Dual Licensing

By Lisa Vaas  |  Posted 2004-05-24 Print this article Print

This differs from the dual-licensing structure of companies such as open-source database maker MySQL AB. MySQLs dual-licensing structure works on a quid pro quo basis: If youre free, MySQL is free. If youre closed, you need a license. MySQL recently tweaked its license after facing confusion over licensing technicalities. Click here to read more.
The dual-licensing model didnt appeal because CA wasnt interested in that revenue stream, Donegan said. What CA will sell is indemnification, support and, potentially, as-yet-undeveloped offerings around heightened security for national-security situations or features CA adds on that may involve other third-party or royalty-based code.
Ingres runs in a number of government instances. Future, heightened security technology will not be turned over to the open-source code library. But 128-bit encryption and more traditional security code will be turned over, Donegan said. Although CA will be reviewing code contributions, it plans to indemnify those who purchase such protection so as to protect customers against potential copyright infringement claims. CA hasnt as yet worked out the levels of support that it will sell, but "at a minimum" will offer 24x7 support as it now does, Donegan said. During the 90-day period that will precede the code release, CA will look into the option of offering a heightened service-level agreement (SLA) for those who, say, need an answer in 30 minutes. The revenue stream that will be lost from Ingres licensing is "not insignificant," Donegan said. "Its a tidy sum of money we look forward to each year," he said. But CA feels that the growth to be gained by turning Ingres over to open source will more than make up for that changeover, he said, and in the end the company thinks it will end up with far more users. In other open-source news at CAWorld, the company is working on a Linux module that enables kernel events to be communicated to user applications. Click here to read more. Donegan said Ingres Release 3 development will continue and that the company will continue to service commercial customers or embedded uses of Ingres, just as it has in the past. "The fact that its being open-sourced doesnt impact [existing customers] one iota," he said. What motivated the move to open-sourcing Ingres was taking a hard look at the marketplace, where the prospect of competing with relational database giants Oracle Corp., IBM and Microsoft Corp. was looking bleak. "We looked at the marketplace, and we looked at the saturation of the traditional platforms and the spontaneously huge growth in the Linux platform, and it made sense to look at how we could best take part in it," Donegan said. Ingres users will be asking CA some hard questions as it gears up for the move, including how stability will be affected, Schmidt noted. "We have [clients] sites that run Ingres that support hundreds of concurrent users," he said. "Theyll ask, How does this affect the stability of the platform were running on? Also, if open-sourcing means things get fixed faster, if it means that requests for changes [get resolved] faster, theyll be happy. If its just a shot to get publicity, I think it will be met with indifference." To answer the stability concern, Donegan noted that the input of the open-source community will mean that more fixes come in faster. "Were putting more sets of eyes on the code," he said. "Were bound to deliver a higher volume of fixes and/or more frequent fixes. The fixes still need to go through CA review, though. … Were not giving up any quality assurance or responsibility for the code. Weve now widened the availability of technical folks to be able to do so." Check out eWEEK.coms Database Center at http://database.eweek.com for the latest database news, views and analysis. Be sure to add our eWEEK.com database news feed to your RSS newsreader or My Yahoo page:  

Lisa Vaas is News Editor/Operations for eWEEK.com and also serves as editor of the Database topic center. Since 1995, she has also been a Webcast news show anchorperson and a reporter covering the IT industry. She has focused on customer relationship management technology, IT salaries and careers, effects of the H1-B visa on the technology workforce, wireless technology, security, and, most recently, databases and the technologies that touch upon them. Her articles have appeared in eWEEK's print edition, on eWEEK.com, and in the startup IT magazine PC Connection. Prior to becoming a journalist, Vaas experienced an array of eye-opening careers, including driving a cab in Boston, photographing cranky babies in shopping malls, selling cameras, typography and computer training. She stopped a hair short of finishing an M.A. in English at the University of Massachusetts in Boston. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College. She runs two open-mic reading series in Boston and currently keeps bees in her home in Mashpee, Mass.

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