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Community Version vs. Enterprise Edition of Open Source

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Today’s article considers some of the similarities, and differences, between community versions and enterprise versions of open source software. Mature open source usually comes from one of two sources of global communities: 1) communities like the Apache Software Foundation that are not directly affiliated with a specific corporate entity, or 2) commercial and open source software companies.

In some cases, there may be very significant differences in the products, such as technical specifications, custom modules, features and functionality, or even changes in the user interface. For example, a business analytics tool might have a very different code structure available only in the enterprise edition. When software companies develop with open source they are usually also selling commercial licenses, and are helping to foster new open source communities by employing a majority of the developers that are building the code; however, the enterprise edition is only available by purchasing a license, while the community version remains free of license fees.

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