JBoss makes EAP binaries available to developers
In a blog post, Red Hat's Mark Little has announced that builds of the JBoss Enterprise Application Platform will be released for developers. Apparently the current plan, from the moment a community project starts to become a commercial project, is to only release the product binaries, and to make these binaries available to the community after a set period of time. Previously, separate builds existed for the two groups, which potentially caused the free versions to become available later than the commercial products because work efforts naturally focused on the latter.
However, the community builds will continue to exist because they will be needed for the work on future versions. They will be replaced from the moment when a product is commercialised, for example meaning that there will no longer be a JBoss Application Server 7.2.0.Final, only a JBoss Enterprise Application Platform EAP 6.1.0.Alpha. Both versions would have been equivalent in the old systems as well, but the alpha state indicates that far higher standards need to be met for the commercial product than for the final community version. Once EAP has reached beta phase, the beta version build will only be available to paying customers and developers with a new zero-dollar developer subscription. The FAQ says that patches and security updates will continue to be restricted to enterprise customers, although Little's announcement suggests otherwise ("...without having to worry about [...] missing critical bug fixes").
In addition to the licences, the developers are also planning to make changes to the EAP download process; reasons for this could include discouraging corporate developers from using the more easily accessible community version and then running into problems later when their system needs to be migrated to a licensed product with a support contract.
Since the takeover of JBoss by Red Hat, people seem to have voiced repeated concerns that the community was being neglected in terms of support and new version availability. As JBoss is based on an open source philosophy, however, this step is designed to get the community behind the application server more involved again.