In an opensource ecosystem both enterprise and community work together and benefit from each other . The most common question which comes to the mind of users who plan to use or migrate from their existing application servers such as Weblogic, Websphere to JBoss is weather to use the community version of JBoss commonly referred to as JBoss AS or the enterprise version of JBoss referred as EAP ( Enterprise Application Platform). The purpose of this article is to answer the most common questions which comes to the mind of a user when they plan on using JBoss and are faced with a choice of whether to use enterprise or community version.
Q. What is the difference between enterprise and community version?
A. Besides enterprise , community JBoss projects are also actively driven by Red Hat, in the community hundreds of opensource developers come together contribute and collaborate for product development, bugfixes and product enhancements there are no guaranteed sla's or a fixed release and product maintenance cycles, community versions are best suited for development purposes and POC's (Proof of concept),while community versions are feature rich . Enterprise versions take the most stable and best features of the community and along with that they provide you with fixed product maintenance cycles and support. Enterprise edition is hardened, fine tuned, certified, supported, and managed via JBoss Operations Network.
Q. Why should we pay for the enterprise version if community version if available for free?
A. If you want to build your application stack which is mission critical and directly impacts your business, then reliability, stability and performance are the key factors which will drive your decision then EAP is the right choice for you.
Enterprise version is tested and certified with multiple platforms and databases , it has planned product lifecycle, you get certified patches and bug-fixes as opposed to the community version.
In Community there are 150+ projects with different release schedules, dependencies, versions etc. While as in enterprise focus is on long- term stability & application application compatibility and it integrates multiple projects into a single distribution.
Community version might have lot of features but with more features chances of more bugs being introduced also increases and since reliability and stability is the key in enterprise applications only those features which pass the rigorous testing are included in the enterprise version , the enterprise version is tuned for optimal performance keeping in mind the needs of a typical enterprise.
Having a valid subscription for the enterprise you also get access to world class support and access to hundred's of knowledebase articles on Red Hat customer portal (http://access.redhat.com) for more details explaining the benefits of enterprise over community i recommend to go through the below video. http://www.jboss.com/v/community/index.html
Q. What are the critical business factors which i should take into consideration when i am faced with a decision of choosing between enterprise or community JBoss version?
A. Critical business factors:
JBoss Enterprise Middleware
Consulting services: Expert consulting from Red Hat and an advanced worldwide network of certified partners is available.
Training and certification:
- Training directly from the source, with curricula influenced by those who wrote the code.
- Our certification program is industry-recognized and performance-based.
- 500+ JBoss Certified ISV applications.
- ISVs are listed in the Red Hat partner catalog.
Trademarks (embedded ISV specific): Red Hat and JBoss trademark usage is allowed by agreement.
Legal assurance:The Red Hat Software Assurance offers indemnification and safeguards from certain legal risks..
JBoss Community projects
Consulting services: Red Hat does not provide, or certify partners to provide, consulting services on community projects.
Training and certification:
- Red Hat does not provide, or certify partners to provide, training on community projects.
- No training certifications provided
- No partnerships.
- No application certifications are provided.
Trademarks (embedded ISV specific):
- ISVs are not permitted to use Red Hat or JBoss trademarks.
- Modifications require manual removal of all trademarks in source code, documentation,and collateral.
Legal assurance: No legal assurance is offered.
Q. Where should we download the enterprise version of JBoss?
A. If you are registered user on Red Hat's customer portal then you can download the evaluation as well as the full version of different JBoss products at  , however if you are not registered on Red Hat customer portal and just want to download an evaluation version before you make a decision of buying a valid JBoss subscription from Red Hat you can download it at 
Q: What are the various products offered under JBoss Middleware?