Community mailing list archives
Re: Odoo v9 Community and Enterprise editionsby
Antony Lesuisse (al)
On 05/10/2015 02:08 PM, Sebastien Beau wrote: > This is why the best OpenSource business model is to > - sell service (support, development, maintenance) > - using share funding for big "R&D" > - ask for donation > > This model is totally viable, as the cost are really reduce (not need for big > marketing investment, cost maintenance share with all the partner, shared code > review, shared R&D...) You could add - selling tee-shirts :) Caveat, the following just reflect my personal opinion. I dont believe it is a sustainable business model for a software editor. Donation is the business model of charity and foundations, it could work for small projects but not for a product like Odoo, i recommend the following article about donation and open source http://opensource.com/business/13/7/donations-open-source-projects Crowdfunding can be effective to bootstrap new ideas or finance a specific developments but not for day-to-day development. The funding we got from the crowdfunding projects we did, didn't cover costs of the actual development. Building a company just on those 2 revenue lines would be foolish and that's the reason none exists. Now remains selling support, development and maintenance, that's what we did with Odoo till now, but with moderate success because it's a doomed strategy. This strategy can works for an ISV but not for a global and mainstream software editor. - development: custom development conflict with a generic product vision, it defocus the company, and more importantly it's best done by local partners with various specific expertise, also pricing vary a lot. That's why there is so much value in the partner network and in the community. - maintenance: the more buggy the software is the more value maintenance has. Each time we fix a bug we undermine the value proposition. And yet, we want to build a great and bug-free product. Of course maintenance should be part of the package, because customers needs to be insured about problems, and no software is fully bug free. But selling only maintenance is a commercial nonsense. - support value also decrease with time, can be handled by a local partner and conflict with the product strategy (making the software simple and easy to use). A software editor can only be successful (and thus a software can only succeed) if it can secure a stable revenue stream from a least a subset of its users. And remember, if you never pay anything, YOU are the product. Nowadays the favorite model is to sell subscriptions and sometimes additional non recurring fees (usually for consultancy). For a subscription model to work it needs to come with an exclusive added value, whatever the licence. For example RHEL and MariaDB subscriptions provides you an exclusive access to their certified binaries. RHEL can be labeled as a pure Open Source product because the exclusive stuff is only the binaries instead of additional software. This is a neat trick but it would not work for Odoo. RHEL is an exception, all other open source products are financed by selling an exclusive superset with a clear value proposition example Redhat JBoss Enterprise vs JBoss community. For Odoo to succeed and to become the leader in management solution, i'm convinced that it will need hundreds of man-years of the best people focused full time in creating the best software possible. It's not possible to ensure that future based on a fragile business model. Choosing a strong business model is as important as choosing a strong technical framework and we need both to succeed. For my own code my favorite license has always been MIT, because of its simplicity. OpenERP switched to AGPL around october 2009, and i can understand the reasons of that decision before including a CMS but not anymore. In practice many people run closed source modules. i'm sure even Akretion does it, the Odoo servers of theirs customers are probably running on a public ip, i can visit the page (at least the login page) i'm thus entitled to ask for the source code of ALL modules. CMS worsened to problem. I'm entitled to ask the source code of every module of every Odoo server listening on a public ip. Does akretion wish that ? (Akretion is just an example, it's valid for every partner). No akertion doesnt want you to get all that code, they want to share SOME of it. AGPL makes no sense for a software that is modular, has to be customized for very specific use cases and is reachable on internet. That's the reason we had the private use exception. Now LGPL (as opposed to plain GPL) will allow all people (Odoo SA, partners, everyone) to mix the opensource part with EULA protected modules. The term NDA (which means non diclosure agreement) was incorrectly used in the thread where it meant EULA (meaning an EULA that would restrict distribution only, yet to be written). So, yes, if you choose to publish your modules under LGPL it will be possible for a proprietary module to override your method and extend your work. (Technically it would also be possible without linking to your code, by doing rpc calls or direct database access to avoid linking it's just much less convenient). I dont think that's evil. Most of you probably already runs very specific code with hardcoded data that you dont want to be public. We are just making that legal for every user. The other consequence is that it officially create a market for proprietary modules, the market was already there, behind the scene, operating in a gray area. The LGPL move doesn't prevent people to publish their open source modules. It allow people to publish officially their proprietary one. Let me repeat this, everything that was possible before the change still is possible. It opens the ecosystem to new possibilities. Every author is free to choose the license of its module, whether or not it publishes it by himself or through an OCA repository. Antony.