The concerns it raised have nothing to do with this move; Everyone agrees it makes sense: Lucidera came to an halt, they had a valuable product and valuable resources, Pentaho took the opportunity and acquired something that fills a gap into it's own offering.
So, what's the problem here? ClearView is only available for paying customers.
This raised a lot of questions and some frustrations. A few hours ago Seth Grimes summed some of the concers in a blog post. Even questioned if Pentaho was shifting strategy, which deserved a prompt response from Pentaho's CTO James Dixon.
I don't agree with Seth in the strategic part. It's not by having closed-source components that Pentaho will stop being an Open Source company (I also like the term open core). They payed money to Lucidera; They make money from the subscribed customers; They want to give more value to those customers. What's the problem?
I do agree with Seth when he says that the message pentaho passes is confusing; I always have the feeling that Pentaho faces an identify problem and is a little bit ashamed of it's closed source components. When we access the main Pentaho page we can hardly tell it's a O-S company. Apart from the logo, everything is "buy, try, evaluate" etc. When we visit the sourceforge page we are clueless about the commercial approach. It's important to clarify that. I'd really like to see in pentaho main page some bold sentence with something like "We are a commercial company; We have an opensource product with some closed source add-ons that give productivity boost to our clients - the ones that pay for our salary".
For me, the million dollar question that has to be answered is:
If my company chooses to go for the opensource version today, will we end up with a stale product one year from now?
When users see something released only in a closed source form, they fear everything from now on will be released as closed source only. It's a genuine fear. We recently saw the Dashboard Designer, the chart editor and now ClearView being released for paying customers only. Pentaho's answer can't be "the community won't let that happen". While the community indeed plays a big role here, Pentaho will always lead the way. The worst that could happen to Pentaho is having the community loosing it's interest. So it's indeed a tough decision for them when they need to make a call if something goes open source or closed source.
But we must not forget something: Pentaho needs it's community. Most of it's business and visibility is made through the open source version and they absolutely can not change that. It's much worst from them as a company than it is for us, community users or paying customers.