w

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  • This question is the perfect opportunity for Red Hat to give us the real story and correct the FUD. Jun 10 '15 at 8:55
  • Your answer doesn't explain what I think is the key part "surely there is enough community interest that the community itself rebuilds and redistributes AS/Wildfly binaries that are at-par with the EAP binaries, right?" Jun 10 '15 at 9:02
  • @Disco3 I've updated this answer with a video. youtube.com/watch?v=ty328F9Li4w. Jul 8 '15 at 3:08

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