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I am the founder and CEO of Data Geekery GmbH, located in Zurich, Switzerland. With our company, we have been selling database products and services around Java and SQL since 2013. Ever since my Master's studies at EPFL in 2006, I have been fascinated by the interaction of Java and SQL. Most of this experience I have obtained in the Swiss E-Banking field through various variants (JDBC, Hibernate, mostly with Oracle). I am happy to share this knowledge at various conferences, JUGs, in-house presentations and on our blog. Lukas is a DZone MVB and is not an employee of DZone and has posted 223 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

A Significant Difference Between Open Source and Commercial Software

10.21.2013
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A recent event has triggered a lot of interest in the debate about the good and the bad parts of Open Source. Oracle’s attack on Open Source. For large corporations who aren’t Red Hat, taking a stand on the topic is far from easy. Oracle used to sell only commercial software, but has since acquired a lot of open-sourcey companies, such as Sleepycat Software (BerkeleyDB) or Sun Microsystems (Java, MySQL). Phrasing a long-term strategy upon this legacy isn’t easy.

At the same time, Oracle is extremely successful, having surpassed IBM’s revenue, making Oracle the second largest software company in the world. The continuing popularity of its flagships Java and the Oracle database is promising, also for middleware vendors providing products such as jOOQ, for their flagships.

At Data Geekery, Open Source is also very important, just as commercial licensing has become, since recently. The change towards dual-licensing has been received rather positively on the jOOQ user group, even if it led to open questions about the continued Open Source strategy. But what’s the real difference between Open Source and commercial software? At Adobe, Dr. Roy Fielding is often cited saying that there is essentially no difference between Open Source and commercial software, and he’s quite an authority for both worlds. Both are absolutely viable business models with their pros and cons respectively (unfortunately, I cannot back this up with an actual citation).

One significant difference, however, is that low-quality open source software can heavily outlive low-quality commercial software, as it just never really dies, as no one is “losing money” on low OSS “sales”. I’ve recently blogged about how to recognize such low-quality Open Source software.

Open Source is foremost a business and marketing strategy, just as much as it is a mission. This business strategy can be a good or a bad choice for any software vendor.



Published at DZone with permission of Lukas Eder, author and DZone MVB. (source)

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)

Comments

Erik Paulsson replied on Tue, 2013/10/22 - 12:35pm

All I have to say:

http://www.federaltimes.com/article/20121126/DEPARTMENTS01/311260009/How-Air-Force-blew-1-billion-dud-system

There is a reason that Google, Amazon, Facebook, Netflix, Twitter, etc. build their whole business on open source tools!

Lukas Eder replied on Tue, 2013/10/22 - 2:45pm in response to: Erik Paulsson

Yes, I remember the Swiss army having blown some 200M on a similar useless system. But how is that related to Open Source? You mean, Linus Torvalds would've implemented a better, Open Source army system?

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