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What is the difference between JBoss EAP, WildFly and JBoss AS ?

WildFly and JBoss AS are the Community Version of JBoss application server offerings. The term "JBoss application server" has been used since the beginning, however to avoid confusion with the supported version, called JBoss Enterprise Application platform (JBoss EAP in short) it has been renamed to WildFly.

WildFly: The communty version of the Application Server

The community version of WildFly is available at: www.wildfly.org

On the other hand, if you are looking for older versions of the application server, they are archived here: http://jbossas.jboss.org/downloads

That being said, if you are planning to use WildFly in production systems, you are strongly advised to migrate to the latest version of WildFly, as you will hardly find users in the Community that can support older JBoss AS 5,6 or 7 releases. In the following table you can see the Java EE Compatibility Matrix for each version of the Community application server:

Application Server Version Enterprise implementation
JBoss AS 7 Java EE 6
WildFly 8 Java EE 7
WildFly 9 Java EE 7
WildFly 10 Java EE 7
WildFly 11 Java EE 7
WildFly 12 Java EE7 + Java EE 8 tech preview
WildFly 13 Java EE7 + Java EE 8 tech preview
WildFly 14 Java EE 8
WildFly 15 Java EE 8
WildFly 16 Java EE 8
WildFly 17 Java EE 8 + Jakarta EE 8
WildFly 18 Java EE 8 + Jakarta EE 8
WildFly 19 Java EE 8 + Jakarta EE 8
WildFly 20 Java EE 8 + Jakarta EE 8
WildFly 21 Java EE 8 + Jakarta EE 8
WildFly 22 Java EE 8 + Jakarta EE 8
WildFly 22 Tech Preview Java EE 8 + Jakarta EE 8/ Jakarta EE 9
WildFly 23 Java EE 8 + Jakarta EE 8
WildFly 23 Tech Preview Java EE 8 + Jakarta EE 8/ Jakarta EE 9

Please note that WildFly 17.0.1 has passed the Jakarta EE 8 TCK and its compatibility certification request has been approved by the Jakarta EE Spec Committee. So, since the version 17.0.1, WildFly is a Jakarta EE Full platform compatible implementation and a certified Java EE 8 compatible implementation.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Wildfly application server is not supported as a product by Red Hat. You can get help at various levels:

1) Through the Forum currently hosted in a Google Group https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/wildfly

2) Using StackOverFlow, setting as item "wildfly": https://stackoverflow.com/questions/tagged/wildfly

JBoss EAP: the supported version of the application server

JBoss Enterprise Application platform is Red Hat's supported application server. JBoss EAP is still an opensource project but if you want to use JBoss EAP in production with Red Hat's support, then you need to activate a subscription. You can download JBoss EAP from the following link: https://developers.redhat.com/products/eap/download/

IMPORTANT NOTICE: JBoss EAP is derived from the source code of WildFly. That does not mean that the source codes for both projects are identical. Some differences in functionality, security patches, etc. may exist to a varying degree.

More about this topic on the following article: Is JBoss EAP free to use ?

The following Java EE versions are supported in the latest versions of the application server:

Application Server Version Java EE Version
JBoss EAP 5 5
JBoss EAP 6 6
JBoss EAP 7 7

Mapping WildFly versions with JBoss EAP versions

It is not possible to map exactly a version of the Community version (JBoss EAP, WildFly) with the corresponding version of the supported version (JBoss EAP) as they are maintained in separated branches. In general terms, the following tables summarizes the version of WildFly used as baseline for a JBoss EAP version:

JBoss EAP Version WildFly Version
JBoss EAP 6.0 JBoss AS 7.1
JBoss EAP 6.1 JBoss AS 7.2
JBoss EAP 6.2 JBoss AS 7.3
JBoss EAP 6.3 JBoss AS 7.4
JBoss EAP 6.4 JBoss AS 7.5
JBoss EAP 7.0 WildFly 10
JBoss EAP 7.1 WildFly 11
JBoss EAP 7.2 WildFly 14
JBoss EAP 7.3 WildFly 18

Source code of WildFly and JBoss EAP

The source code of JBoss EAP and WildFly are available on Github. More in detail:

WildFly source code: https://github.com/wildfly/wildfly

JBoss EAP source code: https://github.com/jbossas/jboss-eap7

Binary builds of WildFly and JBoss EAP

The binaries of JBoss EAP and WildFly are available at the following locations:

WildFly binaries: https://wildfly.org/downloads/

JBoss EAP binaries: http://developers.redhat.com/products/eap/download/

Building MicroProfile applications using EAP and WildFly

Another key difference between JBoss EAP and WildFly relates to the development of MicroProfile applications.

  • In WildFly, MicroProfile API are included out of the box in the full server distribution. The configuration files named standalone-microprofile.xml and standalone-microprofile-ha.xml can be used to develop Jakarta EE applications in combination with the MicroProfile API.
  • In JBoss EAP, MicroProfile API are included in the Eclipse MicroProfile Expansion Pack (JBoss EAP XP) which is available as a patch stream, when using JBoss EAP XP manager. Therefore, you need to install JBoss EAP XP on the top of JBoss EAP to have the supported MicroProfile API with EAP.
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