[DB-SIG] Opinion License mxODBC-Module

David Bolen db3l@fitlinxx.com
Thu, 15 Mar 2001 15:14:08 -0500

M.-A. Lemburg [mal@lemburg.com] writes:

> *  mxODBC was never a free product. The MySQL-license basically
>    means "if you make money with this, then the author should receive
>    his share of it too". As mentioned above, this hasn't worked
>    out for me.

I think there was also more of a "grey" area (by my reading) of whether 
or not mxODBC was integral to what a customer perceived as the product, 
or a tool used by a company external to the product.

> *  About the pricing: a single installation of mxODBC costs USD 75
>    -- I don't consider this bloated in any way. Matthias was probably
>    referring to the developer license which allows redistribution
>    of mxODBC together with products developed using this license.
>    Since there are no additional licensing fees to pay, I again
>    think that USD 1250 is very reasonable given the possibilities
>    this opens for commercial software vendors.

As someone who has gone the commercial route (the developer version),
I will say that the new scheme at least made this possible.  Under the
old commercial pricing we would have had to drop mxODBC use because we
couldn't justify the cost/benefit (we use it for remote management
tools which have little direct visibility to the customer, but the
product can be an $80,000-$100,000 installation, and we're debating
$50/machine database client licenses as it is).

Moving to an up front with royalty free distribution (which is very
similar to other embedded environments or the Visual Studio sort of
approach) is a much easier sell (bounded cost) commercially and one I
had no problem with.

The one risk that does exist with the commercial pricing is that an
ADO route is still a competitor that is free, so the pricing range is
not totally flexible.  If I suddenly found myself with many more
developers needing to be counted under the developer portion of the
license, the tradeoff becomes less certain.

But as it stands now, we are certainly yielding benefit from mxODBC,
and in a commercial environment I have no qualms about some mechanism 
by which Marc-Andre benefits from our use of it.

-- David

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