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The open-core model is a business model for the monetization of commercially produced open-source software. Coined by Andrew Lampitt in 2008,the open-core model primarily involves offering a "core" or feature-limited version of a software product as free and open-source software, while offering "commercial" versions or add-ons as proprietary software.
The concept of open-core software has proven to be controversial, as many developers do not consider the business model to be true open-source software. Despite this, open-core models are used by many open-source software companies.
Some open-core products require their contributors to sign a contributor license agreement, which either dictates that the copyright of all contributions to the product become the property of its owner, or that the product's owner is given an unlimited, non-exclusive license to use the contributions, but the authors retain copyright ownership. In an open-core scenario, these agreements are typically meant to allow the commercial owner of the product (which in some cases, is ultimately the copyright holder to all of its code, regardless of its original author) to simultaneously market versions of the product under open-source and non-free licenses. This is in contrast with more traditional uses of CLAs, which are meant solely to allow the steward of an open-source project to defend its copyright, or guarantee that the code will only ever be made available under open-source terms, thus protecting it from becoming open core.
A new variation of the practice emerged in 2018 among several open core products intended for server-side use, seeking to control use of the product as part of a service offered to a customer. These practices, in particular, target incorporation of the software into proprietary services by cloud application service providers such as Amazon Web Services, but with what vendors perceive to be inadequate compensation or contributions back to the upstream software in return.
MongoDB changed its license from the GNU Affero General Public License (a variation of the GPL which requires that the software's source code be offered to those who use it over a network) to a modified version of GPL version 3 titled the "Server Side Public License" (SSPL), where the source code of the entire service must be released under the SSPL if it incorporates an SSPL-licensed component.Bruce Perens, co-author of The Open Source Definition, argued that the SSPL violated its requirement for an open source license to not place restrictions on software distributed alongside the licensed software. The Open Source Initiative (OSI) ruled that the SSPL violates the Open Source Definition and is therefore not a free software license, as it is discriminatory against commercial use. Debian, Fedora, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux pulled MongoDB from their distributions after the license change, considering the new license to be in violation of their licensing policies.
Redis Labs made its Redis plugins subject to the "Commons Clause", a restriction on sale of the software on top of the existing Apache License terms. After criticism, this was changed in 2019 to the "Redis Source Available License", a non-free license which forbids sale of the software as part of "a database, a caching engine, a stream processing engine, a search engine, an indexing engine or an ML/DL/AI serving engine".The last versions of the modules licensed solely under the Apache License were forked and are maintained by community members under the GoodFORM project.
MySQL is an open-source relational database management system (RDBMS). Its name is a combination of "My", the name of co-founder Michael Widenius's daughter, and "SQL", the abbreviation for Structured Query Language. A relational database organizes data into one or more data tables in which data types may be related to each other; these relations help structure the data. SQL is a language programmers use to create, modify and extract data from the relational database, as well as control user access to the database. In addition to relational databases and SQL, an RDBMS like MySQL works with an operating system to implement a relational database in a computer's storage system, manages users, allows for network access and facilitates testing database integrity and creation of backups.
Source-available software is software released through a source code distribution model that includes arrangements where the source can be viewed, and in some cases modified, but without necessarily meeting the criteria to be called open-source. The licenses associated with the offerings range from allowing code to be viewed for reference to allowing code to be modified and redistributed for both commercial and non-commercial purposes.
eZ Publish is an open-source enterprise PHP content management system that was developed by the Norwegian company Ibexa. eZ Publish is freely available under the GNU GPL version 2 license, as well as under proprietary licenses that include commercial support. In 2015, eZ Systems introduced eZ Platform to replace eZ Publish with a more modern and future-proof solution.
Multi-licensing is the practice of distributing software under two or more different sets of terms and conditions. This may mean multiple different software licenses or sets of licenses. Prefixes may be used to indicate the number of licenses used, e.g. dual-licensed for software licensed under two different licenses.
LAMP is an acronym denoting one of the most common solution stacks for many of the web's most popular applications. However, LAMP now refers to a generic software stack model and its components are largely interchangeable.
The GNU Affero General Public License is a free, copyleft license published by the Free Software Foundation in November 2007, and based on the GNU General Public License, version 3 and the Affero General Public License.
