Open Source Cloud: WaveMaker Makes Surfable Waves

Few days ago WaveMaker announced profitability, showing an increase on sales by over 53% in the latest quarter, eventually showing the world that the cloud is a given, and not a prediction.
Chris Keene, WaveMaker CEO, gave me some background information on how the WaveMaker open source framework later became an open cloud development platform.

The cloud has always been our target. We architected from the beginning to be an open source, web-based development platform.
If we had launched two years ago as a cloud only product, we would have starved before the cloud market started growing. Instead, we launched a version of our product that you could download and run on your own laptop (in your own private cloud). Another huge advantage of having a download was being able to build an open source community, which now numbers over 15,000 registered developers on our forums.

Now we have both a downloadable product as well as a cloud product. Both support 1-click deployment to the Amazon EC2 cloud.

Apparently WaveMaker’s third round was actually used to build sales, to empower its community and to invest in marketing. The Cloud Quick Start Partnership launched last October with IBM, Amazon and RightScale is promising, along with sell-through from SaaS ISVs and systems integration partners.

Talking about open source licensing, recently WaveMaker 5.0 moved from AGPL to Apache, with a light badgeware approach requiring you either to include an ackwlodgment in in the documentation or the “Powered by WaveMaker” logo somewhere in your application.

I asked Chris to tell us more about the reasons behind such shift.

What we found was that community members are very comfortable with the Apache license but were uncomfortable deploying an application with an embedded AGPL license.

Rather than try to educate the market on the AGPL, we just decided to adopt Apache. It helps that most of the components we embed (Spring, Hibernate) are also licensed under Apache.

Decisions around licensing sometimes are subject to change over times. Despite the fact that over the last year AGPL increment rate is bigger than any other copyleft licenses, WaveMaker Rapid Deployment Server went Apache, while WaveMaker Visual Ajax Studio code stayed AGPL. This way ISVs or OEMs are forced either to AGPL their applications or buy an OEM license, and it definitely makes (business) sense.

Kudos to WaveMaker for its ability to execute, well done.