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Re: beta testing version

From: Ned Lilly <ned(at)greatbridge(dot)com>
To: PostgreSQL Development <pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: beta testing version
Date: 2000-12-03 13:01:43
Message-ID: (view raw, whole thread or download thread mbox)
Lists: pgsql-hackers
Ron Chmara wrote:

> As it is, any company trying to make a closed version of an open source
> product has some _massive_ work to do. Manuals. Documentation. Sales.
> Branding. Phone support lines. Legal departments/Lawsuit prevention. Figuring
> out how to prevent open source from stealing the thunder by duplicating
> features. And building a _product_.
> Most Open Source projects are not products, they are merely code, and some
> horrid documentation, and maybe some support. The companies making money
> are not making better code, they are making better _products_....
> And I really havn't seen much in the way of full featured products, complete
> with printed docs, 24 hour support, tutorials, wizards, templates, a company
> to sue if the code causes damage, GUI install, setup, removal, etc. etc. etc.

This kind of stuff is more along the lines of what Great Bridge is doing.  In about
a week, we'll be releasing a GB-branded release of 7.0.3 - including printed
manuals (much of which is new), a GUI installer (which is open source), support
packages including fully-staffed 24/7.  Details to follow soon on pgsql-announce.

I don't want to speak for Pgsql Inc., but it seems to me that they are pursuing a
slightly different business model than us - more focused on providing custom
development around the base PostgreSQL software.  And that's a great way to get
more people using PostgreSQL.  Some of what they create for their customers may be
open source, some not.  It's certainly their decision - and it's a perfectly
justifiable business model, followed by open source companies such as Covalent
(Apache), Zend (PHP), and TurboLinux.  I don't think it's productive or appropriate
to beat up on Pgsql Inc for developing bolt-on products in a different way -
particularly with Vadim's clarification that the bolt-ons don't require anything
special in the open source backend.

Our own business model is, as I indicated, different.  We got a substantial
investment from our parent company, whose chairman sat on the Red Hat board for
three years, and a mandate to create a *big* company that could provide the
infrastructure (human and technical) to enable PostgreSQL to go up against the
proprietary players like Oracle and Microsoft.  A fully-staffed 24/7 data center
isn't cheap, and our services won't be either.  But it's a different type of
business - we're providing the benefits of the open source development model to a
group of customers that might not otherwise get involved, precisely because they
demand to see a company of Great Bridge's heft behind a product before they buy.

I think PostgreSQL and other open source projects are big enough for lots of
different companies, with lots of different types of business models.  Indeed, from
what I've seen of Pgsql Inc (and I hope I haven't mischaracterized them), our
business models are highly complementary.  At Great Bridge, we hope and expect that
other companies that "get it" will get more involved with PostgreSQL - that can
only add to the strength of the project.

Ned Lilly                     e: ned(at)greatbridge(dot)com
Vice President                w:
Evangelism / Hacker Relations        v: 757.233.5523
Great Bridge, LLC                    f: 757.233.5555

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Subject: Re: beta testing version
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