In computing, Puppet is a software configuration management tool which includes its own declarative language to describe system configuration. It is a model-driven solution that requires limited programming knowledge to use.
PostBooks is a proprietary accounting and enterprise resource planning business system geared toward small to medium-sized businesses. It used to be released under an open source CPAL license on GitHub, but was made non-free in June 2019. Postbooks was based on the commercially licensed xTuple ERP system created by xTuple, a private software company based in Norfolk, Virginia (VA), United States.
A Contributor License Agreement (CLA) defines the terms under which intellectual property has been contributed to a company/project, typically software under an open source license.
An embedded database system is a database management system (DBMS) which is tightly integrated with an application software that requires access to stored data, such that the database system is "hidden" from the application's end-user and requires little or no ongoing maintenance. It is actually a broad technology category that includes
Companies whose business centers on the development of open-source software employ a variety of business models to solve the challenge of how to make money providing software that is by definition licensed free of charge. Each of these business strategies rests on the premise that users of open-source technologies are willing to purchase additional software features under proprietary licenses, or purchase other services or elements of value that complement the open-source software that is core to the business. This additional value can be, but not limited to, enterprise-grade features and up-time guarantees to satisfy business or compliance requirements, performance and efficiency gains by features not yet available in the open source version, legal protection, or professional support/training/consulting that are typical of proprietary software applications.
MongoDB is a source-available cross-platform document-oriented database program. Classified as a NoSQL database program, MongoDB uses JSON-like documents with optional schemas. MongoDB is developed by MongoDB Inc. and licensed under the Server Side Public License (SSPL).
FoundationDB is a free and open-source multi-model distributed NoSQL database developed by Apple Inc. with a shared-nothing architecture. The product was designed around a "core" database, with additional features supplied in "layers." The core database exposes an ordered key-value store with transactions. The transactions are able to read or write multiple keys stored on any machine in the cluster while fully supporting ACID properties. Transactions are used to implement a variety of data models via layers.
Redis Labs is a private computer software company based in Mountain View, California. It provides a database management system marketed as "NoSQL" as open source software or as a service using cloud computing. The company has additional offices in London and Tel Aviv.
GitLab is a web-based DevOps lifecycle tool that provides a Git-repository manager providing wiki, issue-tracking and continuous integration and deployment pipeline features, using an open-source license, developed by GitLab Inc. The software was created by Ukrainian developers Dmitriy Zaporozhets and Valery Sizov.
RocksDB is a high performance embedded database for key-value data. It is a fork of Google's LevelDB optimized to exploit many CPU cores, and make efficient use of fast storage, such as solid-state drives (SSD), for input/output (I/O) bound workloads. It is based on a log-structured merge-tree data structure. It is written in C++ and provides official language bindings for C++, C, and Java; alongside many third-party language bindings. RocksDB is open-source software, and was originally released under a BSD 3-clause license. However, in July 2017 the project was migrated to a dual license of both Apache 2.0 and GPLv2 license, possibly in response to the Apache Software Foundation's blacklist of the previous BSD+Patents license clause.
DBeaver is a SQL client software application and a database administration tool. For relational databases it uses the JDBC application programming interface (API) to interact with databases via a JDBC driver. For other databases (NoSQL) it uses proprietary database drivers. It provides an editor that supports code completion and syntax highlighting. It provides a plug-in architecture that allows users to modify much of the application's behavior to provide database-specific functionality or features that are database-independent. This is a desktop application written in Java and based on Eclipse platform.
The Server Side Public License (SSPL) is a source-available software license introduced by MongoDB Inc. in 2018. It is a modified version of the GNU General Public License version 3, which mandates that any third-party "service" that incorporates SSPL-licensed software must release the entirety of their source code under the SSPL.
Some companies have only a single version of their software, while others follow an “open core” model, providing a community release of the core version, and offering proprietary premium features using a commercial license.
It was one of the first commercial companies to champion a concept called "open core."
"We deliver a fully functional cloud with Eucalyptus software. You can download it on a GPL v3 license. But, additionally, we provide enterprise features only if you pay for them ... it's open core," he says.
To make money, Eucalyptus Systems uses an open-core business model, offering one version of the software free through an open-source license and selling a commercial version with support and additional features ...