OpenXava needs a business model
September 29, 2011
OpenXava exists for ten years now, without any business model around it, that is, OpenXava has not generated money by itself for now. The way OpenXava has survived so many years is by sponsorship. In the first years I, Javier Paniza, personally using my own computer, in my home and in my own spare time created OpenXava and developed the most important part of it, just for fun. Afterwards, the company where I work, Gestión 400, developed all its Java line of product using OpenXava, in this way Gestión 400 takes over the sponsorship role.
The Gestión 400 sponsorship works in the following way: when a Gestión 400 customer ask for some new feature or complains for some bug in some application, if this feature/bug is a generic one we implement/fix it in OpenXava. In this way, we improve continously OpenXava and at the same time we give service to Gestión 400 customers. Really, this method works pretty well, allowing to OpenXava grows in the last several years.
However, today in 2011 OpenXava is no longer an inner tool used by Gestión 400, but a very popular framework used by many companies and individuals around the globe, so the sponsorship model starts to show some shortcomings, for instance:
- Many interesting new features and bug fixing requested by the community are ignored. Sometimes the members of the community can add the features or fixing the bugs by themselves, but many times they have no the needed expertise to do so. I think the OpenXava has to meet the neededs of all its users.
- Major technological improvements. For example, things as a Vaadin UI generators, support for other inheritance strategies for JPA entities, etc. are suggested by the community as interesting improvements, but it's for sure that no Gestión 400 customer will ask by any of these features.
For all these, I think that is very important creating a business model around OpenXava in order to server better to the community, to grow technologically and to asure its own survival.
What type of business model? We'll begin offering professional support and training. Afterwards, we'll sell commercial plugins for OpenXava applications. Anyways, we are ready to adapt to the needs and preferences of the community.
In any case, we'll will maintain the level of functionality and robustness of OpenXava, and we'll never change its licence. In fact, I cannot change OpenXava licence, because it is a LGPL project with more than 50 authors. OpenXava is not mine, so I cannot sell it.