<< Weißer als Weiß | Home | Unterzeichnen Sie innen, um zu wählen >>

Making Money with OpenSource Software

Enterprise Edition en vogue?

Just coming back from the Liferay European Symposium where it has been revealed that Liferay Inc. is planning an Enterprise Edition of their OpenSource portal product, I've learnt that SpringSource also plans to provide such an edition for its Springframework.

Both products have before only been available as OpenSource version with the usual free support and maintenance periods. Optionally there was professional support available from both companies as well as from third parties.

Now both of them reach out for the enterprise – providing longer (as in multiple years) support for older versions and there has been some cry out from the community (read the serverside thread for SpringSource, I yet haven't seen this for LR, but have heard fearful reactions during the symposium.

What's wrong with an Enterprise Edition?

Given that currently both companies provide a lot of effort largely free of monetary charge – nothing. Given that both leverage input from the community – also nothing: Everybody participating knows about the licenses the software is licensed as.

There is demand from companies for longer support periods for older version than an OpenSource project can provide as well as demand for the current licensing model. I do trust both companies to stay committed to providing valuable OpenSource products, because this does feed their Enterprise product and revenue stream.

Both of these companies definitely go the hard way from [unpaid only] to [paid or unpaid]. Coming the opposite direction is Sun Microsystems – definitely with good press: Suns Software (at least most of the high profile software) has previously been closed and is currently being opened up while Sun maintains their (commercial) long term enterprise relationships. I see all of these companies to finally approaching a very similar state: having OpenSource products at the basis of Enterprise products which are sold and patched a lot longer than the free code while the bugfixes also find their way into the latest OpenSource version. All of them know that the product is fueled by the OpenSource community and most likely won't do things to harm it.

In my opinion: They shall make ridiculous amounts of money with the Enterprise offering – just short of the limit anybody has set for their retirement ;-). I've already gained my profit: I've got Liferay, Spring, Glassfish, Java etc. free of charge before even having started to support the community.

Sincere Thank You to those providing their products under a FLOSS license. I'm fine with you making any amount of money, especially if it is enabling you to stay committed to the FLOSS product. All of the companies named here have strongly stated this to be the case.

Tags :

Kommentar hinzufügen Trackback senden