The Oracle Open Source Program (OSP) is the largest open source project in Oracle’s history, and is designed to encourage the development of software that runs on both Microsoft Windows and Linux, providing customers with a unified, self-service, open source software platform for data analysis, software development, and deployment.
The program has been available since 2004, but was initially created for Oracle’s enterprise customers.
Oracle has made it very clear that it is not interested in supporting commercial open source products or offering support to open source projects.
Instead, Oracle will actively and actively pursue commercial partnerships to develop and maintain software in open source, but will not support any commercial software.
This policy, announced last week by Oracle CEO David Marcus, also explicitly excludes support for commercial open sources, as long as the partners are in a “non-commercial relationship.”
The Oracle decision to exclude commercial open Source software is quite a departure from the standard practice of Oracle supporting software in commercial open software.
For example, Oracle has not yet formally announced a partnership with Oracle Cloud, the commercial version of its database engine, but has announced partnerships with other vendors, including IBM, Intel, and VMware.
This news, as well as Oracle’s decision to make the announcement in-person at the annual FOSS Technology Symposium in San Francisco, are significant, given the Oracle Open source project was first launched in 2005, a period during which Oracle’s Open Source Business unit was in its infancy.
The announcement of the decision to block commercial opensource software comes after a series of high-profile announcements by Oracle.
For instance, Oracle announced that it would not be adding Oracle Java SE, the company’s Java platform, to the list of software in its enterprise software suite, as it was in the past.
The company has also been actively promoting OpenJDK, a free and open-source Java development environment.
As Oracle continues to grow its commercial Open Source business, the decision by Oracle to exclude any commercial Open source software will not be a surprise to any open source users, but it will still be interesting to watch how Oracle will deal with this new policy moving forward.
[Updated September 2018]