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Open source versus commercial licenses

Increasingly, open source has become a mantra within IT.  Their two trains of thought on open source and commercial licensing.  The first, of course, is that developers should have an opening community and share in share alike.  The other school of thought is that we need to keep our processes proprietary. 

Oracle offers a dual licensing model to customers.  Companies have a choice of either an open source OSI-certified license that allows you use open-source software like Berkeley DB or other applications OR a closed source license distribution to third parties.  What are the benefits?

With a commercial license, you have a single vendor source, which means you have a dedicated team that you can go back.  You have ongoing maintenance and development on your product.  In open-source license, you’re free to use multiple vendors and have a huge user community.  The issue will always be the debugging integration into third-party applications.  Downloads of all open-source products can be found on the Oracle Technology Network.  The open-source product can be used without charge as long as you free leave redistribute it under reasonable conditions.  If you don’t release the source code, you must purchase a license from Oracle.

So what does redistribution mean?  It means that your application is distributed to third parties.  Even giving a parent organization, subsidiaries, business partners, vendors and the like are generally considered part of redistribution in an open source licensing environment. 

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