Will Open Source survive?

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site, you are agreeing to our Cookie Policy.

  • Will Open Source survive?

    Dear all,

    there are several questions in various threads regarding the Palo Community Edition. Will there be no more updates to it? Does Jedox move entirely towards the commercial versions, no longer supporting the Open Source community?

    There does not seem to be any clear message as to this from Jedox so far. I would like to know your opinion: Does the Open Source model make sense at all to a software vendor?

    There were discussions at the Palo Open conference, and one or the other Open Source veteran said, well, the communities consisting of more and more people who, unlike in the old days, just use the free software but neither contribute nor donate, projects are in a danger to run out of money so the companies behind them have no choice but to try and increase their income by selling licenses.

    Can Open Source still be more than a marketing gag to attract people and make them buy the Enterprise editions, or are we watching the decay of an initially fascinating idea into mere commercialism? What do you think?


    The post was edited 1 time, last by holger_b ().

  • Hi Holger,

    both of us have discussed this in person in the past ...

    In some countries people (esp. in business) do not understand Open Source.

    "vendor" and open source is more or less an oxymoron in my book.

    What choice did Jedox have when they started the Palo business. Put an inferior product to market and then compete with slightly lower prices against the established players like Systems Union or Applix at the time?

    The open source way was not a "gag" but a viable strategic alternative to reach a completely different audience: cost sensitive, independence seeking, vendor burned (www2.erpgraveyard.com/tombs.html) ... people.

    Some of these strategic questions are topics of Mark Madsen's musings (thirdnature.net/ , Mark was a speaker at Palo Open).

    You can carry out a strategy well or badly. There are questions of timing. I reserve my judgement on this.

    Fundamentally there is an open source way of thinking.

    In my opinion under the pressure to earn money to keep the boat floating this way of thinking got lost at Jedox. We will see a change in management and the new powers do not stand for open source and they have an agenda.

    Maybe doing "an Infor" to bail out the venture capitalists?

    On the other hand: what is in the wild is under GPL - an interesting choice considering closing the source.
    I have yet to see an example where this was successful. There are many examples of companies thriving with open source - although mostly not selling software.

    In the thread "getting the 3.2 community edition" here I posted a link to lwn.net on community management. Interesting read - also the comments.

    I think Jedox should embrace more an open source model and not change it in the other direction.

    But there are also pressures to earn money. In software you try to sell (additional) licenses and charge 20%+ ongoing for support. Consulting with focusing on software is mostly changing money (consultants salaries).

    For Jedox I only see the option to sell support (priced on value or market rates), maybe some addons like Supervision Server.

    Selling software and trumping "open source" is not viable.
  • My opinion: Th open source concept will not be dead because some companies involved move towards commercial solutions (only ???), like it seems to be with Jedox.

    I think the concept to let the community do testing and bug reporting on one side and do own further developments on the basis given is attractive also for the future.

    It is usually the wide range of small units, installing and using a community version and hopefully having success with it, becoming interested one day to go for a wider, commercial versioin, paying license fees for it.

    This is the experience of many IT guys, fighting in their company for getting a solution accepted and an ok for an IT investment. To start on a small and cheap level and having success with it is alway convincing CEO's and Finance managers very well, to further invest into this solution, as a business or Premium version at the end.

    Nothing can economically speaking replace the wide testing under different conditions as it is done by a worldwide community. To do it on your own it is clear that the costs are enourmous and the rersult is not comparable, as a view developper will never apply the different conditions, executed by a worldwide community of OS users.

    As a reward the software supplyer should give back a corrected version to the community for further usage and testing with some new features added , and so on and so on. In this way the software supplier gets a continous support by the community.

    By addition of additional functionality to this basis and sell them as commercial (Premium-, Enterprise -etc) version to bigger buisness users a good economic performance is givern to the software supplier.

    In addition, by offering support, consulting service on honorarbasis to users, the software producer will have more earnings also.

    Hopefully Jedox will also realize this and not turn to a pure commercial software supplier. Than there are a lot of options to go for, Oracle, TM1, Cognos etc. etc. etc. etc.

    Sugar CRM is a very good example how this OS concept, combined with commercial versions works effectively.

    I am also using Sugar CRM
  • Hi there
    for me "open source" is a missleading word. We all hope that not any handycrafter can change the source-core of the software. We applicationbilders and customers want to have confidence in stabel and professional software, also in the community-version.
    In fact, an important reason to start with palo (and not with infor or tm1 or..) was and is the lisence-free idea.
    This is a very good businessmodel, to start with a small application (server-client, Excel as frontend, 1 - 3 user's) in a controlling-department with no lisence cost, than in a further step (more user's, web-frontend, gpu .. ) the customer is willed to pay some license fee if he has a poitive impression.

    I hope Jedox will recognice this fact. This is a deciding advantage to the hole competitors. If Jedox is trying now to smoothly change and charges fees also for the basics (olap-db with excel), it will cost a lot of sympathies and goodwill.

    Best regards
  • @akunz

    views differ ...

