Some small companies would like to use Talend Open Studio because Talend is both an excellent data integrated tool and no cost. If Talend become commercial software later while its getting better and better, those companies will have to pay for the software or re-develop their software.
This is a very good question and you give us the opportunity to make things clearer.
Concerning ETL, Talend provides 2 softwares : Talend Open Studio (TOS) and Talend Integration Suite (TIS). TOS is free as in free beer and free as in freedom. TOS is available under GPL license and can be downloaded for free (as in gratis) on the download page. TIS requires a subscription, which means a direct contact with our business team before downloading and using.
TOS will remain GPL wathever the company becomes. For gratis software users, the great advantage of opensource software compared to gratis proprietary softwares is that you are not "in jail" with the editor. If the editor decides to make the software proprietary, it can only be done on new releases not on the previous ones. So if the user base is big enough (which is now the case with TOS) and if the software deserves it (which is obviously the case, or you would not ask this question) you will find someone or a team to maintain and improve the opensource version of the software.
I know this is very theoretical, but you must take into account that some large companies have engaged money to work with TOS. These companies will prefer to pay someone to fix bugs and add features rather than having to pay for new versions if we decide to make TOS under subscription. We have no interest in such a situation.
As a profit making company, we are interested in TOS users upgrading to TIS (team coordination, job scheduling, load balancing, monitoring, advanced studio features and so on) but we are also interested in increasing Talend Open Studio community. A bigger TOS community means better feedback, more bug notifications, more feature requests. On a business perspective, the more we have Talend Open Studio users, the more we have paid support, trainings, expertise and TIS subscriptions.
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