Sorry for the delay in answering. I try to give a bit more of a background and feedback to your comments below.@Julio
Thanks for your comments. I try to give some insight into our support policy for the community edition.
1. If the community finds bugs, will Rapid-I take action? Or can the community submit solutions that will be incorporated by Rapid-I? Please let us know what your strategy is here. If you stop support, and certainly I am NOT suggesting this, then possibly a fork would be the way to go. Still, I don´t think this would be ideal to anyone midterm.
This is indeed a very important question. However, RapidMiner will indeed continue to support also the Community Edition also with respect to bug fixing. We will actively fix major bugs (“showstoppers”) and will review and embed community submissions where applicable. We will, however, not continue to add or implement any kind of feature request for all older versions or minor bugs. We hope that we found with this policy a good balance between giving users reason to upgrade to the new version and / or becoming our customers while we are still supporting the community of users of the open source version by ensuring that most severe bugs will be removed.
2. If the community creates extensions to RM 5, can these still be submitted to the marketplace? We actually submitted a request recently (free of charge contribution) and the feedback was that this was already incorporated in RM 6 (?)... Therefore my question.
Yes, the community can still submit extensions to the Marketplace. From my technical understanding, those extensions developer for RM 5 should be supported also by RM 6 in most cases (a few rare cases with a lot of class loader “tuning” might be problematic though). That means that extensions can be used within RapidMiner 5 and RapidMiner 6. We will try to keep compatibility also for future versions.
3. we are using RM and for a number of projects I think that your personal commercial offer could fit. Again, can you please explain somewhere what the exact differences are between the various flavours, ideally with the whole licensing agreement? I am willing to bet for a free RM version that what is on the web are not the only differences. If yes, I will commit to buy the personal version within the next three months...
I would actually suggest to reach out to our sales team (firstname.lastname@example.org
) to get this type of explanation. Usually a quick conversation should be enough to answer these and similar questions.
4. Could you say anything about compatibility between RM 5 and RM 6? Some of our projects may not be compatible with RM6 licensing (connections to GPL3 processes, financially, ...). So, anything you can say about this... We could be in a situation where we have to support both versions, or standardize on just one...
Technically, all processes built within RapidMiner 5 should be fully compatible and working with RapidMiner 6. We always did a quite good job in maintaining compatibility (already at the “drastic” changes between 4 and 5 and even more since we have introduced the compatibility levels for single operators – a feature not even our large commercial competitors offer…) but for RM 6 this was even better in my opinion. I personally did not encounter any compatibility issue so far and neither did anybody from our consulting team.
5. will it be possible to adapt (legally..) the code in RM6, let´s say enterprise edition? I.e. is there a right to modify?
Yes and No. You will have access to large parts of the code and the core of RapidMiner is actually licensed under an open source license (and those parts can be adapted and changed in theory) but you won’t have access to the complete code and you won’t have the right to legally modify it.
Hope those answers have helped.@ Swapnil
Also thanks to you for your nice words and great comments. I think you are spot on with them and fully understood the motivation.
It is indeed correct that we wanted to achieve two goals:
Goal No 1 was to get rid of the functional differences between the editions. All users should have access to all features, not only a small group of customers. And eventually, everything should become open source and not just some core. This is why we embraced the business source model of Monty Widenius so much – it really supported this while at the same we adapted it in a sense that we offered even a free version (“free” as in “free beer” at least) in parallel (Starter).
Goal No 2 was to offer a feature-rich platform for evaluation and for smaller projects, but as soon as things become more serious or the user switch to production mode, there should be stronger reasons to establish a commercial agreement with RapidMiner. That is exactly what you said with
Pricing comes into place when these processes or code are used in a business deployment to gain a business benefit.
Although there can never be a perfect differentiator, we analyzed a lot of data ourselves to find out what are the best differentiators between “evaluation mode” and “production mode” with RapidMiner. It turned out that memory usage and data sources are the two most simple but also strongest factors here. One alone unfortunately did not cover enough cases so we had to implement them both. Since we are all analysts I am sure you understand ;-)
By the way, there are indeed other vendors in the broader analytics space who only differentiate by data source, e.g. Tableau. And I fully agree with your assessment that the industry is moving there:
Also appreciate your policy of charging for computing power and on period basis, which is completely consistent with service oriented pricing rather than license oriented one that the industry is turning to.
And finally a last comment on the data source restriction when it comes to Proofs of Contepts (PoCs). For exactly the reason of doing PoC projects for customers, we also offered the free trial of the Professional edition in addition to the Starter edition. The trial is time-limited but this should be ok for proving the point (“Yes, RM can work on your database”). Hope this better explains why we “invented” the editions like they are today.
Thanks again for your comments and questions. Those are extremely helpful to understand our users better!