SciDB is open-core software. Its fundamental features are available in an open-source Community Edition and advanced features are available in a proprietary Enterprise Edition. Here at Paradigm4, we use an open-core approach so we can build a thriving, sustainable business.
Others agree with this approach. As Mike Olson of Cloudera points out in The Cloudera Model:
… it’s pretty hard to build a successful, stand-alone open source company. Notably, no support- or services-only business model has ever made the cut.
Separately, but simultaneously, there’s been a stunning and irreversible trend in enterprise infrastructure. If you’re operating a data center, you’re almost certainly using an open source operating system, database, middleware and other plumbing. No dominant platform-level software infrastructure has emerged in the last ten years in closed-source, proprietary form.
The trend is clear and inescapable. SciDB, an all-in-one analytics-plus-data-management platform, must be available in an open-source version. We currently accept contributions for things like custom loaders, client interfaces like SciDB-R and SciDB-Py, and of course, sample applications. In 2014 we’ll be expanding community involvement. You can find the Community Edition Open Source at scidb.org/forum and community contributions on Paradigm4 Labs at GitHub. And you can follow the community conversation at www.scidb.org/forum.