A New License Model for ReportServer
We are thrilled to announce the release of ReportServer 3.0 which comes with a bunch of new and exciting features. With this new release we have also implemented a change in the licensing model which we would like to discuss in the following.
In the past, we had only a single ReportServer edition that was released free of charge under the GNU AFFERO GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE (AGPL). Starting with ReportServer version 3.0 there will be two different editions of ReportServer called ReportServer Community Edition and ReportServer Enterprise Edition. ReportServer Community Edition will continue to be licensed under the AGPL and with it we aim at providing a solid business intelligence solution. ReportServer Community contains everything from dashboards over ad-hoc reporting and scheduled reporting to pixel-perfect management reporting (in the form of Eclipse BIRT and JasperReports). ReportServer Enterprise Edition is built on top of the community edition and offers additional features catering towards enterprise customers. For example, ReportServer Enterprise is fully themeable in order to allow easily adapting it towards the requirements of a corporate identity. Furthermore, ReportServer Enterprise is extensively customizable via scripts which allows to integrate it into almost any environment. This allows to, for example, integrate advanced authentication schemes (e.g., LDAP or SSO) or easily connect ReportServer with third-party systems or data sources. ReportServer Enterprise Edition is available under a commercial license and will be licensed per server. For a detailed comparison of the two editions have a look at our comparison matrix.
A natural question to ask is, why do we change our licensing model and move away from a fully open-sourced solution and why do we need to move features that were previously part of the open source version into the Enterprise version? The short answer is the following: When we set out, we planned to solely charge for enterprise level support and documentation. Regrettably, we now have to accept that this model does not work too well. Not because people were not willing to pay for ReportServer, but simply because most users did not need what we offered. On the one hand this is great, because it shows that with ReportServer we have created a truly remarkable software: it allows you to accomplish highly complex tasks, and still people are able to use it without having to read documentation or obtaining support or training. Of course, this also means that we needed to try something else to fund the development.
A second problem with charging for documentation was that by doing so we created an obstacle for people who just wanted to try ReportServer without committing to it, yet. Especially for corporate users the procurement process to buy the documentation in many cases just wasn’t worth it.
The consequence for us is that the fairest way forward is to split ReportServer into two: A free Community Edition and a commercial Enterprise Edition.
When deciding which parts of ReportServer become part of ReportServer Enterprise and which parts remain in ReportServer Community we foremost looked at features that have had a high support load and it quickly became clear that the most time consuming questions we get are about integration and customization (i.e., about scripting). Hence, scripting (and anything that follows) became the natural split point.
With our change of license model we hope to have devised a good compromise between having a sustainable business model and developing great software that we can make available at a fair price. As for documentation, we have decided that with our change in licensing we are going to publish all available documentation which you can now freely access on the ReportServer website. To celebrate the start of ReportServer Enterprise Edition (and the release of ReportServer 3.0) you can purchase licenses at the reduced price of 1249 EUR until the end of May. Furthermore, if you bought ReportServer manuals in the past (thank you very much for the support) then we can give you an extra 250 EUR deduction on the first license. (To make use of this offer please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
We are looking forward to hearing your comments.
Your ReportServer Team