    "open source" is a strong "idea" - click on some of the links I provided please
    I have in the past several times changed something in the source (even Palo) to get things running or understand what is going on
    open source IS professional most of the time

    We invested a million EUR in a software solution (50% for the license) and run the DWH of the company with it - we have a open source clause in the contract to bail us out if something goes against the contract. Did you have a look at the ERP-graveyard?

    Palo is NOT license free! in fact it is released under the GPL - a very strong message

    Jedox charges for support - fine with me, they are very good
  • Hi,

    I think we had a similar discussion at the Palo Open with the Jedox guys. :)
    To me providing open source software as a software selling company can help saving on

    development, support or marketing expenses. As Palo has only very little community

    contribution on the code I don't see many advantages besides pure closed source. The main

    issue, testing in the community in my opinion, will be seen less often, if the time gap

    between CE and PE is too huge. Why should I test outdated software? And as a result less

    cost saving on support because the community will shrink.
    Simply providing free software is no longer a differenciator, look at MicroStrategy. So

    from a marketing perspective, giving away the software for free will not give any returns

    as soon as there are more BI-givaways available.

    From my experience in the market and it's customers' willingness to pay for support, a

    business model that relies on support revenue only will not be able to get enough revenue

    to build and maintain a competitive BI platform.

    Still one should acknowledge what Jedox has built a strong competitve product, they now

    want to sell. They have to be competitive and provitable to be of any use to their customers, partners and employees. So how to solve this dilemma?

  • Hi All!

    To some extent I understand the way as Jedox handles its product and why Jedox is pushing forward the Premium version. I think that the pace of development of Palo is huge and many of the bugs in the previous versions (hopefully they are corrected in 3.2) comes from this haste. Furthermore, the new features themselves are coming quite fast, the response time for bug reports or feature requests is very low. I believe that all the Jedox developers have done a lot of overtime during the last months to create the newer versions. From their point of view seeing a lot of people complaining and calling themselves as community when a very large portion of them does not contribute anything to the project, just downloads the product of the Jedox' work may be enfuriating. I am also sure that the revenue model that is based on clients who download a free version of the Palo, use it and later change for the Premium version works very slowly. It takes several months, sometimes years to start the very first development project, and it is only the first project that may convince the user that it is worth buying the Premium version. But Jedox has to pay taxes and wages in the meantime too. Would anyone be happy hearing that "We stop development until enough money is collected from selling the Premium version, or, of course you as community can contribute your own code?"

    Now you may think I completely support Jedox. Not exactly, I am just saying that not only greed may drive Jedox but also strong compulsions.

    Personally, besides all my understanding for the situation of Jedox I think that Jedox chose this way when started to develop an open source software. If the business model is not working, well, that is sad, but that happens. If Jedox accepted the good part (free testers) the it should accept also the bad part. The way Jedox handles the community is very rude. I do not think of only the right to use the product. During the last two years I spent a lot of time convincing people that they can trust open source, it is of good quality and the open code remains always within easy reach. Now I have a buggy 3.1 that is not always fun to work with and the announcements of Jedox about the time delay. The only thing that these business people (to whom I have tried to explain open source) now understand is that the software developer can do anything just as with any other proprietary software. True or not true - they do not understand more. They do not want to hear about licenses, they want the software "in hand". It will not make them trust open source at all. Further, I do not think that Jedox can despise the developers who develop in the community version Jedox, at least some of them are partners. Being a Jedox Partner is not a free thing: you pay for it. So the partners put together some money whether they sold a premium license or not. I think it is another reason for Jedox to give back something to the community. (Jedox! I worked for a developer firm but i have just left! It is my personal opinion.)

    Finally one question. The core of the Palo is under GPL. The core of the premium version contains the same GPL code (if I am mistaken please let me know). As far as I know it means that the source code of a new version must be published. I can not remember any statement when it must be done. I just feel that it should happen on the same day when someone publishes a software based on the GPL code. Sourceforge still does not hold the source code for 3.2. Is not Jedox continuously violating the GPL since the release of the 3.2 version?

  • Interesting question:
    Is not Jedox continuously violating the GPL since the release of the 3.2 version?

    I think they do since releasing the 3.1SR last June/July.

    But then: I could not find a license at all! I had to accept some business terms and could read through the GPL before DLing the software. But - is it under GPL? Which license at all? I did not find any hints other than LICENSE_en.rtf which is no license. In doubt GPL.

    But hey - we can at least fork the last code drop in the Sourceforge repository ...
  • YES. It is alive.

    The answer is: YES!
    I hereby proudly annouce the release of Colibri BI-Appliance, which bundels Palo OLAP Server 5.1, Palo ETL Server 5.1, PalOOCa 5.1 (Libre / Openoffice Plugin) und Colibri Web-ETL into a virtual appliance, which should work out of the (virtual) box.

    It is intendend to succeed Palo Suite 3.2 and complement the (great) Jedox Premium Version as an Open-Source Introduction into the world of Jedox-BI.

    see: proclos.com/stories/colibri-open-bi-appliance/

    Support und contributions keeping this project alive is more than welcome!

    Congratulations and great thanx to Jedox for the 5.1 release!