Breaking Free from Proprietary Gravitational Pull

This is a talk about a year long journey focused on open sourcing a collection of extremely successful and mature Pivotal data products (Gemfire, HAWQ, Greenplum) and catalyzing young open source communities around them: Apache Geode (incubating), Apache HAWQ (incubating) and Greenplum Database. You will hear about our internal struggles, what challenges we had to overcome, what business models we had to considered and the gnarly questions that we had to wrestle with (including everybody’s favorite: licensing!). This talk will also highlight some of the salient technical details and historical background (did you know Gemfire traces its lineage to the original Smalltalk Object Database Gemstone?) that made this journey even more exciting and got us to join some of the most recognizable open source communities: Apache Software Foundation and PostgreSQL. Finally, with all of these communities and their products having highly varied histories, licensing, and governance models we will share some of the lessons we’ve learned in the fine art of delivering this phenomenal amount of open source innovation to the enterprise customers.

Session outline:

  • Reasons for Open Sourcing a Commercial Product
  • Business + Legal choices: Licensing, Governance & Ownership
  • Engineering Choices: Incorporating Components, Collaborative Tools
  • Technical Steps in Bringing a Project to Open Source