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Why Enerjy Tools Are Now Free

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After much thought, we have decided that selling Java development tools is not a viable business model for us. Several recent events have helped us reach this conclusion:

  • At JavaOne this year, free tools completely dominated the sessions. The exhibit hall was sparsely filled, and while we saw lots of interest in free t-shirts and spin-the-wheel games, there wasn’t much interest in the vendors’ products themselves.
  • Our friends at Agitar have begun to wind up operations. It was interesting to watch them go through several iterations of their business model but ultimately they were unable to find anything that gave them a reasonable return.
  • Sales of our own product have been slower than we had anticipated.

Ironically, I was putting together my own budget for next year and realized that there just aren’t any software purchases on there. We’ve bought a few specialized pieces of software - Mathematica for the index work; JProfiler for performance tuning and Atlassian’s Jira and Bamboo - but we’ve moved to free tools for everything else. Atlassian has insane maintenance prices, so if anything happened to Jira or Bamboo, we’d almost certainly replace them with Trac and something like Hudson.

The good news is that we are absolutely committed to the Enerjy product and, therefore, with immediate effect, the Enerjy plugin for Eclipse is available at no charge. Our goal is to become the most widely used static code analysis tool in the Eclipse world by providing a wide but pragmatic ruleset and the same level of seamless integration that you’ve come to expect from Enerjy. We have great plans for widening the ruleset and making the configuration wizard smarter to help manage all those extra rules.

So, how are we going to stay in business if the product is free? Well, we run a very tight ship here, and we have sufficient funding to continue for the foreseeable future. Moving forward, we have had success in the past providing expert advice to organizations on code quality. With the additional data and experience we have gained from the Enerjy Index, the plugin and Bugpedia we believe that we can offer unique, technology-based consulting services to companies seeking help with code quality issues.

To those users who purchased the product after April 1, we will be contacting you to arrange a refund of your purchase price.

If you have any questions please post them here or, if you prefer, contact me directly at mark_dixon at

Published at DZone with permission of its author, Mark Dixon.

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


Chris Wilkes replied on Tue, 2008/06/10 - 10:40am

<i> so if anything happened to Jira or Bamboo, we’d almost certainly replace them with Trac and something like Hudson.</i>

While Trac is far better and easier to use than Bugzilla there's really no comparison between Trac and Jira.   Jira can charge as much as it likes as the nearest free competitor looks clunky, has hard to setup reports, doesn't easily have graphs in it (unless you want to install one of a dozen plugins and then do some SQL updates), etc, etc.  I'm sure someone will say it is easy to do, but it isn't for someone that has other things to do.

 And that's another reason why people pay for Jira.  They don't have the time to read pages of README and INSTALL and BUGS to figure out what to do.  They just want something that works out of the box with minimal effort and has some shiny bling to look at.


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