According to an old saying, when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. That, however, does not seem to apply in the proprietary software business, because as we have seen over the years, whenever a proprietary software vendor falls on tough financial times, it closes shop and releases its products under an open source license.
HP did it with webOS, which is now called Open webOS. OpenOffice.org is not a very good example, but it went from one open source license to another after the sponsoring proprietary software vendor pissed off core developers. OpenOffice.org is now known as Apache OpenOffice. I am sure you know how that story unfolded. And, then, there is the most recent case of Mandriva SA.
There have been calls for Research In Motion (RIM) to go the same route with their BlackBerry platform, but that saga is still being written. When it finally ends, you will definitely read about it here.
The latest company to go down is Resara LLC, a software provider based in Keene, New Hampshire USA. The company makes a domain controller, Resara Server, and also sells a range of appliances called Resara OfficeBox powered by the Resara Server. Like many companies with one leg in the proprietary software business and another in the free/open source software community, Resara also publishes a “community edition,” which is free for download. That edition, of course, lacks enterprise-grade features available in the commercial edition.
But that business model did not work out, because the company’s management just announced that:
It is with great regret and sadness that we must report the ending of business operations of Resara LLC, effective immediately. The reason for this abrupt and unexpected announcement is due to significant financial and personnel challenges that have left the company with no other alternative but to close.
What does this mean for Resara Server commercial customers? Your software will remain active and functional, it is only support for the product that will be ending. A technical staff member will be available for the remainder of next week (7/23-27) to answer questions and help our customers in any way that we are able. Ultimately, Resara Server commercial users will have to make the decision whether to maintain their existing solution or migrate to another commercially supported product.
All Software Versions to be Released Open Source
Over the period of the next few months, it is our goal to have all versions of Resara Server released as open source. The company founders will be maintaining the Community site (www.resara.org) and the forums for our community users as time permits.
Again, we are very regretful for this unfortunate turn of events. Resara LLC has developed many great and interesting products over the last 8 years, and it is very sad to see it end this way. It is the hope of the founders that the open source editions and Resara Server community continue to thrive.
We have been grateful for your business over the years.
Sad news, but such is the nature of the business. The only good that comes out of this is that the open source or free software community gains another great product. The only question I have is, what will be the fate of existing inventories of the Resara OfficeBox? If there is going to be a fireside sale on existing inventories, like HP did with TouchPads, I would not mind grabbing me a couple. Provided, of course, that the price is low enough.