Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Cloudcast #256 - Can Open Source Companies Make Money?


  1. Hi.

    I still have issues by calling "open source" a version of a open source software with closed source functionalities only provided by a plugin or a specific version.

    Like shield for Elasticsearch. Is elasticsearch with a shield plugin still an opensource software?

    Even if the core product is the same, it's not the same product any more, as the functionalities are not the same. We have this exact issue with some internal "rules" of using Open Source software.

    We began to use a product like ES, first for evaluation then for production on a small project, and the success make the product wide used. Then someone think it would be a good idea to add a security layer interconnected with AD or a LDAP. And then purchasing the plugin/functionality make us deploy a closed source software. It's not open source anymore.

    The open source versions from these companies are usually really limited in some aspect, it's usually because they are loss leaders for the licensed product.

    Sometime they even call them "community" version, but there are no community (read community as in the open source world) around the product. The community is not really involved in the product evolution, and you will never see a functionality from the licensed product coming to the open source version.

    Of course, nobody prevent from forking the project, but taking over an entire project is never easy.

    Providing the project to Apache consortium does not really solve the situation, as it remains with Cassandra for example.

    Our situation is more, today, not to purchase the enterprise version and try to deal with the open source version by default , or to purchase only support, and in very rare cases the proprietary version for the security functionalities.

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