The Commercial Open Source Business Model

  • Dirk Riehle
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 36)


Commercial open source software projects are open source software projects that are owned by a single firm that derives a direct and significant revenue stream from the software. Commercial open source at first glance represents an economic paradox: How can a firm earn money if it is making its product available for free as open source? This paper presents the core properties of com mercial open source business models and discusses how they work. Using a commercial open source approach, firms can get to market faster with a superior product at lower cost than possible for traditional competitors. The paper shows how these benefits accrue from an engaged and self-supporting user community. Lacking any prior comprehensive reference, this paper is based on an analysis of public statements by practitioners of commercial open source. It forges the various anecdotes into a coherent description of revenue generation strategies and relevant business functions.


Open source open source software commercial open source community open source commercial open source business model dual-licensing strategy open core business model business model go-to-market strategy open source sales open source marketing open source product management open source licensing software engineering collaborative development 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dirk Riehle
    • 1
  1. 1.SAP Research, SAP Labs LLCGermany

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