This new release is a very important milestone on our way to the final 3.0.0.GA version, both from technical and business point-of-views:
What's new on the technical side?
Beside the usual bug fixes and improvements, the 3.0.0.M3 version of our platform brings the following new features (some of them were already present in previous milestones, though at an early development stage):
- JavaFX support is maturing: you can benefit from all advanced features which were only available in Tide / Flex and a more efficient serialization protocol than AMF3 for Java clients (JMF – Java Messaging Format)
- Android support is brand new in this release: you can already develop full featured mobile applications connected to a GraniteDS backend and this new feature also relies on the improved JMF protocol.
- All Java client libraries are now built using Gradle: we are moving the build process of the all platform to Gradle and are planning to “gradlelize” everything before the final 3.0.0.GA.
Our focus for the next release (likely a 3.0.0.RC1) will be on Android, UDP-based real-time messaging and JSON support.
Documentation and tutorials need an update, we will post new resources as soon as they are available.
What's new on the business side?
GraniteDS has always been an avid supporter of open source software. Our business model so far has been to sale yearly subscriptions to an enterprise version of our platform, embedding some very advanced features absent from the community version, together with an access to professional support services.
While we have had and still have some success with this model, it is clearly targeted to mid / big organizations developing critical applications: most of our users are simply using the community version, either because they don’t need any support or can’t afford to pay for our enterprise subscription packages. As a result, generated revenues are below what we need to move to the next step and truly develop and promote GraniteDS in the long run.
After considering different options, we have decided to move to the following business model:
- GraniteDS stays open source and is even more open source than ever: the few advanced features which were not available in the community platform are going to be in the same Github repository, just like everything else (planned for the 3.0.0.RC1).
- Most of the platform is still released under the LGPL 2.0 license, though we are going to move it to LGPL 2.1 (version 2.0 is now largely outdated and so to say historical); Advanced libraries (Granite Android and JavaFX Libraries in 3.0.0.M3) are released under the GPL 3.0 license, with the option of purchasing a commercial license.
- Support packages are still available, alongside the new commercial licenses: they are two different kind of things and the only purpose of the commercial license is to enable people to use our GPL 3.0 software without the legal requirement to distribute their products under a compatible open source license. However, commercial license fees will be waived for our current customers, provided they have a up-to-date yearly-subscription to one of our enterprise package and as long as they renew this subscription.
- Commercial licenses are affordable and even free for early birds: see our pricing.
We sincerely hope that you will understand this move, which is, from our point-of-view, pretty fair: open source and free software is great and must stay free for people developing open source software as well. For those who develop commercial software, and unless they can live with the basic features of our platform, an affordable and predictable financial contribution is now asked.
So, what's going to be LGPL and GPL?
In the 3.0.0.M3 release, only the Granite Android and JavaFX Libraries are released under GPL 3.0, with the option of purchasing a commercial license: this includes Tide for Java client applications, but the basic Java client features (eg. low-level remoting and real-time messaging) are still LGPL. Everything else in the platform is LGPL (server-side libraries, Flex client libraries, code generation tools).
Starting with the next 3.0.0.RC1 release, two other products will be available under the same dual-licensing scheme (GPL 3.0 / GraniteDS SLA):
- Granite Advanced Flex Library: former enterprise-only features (such as differential serialization), ActionScript3 big numbers implementation, Flex validation (Bean Validation implementation on the Flex side) and Tide for Flex.
- Granite UDP Libraries: UDP-based real-time messaging (for Flex and Java clients).
Again, we are and will be offering free commercial licenses for early birds, so it is not going to hurt your wallet if you contact us fast enough (the final 3.0.0.GA won’t be released before early October at the earliest).
Comments are welcome,
The GraniteDS Team.