With the release of the Enterprise Edition of Wildfire, I wanted to put forth our thoughts on why we do Open Source software, and how our OSS projects will co-exist with our commercial applications. We have posted this to the .org website as well.
Summary: Our goal is to create the de-facto standard for open, real-time communications. We aim to achieve this goal by providing an elegant, flexible, open solution, suitable for any implementation security, scalability, reliability and performance, at little or no cost.
Why do we create Open Source software?
We believe in the Open Source movement and its power to fundamentally improve the software landscape.
We believe in the potential of XMPP and seek to increase its adoption.
Open Source communities are a powerful mechanism for continuously improving applications through development, testing and feedback.
We prefer to spend our money on activities that help our customers (development, QA) rather than activities that have no value for our customers (e.g. advertising).
Why do we create commercial applications?
Our commercial applications provide the funds required to support the OSS project. We see it as the air that the OSS projects need to breathe, since it would not be sustainable on its own.
There is a healthy, symbiotic relationship between the Open Source and commercial applications, and continuous communication between the company, customers and community keeps it healthy.
Some organizations are wary of the open-source license requirements and need alternative licensing models.
As a business, we need to grow to stay competitive commercial applications allow us to achieve this goal.
How do we balance the Open Source and Commercial applications?
The OSS project will <ins>always</ins> represent a "complete solution", which means it will always have the key features required to fit its purpose (and beyond). This means we will not arbitrarily add what most would consider "core features" into commercial editions.
What features will go into commercial extensions?
Features to support mission-critical rollouts, such as server clustering
Embedded third-party applications (non-Open Source)
High-end, luxury features, such as enhanced reporting
Advanced security features, such as deeper archiving options
Features for unique use cases, such as customer "click to chat" support
How do we make money?
Services: Support services and professional services (consulting) to customize, integrate and implement the applications.
Commercial applications: Sales of commercial applications that are based on, or extend, the Open Source offerings.
OEM Licensing: License fees for embedding the Wildfire server into other 3rd party applications.
We will live out the values of the Open Source movement to the best of our abilities.
We will act responsibly and in the best interests of our community.
We will be responsive to the needs of the community and communicate proactively.