Every once a while we receive enquiry asking about our products, is source code for it available as open source. It is not, and here is why.
If you look at open source projects, you can see that they almost never compose core business of their creators. If it is created by individual developers, it might be to showcase their skills for potential employers, or hobby project. Very often companies sponsor or moreover are main contributors to the project. In these cases it is never core business of that company, instead that company is a main user of that project. Making the project open source brings multiple benefits for such a company:
- Developers and users around the world contribute to the project by reporting bugs and sending pull requests with fixes for such bugs or with implementation of new features. This lowers cost of development and support of the project.
- Using open source project makes easier for third parties to use services provided by the company as its core business. So at the end cost of open source development is transferred to those end customers of core business services and products anyway.
Here are some examples:
- Microsoft is strong supporter and now main contributor of .NET OPC UA SDK (https://github.com/OPCFoundation/UA-.NETStandard). Why? Because it makes easy for customers who is used to use Microsoft stack to collect industrial control data and push it to Microsoft Azure, which is its core business.
- Amazon is main contributor of the SDK for connecting to AWS IoT from a device using embedded C (https://github.com/aws/aws-iot-device-sdk-embedded-C ). Significant portion of this project is MQTT client functionality, so it can be used as a generic MQTT client library too. Although development of such MQTT client libraries is not what Amazon’s business is, they are main contributor and made is open source, to pave the way for customers to use core business – AWS IoT platform.
- InfluxData made InfluxDb (https://github.com/influxdata/influxdb) open source, because their core business is providing services hosting InfluxDb in the cloud, so they are main users of this project and benefit from making it open source.
- The same with Confluent and other service providers who are main contributors and users of Apache Kafka (https://github.com/apache/kafka).
One-Way Automation’s core business is development of OPC UA software for customers, including ogamma Visual Logger for OPC. We are not users of our products and they are not just hobby projects. For that reason our products are not open source. We need financial support in form of revenue from selling licenses in order to continue development and support of those products.