Migration of Java-Based Web Applications From Commercial to Open Source Software

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Migration of Java-Based Web Applications From Commercial to Open Source Software

Migration implementation planning and migration considerations to open source software.

· Web Dev Zone ·
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Business owners need the software as commercial software and open-source software to use in their projects. Organizations are using only commercial software for the last five decades of their software development activities. For the past ten years, the Open Source software usage is increasing day by day in projects due to their advantages like cost, code access, reliability, and natural development. There is a paradigm shift now in enterprises from commercial to open source tools for overall productivity gains and better Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

A recent survey by Tidelift found that 92% of application libraries contain open source components. Open-source Security and Risk Analysis Report from Synopsys survey clearly says that the growth in Open Source components in their projects increasing rapidly.

Both Commercial and Open Source software has its advantages and disadvantages. The Commercial software includes support guarantee, timely updates, and patches as critical benefits, whereas Open Source is having free and customizable.

Following are the few of the business benefits while migrating commercial to open-source platforms:

  • Choice - Source code of open source software is available to all. A customer can easily choose another vendor with no Vendor lock-in.
  • Reliability - Open source is peer-reviewed software, which leads to being more reliable.
  • Security - Open source enables anyone to examine software for security flaws.
  • Fast Deployment -Deployment process can be made faster with open-source software. Open-source software can be “test-driven” before procurement and is particularly suitable for inter-agency collaboration, rapid prototyping, and experimentation.
  • Code Access - Free Access to code
  • Lower Cost - Lower costs because development amortized across multiple contributors
  • Enterprise Support - Red Hat / Mule Soft / GitHub provides Enterprise License as an annual subscription model leading to drastic TCO reductions.

Organizations are migrating exiting Java Base Web Applications from Commercial Software tools to Open Source Software. Some of the migrations are

  • OS Migration
  • Application Migration
    1. WAS to JBoss / Tomcat
    2. WebLogic to JBoss / Tomcat
  • Data Migration

This article describes how to migrate the Application from Commercial to Open Source Software. The first step is to do the Migration Implementation Planning. Below is the high-level planning, including phases Project Assessment à Migration Planning à Migration & Testing à Release Completion. Each phase is having different activities involved.

Application Migration Analysis and Planning activity is vital for any Java-Based Web Applications. Based on the analysis, the Team can make decisions on is that the Application can be migration with a compelling Return on Investment (ROI).

Based on the analysis, come up with migration considerations from Commercial to Open Source Software, which helps the development team to migrate the proper components. Below table show migration considerations/recommendations from WAS/WebLogic to JBoss/Tomcat software.

Criteria recommendations benefits

Java Servlet and Java Server Pages technologies

  • Tomcat is open source from Apache supports HTTP server and Java servlet container and is suitable for web applications which need just a Web Container and applications using frameworks that do not require a full Java EE server
  • JBoss is open source from Red Hat supports with enterprise capabilities to provide a single solution Java web applications

Recommended Both JBoss/Tomcat

Cost and


Lightweight and robust web server

  • Tomcat is one of the best choices around for a wide variety of situations where requirements need a flexible, lightweight, no-bloat approach. It supports Servlet 3.0, JSP 2.2, EL 2.2 specifications, WebDAV, CGI, Connection pooling, HTTP Push (Comet)
  • JBoss is a better way to build modern Applications for large-scale websites and lightweight applications.

Recommended Both JBoss/Tomcat


Broad range of Choice

  • Tomcat, which is a Java servlet container, provides support to the Java EE platform by adding the Apache OpenEJB component is very common and reliable.
  • JBoss assembled and integrated some of the best projects, which helps developers to focus on building their applications quickly.

Recommended Both JBoss/Tomcat



  • Tomcat supports realms
  • JBoss supports different container managed security

Recommended JBoss/Tomcat



  • Tomcat supports built-in administration using Tomcat Manager which is very simple
  • JBoss supports administration with many capabilities

Recommended JBoss

More User Friendly

High Availability

  • Tomcat does not support built-in High Availability
  • JBoss Clustering provides to create a develop large, scalable, robust applications.

Recommended JBoss

Cost and Productivity

Java EE Containers

  • Tomcat does not support built-in Java EE
  • JBoss supports industry-standard Java Platform Enterprise Edition

Recommended JBoss

Cost and


Update Center

  • Tomcat does not support the feature
  • JBoss updating is easy compare to other servers with precious capabilities

Recommended JBoss



  • Tomcat supports shared library files
  • JBoss supports common library

Recommended JBoss



  • Tomcat support session persistence
  • JBoss support session persistence

Recommended JBoss


Scripting Languages

  • Tomcat does not support many scripting languages
  • JBoss integrates with many scripting languages easily

Recommended JBoss

Cost and


This concludes that the project team does the existing project assessment and come up with proper planning for migration taken the considerations of TCO and ROI parameters. The above table helps the organizations to identify the target web/application server to choose as part of the Migration approach. The cost spent on migration activity should return within the three years, then the migration can be considered as a sound migration strategy.

java-based web applications, migration, open source, web dev

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