Subject Re: "DevCo" & Firebird
Author Roman Rokytskyy
> A relatively tiny market share does not mean that the actual numbers
> are small.
> Obviously, I have no idea how much licenses they are selling, but
> the statement by itself holds true.

MySQL has 4,000 paying customers and something like 40 mln income
doubling each year...

As to the issue that we try to make code perfect to be recognized as a
good programmer... That is not 100% true, the code is improved if
there is no other chance to do this other way around, when keeping the
existing code means more troubles than gains. Any project that
concentrates on the code perfectness will die sooner or later.

Now about the issue. First of all we have to think about which market
we want to target. We have following options:

- Simple dynamic web sites. In most cases people need good integration
with PHP, no transactions, as fast as possible. Hardly our market - we
cannot compete with MyISAM engine from MySQL.

- Embedded use. The direct competitor I guess is SQLLite, but on the
other hand we have no competitor at all. We are small, tiny,
relatively fast, our license is ok and so on. The main thing to
improve is the documentation, especially "How to embed Firebird into
your application", then database encryption and that's it.

- Small enterprises. We have almost everything we need. Users in this
segment do not need sophisticated features, our mode
"install-run-forget" perfectly suits them. The main technical issue is
the SMP support, but not because we need speed, but because soon there
will be no computer without dual-core CPU. And documentation,
especially the "Operations Guide" and similar.

- Medium enterprises. Now things are getting interesting. Hot standby
is needed, PAM authentication (and integration with AD or LDAP),
replication, monitoring tables, statement cancellation. Also these
guys already need OLAP features like good ETL tools, etc.
Documentation. There's some job to be ready for them.

- Large enterprises. Clustering, terabyte databases, high-volume
transactions, sophisticated admin tools, and everything above is
needed. A lot of things to do.

All these features require more people in the project. Current team is
too small to be able to do all the stuff.

So, in order to grow we need money. The only source of the money in
the project is Firebird Foundation. Check how much does it have on the
account and how much does it earn yearly.

So, would DevCo be a solution to our problems? Sure. Even if they
invest $215,000 yearly (cost of one developer), it would allow us to
have a team in Russia for example consisting of 7-10 people.

But if DevCo invests money into the project, they want to gain
something too. And this is the main danger, since if they play unfair
we might loose our project.