I’m happy to announce that we’re making most of Openfire Enterprise Open Source! First, a bit of context: for the past couple of years, one way that we (Jive Software) have monetized our Open Source work on Openfire and the other projects on igniterealtime.org has been through Openfire Enterprise. Openfire Enterprise addresses the Enterprise Instant Messaging (EIM) market by adding rich reporting, archiving, and control features on top of Openfire. Since we released Clearspace last year, Jive has become super-focused on social collaboration and communities. That’s pretty different than the EIM market and it’s become increasingly difficult for us to serve both markets with our limited resources. Instead, we want to focus our Openfire work on real-time social and collaborative features and monetize our Open Source efforts through Clearspace integrations.
Discontinuing a commercial product is always a difficult decision and one of our biggest concerns is not leaving existing customers in a lurch. We’ll continue to provide support for Openfire Enterprise through existing support contracts and believe that making the Enterprise components Open Source is the best possible outcome for customers given the options. We remain strongly committed to the Openfire project and are pretty excited about what’s coming in the future.
A Few Details
Gato will have a follow-up blog post with a lot more details about what we’re releasing as Open Source and how, but I wanted to highlight two items. Sparkweb is our flex-based web client based on XIFF and will become Open Source. The client is already very feature rich and polished, and we’re actively making many code improvements to it, as it’s a shared code base with the real-time client features we’re building into Clearspace. Second, the clustering functionality in Enterprise will not be made Open Source. Part of the reason for this is that we use a third-party commercial library for clustering that can’t be Open-sourced.
Let’s Go Get 'em
One of our hopes with this move is that the last possible objection to deploying XMPP-based instant messaging at every organization in the world is now removed. Now, everyone will have access to an open standards solution that satisfies all the needs of IT departments… for free. We think that’s great news for the community and getting our technology deployed even more widely is good for Jive Software as well. We hope you’ll join us in spreading the word.