Pondering when to change from proprietary to Open Source

I engaged in a round of discussions on open source on the Midrange-L list regarding the use and merits of open source software in the enterprise.  I wasn’t really surprised all that much by the content of the discussion, there seems to be some folks who naturally share code and those who don’t, and there isn’t really any way to convince either side to switch. But that discussion did surface some licensing discussion that opened my eyes a bit to the issues of using open source.  Some of that information may influence my projects so it was worth participating.

I play in both camps.  I have some “proprietary” solutions that use open source code and I have some projects that I share freely.  The one “proprietary” solution I sell may eventually become open source when fully completed and if there are enough customers to sustain a “support only” business model.  I estimate that I would need about 50 individual school districts to be licensee’s in order to have a critical mass to move to a purely open source model.  But that is a guess.  The first step is to get 50 customers!  The ASAAP product is basically done after two years of solo work and although I have a long list of things I want to add and much code I want to rewrite, it is “ready to market”.  Just in time (barely) to be considered in this (bleak) budget year.

If you need a new attendance solution for your school district that will handle absence recording, substitute dispatch and time card management, drop me a line.

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