[OOTB-hive] CE looking bad?

Richard Esplin richard.esplin at alfresco.com
Thu May 21 21:15:00 BST 2015

Community Edition is released under the LGPL, and is governed by the terms of 
that license.

Alfresco is proud to be an open source company, and we are upfront that we 
follow an open core model. We open source functionality that is part of the 
"open core" use case of core enterprise content management. Our Enterprise 
Edition customers benefit from the existence of the open source product.

Sometimes I hear employees refer to our Enterprise Edition product as "open 
source". I always correct them. New employees now are recommended to take a 
one hour open source literacy training that I prepared. It has been some time 
since I last found our marketing team misusing the label "open source". If you 
are aware of that mistake in our current materials, please let me know.

Our goal is to invest in a Community Edition product that meets the use case 
of SME organizations that run in a single server environment. We want 
Community Edition and Enterprise Edition to share as much code as possible, so 
that our large scale customers get the benefits of open source contributions.

The Community Edition source code is available in Subversion and on GitHub. 
You are welcome to spend your time developing features to reduce the 
distinction between the two products. As you enhance Community Edition, we 
recommend you also maintain as similar a code base as possible so as to benefit 
from the broader community.

I am working on better defining what Alfresco means by "core ECM use cases" and 
"SME organizations". Once I feel like we have definitions that support the 
business models of our contributors, I'll publish them so that there are clear 
expectations around how best to collaborate with us on the product (should you 
choose to do so).

We want Community Edition to lead the industry and provide enough value that 
you choose it for the organizations you support. But if Alfresco is an 
important system for a profitable company, we hope you see the value in 
purchasing Enterprise Edition for that client. Those purchases fund our 
continued development of the open source product.



Richard Esplin
Product Manager, Alfresco Community Edition
Tel: +1 801 855 0866
Mobile: +1 801 735 4220
Skype: esplinr

