There is little dispute in acknowledging open source software as one of the fundamental aspects of how business is conducted today. What absolutely needs to be understood about open source software, regardless of license, is that it is not free. There are important realities of both business and open source, especially when the two are one and the same as with Jetty and CometD.
The entire Webtide team has been involved in open source for a many years and we have seen a lot of different business plans come and go – some successful and some not so much. We like to think that at Webtide we have a modest model that is often overlooked as viable and yet has worked for us for many years now. We have a very popular Java HTTP server and servlet container that has a couple of very friendly licenses (ASL and EPL) and stays very cutting edge often releasing features with or even well before other similar containers. Our software is used by some of the largest companies of the world to run some of the most important software available. We are able to do that entirely through the support of our community, both our clients and the general user community.
Webtide is composed of the primary committers on the Jetty and CometD projects and we provide advice, production support and custom development on these two projects ourselves. There are no tiers of support, no sitting through calls with folks with only a passing familiarity of the project or code. When you ask us a question, you get a response from a committer on one of these projects. This is so much our mantra that even our ‘sales’ are managed and coordinated through a long time committer of the project.
We have only been able to avoid the path that so many other companies have taken of ‘paid pro versions’ of software like Jetty through the support of our community. If only we had a dollar for every time we have spoken with large companies that have support for every aspect of their stack and IT environment except Jetty because ‘it just works!’.
Ultimately the takeaway here should be that Jetty and CometD are really pretty special in the grand scheme of things. Our software is free to use….we have no closed source components that we make ‘enterprise’ users come to us and pay for. We develop cutting edge features and support modern protocols like HTTP/2 and Websocket (even javax.websocket) because we love the projects.
We want to keep doing things the way we have over the last several years and the only way we can do that is through the support of our community. If you are using Jetty or CometD and you love the project, engage with us for our advice subscriptions. If you are deploying Jetty into production environments and everything just works, talk with us about production support so you can have the peace of mind of the developers of Jetty/CometD on call at a moment’s notice. If you have a feature you would love to exist in Jetty or CometD sponsor its development with us.