On Thursday, May 21, 2015 21:49:43 Torben Lauritzen wrote:
> Perhaps the comparison page is not lying (even though it might not tell the
> entire truth)… I think the community should work on catching up with EE,
> instead of just creating (another) biased comparison page! Prioritize which
> features are most important and start working on them. If we work together,
> we could really make a difference!
> And we should have a license which states, that community features are not
> allowed to be used with closed source software (I am not sure what such a
> license is called).
> Another concern: Alfresco Inc. using the Open Source brand for something
> which is actually not Open Source. I guess that is why they need the CE.
> Regards,
> Torben
> On 21/05/2015, at 21.29, Andreas Steffan <a.steffan at contentreich.de> wrote:
> > thanks Richard for taking the time explaining what you guys are working
> > on.
> > 
> > Everybody appreciates what you are doing!
> > 
> > But that comparison page is toxic.
> > 
> > I volunteer to write (yet another) comparison page. I'll try hard to be
> > really fair. Maybe that will get me that bumblebee badge. ;)
> > 
> > regards
> > Andreas
> > 
> > On 05/21/2015 08:49 PM, Richard Esplin wrote:
> >> There are lots of related points in this thread. I will try to reply to
> >> them all in a single post.
> >> 
> >> * Marketing page
> >> 
> >> I can influence the marketing strategy, but I don't own it. Product
> >> Marketing is responsible for those pages, and only sometimes consults
> >> with me (and will probably interact similarly with the Community
> >> Marketer). However, I was a big part of the chart that you are
> >> complaining about.
> >> 
> >> I don't understand the concerns over this page. Every vendor has a
> >> comparison page between different products where they try to show the
> >> value for paying more money. Alfresco has always had a comparison page
> >> like this, except for a brief period when it was ignoring Community
> >> Edition completely. Last year I edited it to accentuate what Community
> >> Edition provides: a robust content repository with a productive
> >> collaboration interface, an ecosystem of add-ons, and access to the
> >> mobile clients. We now emphasize that Community Edition gets a lot of
> >> the same testing as Enterprise Edition, and is appropriate in situations
> >> that the customer is committed to self-support.
> >> 
> >> If you want to propose another bullet, I can suggest adding it to the
> >> page.
> >> You will find that it is hard to communicate briefly, understandably, and
> >> accurately. Regardless, the nature of the page is that there will be more
> >> red x's then green checks.
> >> 
> >> I worked with Product Marketing on the product datasheets that are the
> >> foundation of how we communicate our strategy. I felt good with how they
> >> turned out. It looks like the only one currently online is the comparison
> >> data sheet:
> >> 
> >> http://pages.alfresco.com/rs/alfresco/images/en-enterprise-community-edit
> >> ion-comparison.pdf
> >> 
> >> You can complain about what Alfresco is doing, or you can recognize that
> >> over the past year the company has become more accommodating to your
> >> concerns regarding the product messaging. I prefer to accentuate the
> >> progress we have made.
> >> 
> >> * Order of the Bee page about Community Edition features
> >> 
> >> I think this is a great idea and I encourage you to do it.
> >> 
> >> I recently proposed adding something to the official Community Edition
> >> page at Alfresco.com to show that there are Community alternatives to
> >> some Enterprise Add-ons. The team was open to it, but there were
> >> concerns about us naming specific add-ons. There is a potential legal
> >> risk if there are problems with an add-on we recommend, and it gets
> >> awkward to figure out the right amount of publicity to give competition
> >> to our own paid features. Order of the Bee doesn't have to worry about
> >> those concerns.
> >> 
> >> When possible, I think you should suggest a few add-ons for each feature.
> >> Specifically, both AAAR and Alfresco Business Reporting are worth calling
> >> out. I specifically want to highlight CmisSync as solving a common need
> >> and making Alfresco much more useful.
> >> 
> >> * Overall Strategy for Community Edition
> >> 
> >> Our officially agreed upon strategy is laid out in last Summer's blog
> >> post:
> >> 
> >> http://blogs.alfresco.com/wp/strong-open-source-product/
> >> 
> >> Over a six month period we went into more detail on the strategy during
> >> our
> >> Office Hours discussions with Doug, Thomas, and Brian.
> >> 
> >> The datasheet linked above puts the strategy into practical terms. I am
> >> working on being able to go into more detail in a blog post, but it is
> >> the
> >> specific details that get messy.
> >> 
> >> I hear a lot of complaints about Alfresco's strategy for the Community
> >> Edition product. Some of the complaints imply that Alfresco is planning
> >> some secrete strategy away from the group. I am in charge of the
> >> strategy, and I have been sharing my proposals both here and on the IRC
> >> channel. As a company, we want to partner with the Order of the Bee, and
> >> it is my responsibility to incorporate your input into our strategy.
> >> 
> >> I am trying to be upfront about everything, but I have to balance my
> >> communication with you with actually trying to build the product you
> >> depend
> >> on. Emails, blog posts, and IRC discussions take significant time .My
> >> openness is probably adding to the confusion as I test different
> >> proposals with you, but the overall strategy is what was previously
> >> communicated.
> >> 
> >> * New Features in Community Edition
> >> 
> >> It is true that as our Engineering Team has grown, a higher ratio of the
> >> team is working on Enterprise-only features. But we have also increased
> >> the investment in Community Edition. CE receives more QA then ever
> >> before, and more total development effort from our engineering team.
> >> 
> >> It is unfortunate that all of the recent announcements were for features
> >> that are only in Enterprise Edition. That was the result of a few
> >> things:
> >> 
> >> * Reporting and Analytics drove a bunch of changes in Community Edition
> >> 5.0, but we didn't make a big announcement because the Enterprise-only
> >> piece wasn't done.
> >> 
> >> * I was too busy to take a detailed look at what parts of Media Manager
> >> should go into Community Edition. The business feels like features
> >> specific to the DAM vertical should be Enteprise-only, so I need to
> >> collect data on what features are important for general use cases. I
> >> hope to do that over the summer.
> >> 
> >> * The other new features we have been working on for Community Edition
> >> are
> >> taking longer than expected. I am finally ready to announce, but haven't
> >> had time to write the blog post. Peter Löfrgen: I haven't forgotten your
> >> request about updating the roadmap on the Wiki now that I have some
> >> information about what gets included where.
> >> 
> >> * I have been using AOS in Community Edition as a test case for how we
> >> make
> >> decisions about product differentiation. I have a proposal as an Epic in
> >> the ALF project, but it hasn't been approved for development. The result
> >> is that I have been preparing a presentation for the larger team about
> >> the strategy and verifying that we are in alignment. It has been a slow
> >> process, but it should help us to be more consistent in how we
> >> communicate about Community Edition.
> >> 
> >> I appreciate the conversation and I am glad that the Order of the Bee is
> >> willingness to help solve the problems that are raised.
> >> 
> >> I'm going to close by looking at the concerns from a different
> >> perspective.
> >> Open source is not about complaining that other people aren't giving you
> >> enough of their efforts for free; instead open source is about
> >> recognizing the motivations of all members of our community and
> >> contributing back in ways that make sense for you. The people on this
> >> list are all here because we want a successful Alfresco Community
> >> Edition product, but most members of this list have not yet put in the
> >> minimal effort necessary to vote in the next elections. I encourage
> >> everyone who hasn't earned voting membership to get active.
> >> 
> >> Best wishes,
> >> 
> >> Richard

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