Is it just my imagination or are previously-free plugins switching to a commercial license at a fast rate?
I have spotted a couple because I use them in v4.4.4 and would have to make a purchase before upgrading to JIRA v5.0.x:
JIRA Email This Issue Plugin
JIRA Timesheet Reports and Gadgets Plugin
...but I recall noticing others whilst browsing the plugin exchange.
As it happens, neither plugin that I name is expensive... it'll probably cost more than the price of the licenses just to process the paperwork and even after that I would still consider them good value.
I'd hazard a guess that the reason is because Atlassian have made it easy to embed licensing code, and will take on all the paperwork for a cut of the revenue. Particularly the latter, doing it yourself is enough to put anybody off. It is a cause for concern though... perhaps this was an unforeseen or unhappy consequence of the marketplace.
And I agree with you about the pain of raising purchase orders etc, but the fact that you're only paying a single vendor if the plugin vendor has gone the revenue-split route, ie Atlassian, makes it much easier than paying 20 different vendors.
I also reckoned that Marketplace was one cause of any trend that might be occuring and that's why I originally tagged with "upm" (failing to see at the time that "marketplace" has its own tag). But it's nice to see someone else observe the same thing.
I would not think that the consequence could be described as "unforeseen". I cannot imagine that anyone would have forecast anything but an upward jump in average price (where "average" is calculated using all plugins, including those that are free). The exception being the optimist who hopes that prices might drop if admin costs go down!
I also think that "unhappy" is a matter of perspective. And it's not like the Marketplace itself is forcing any plugin writer to overcharge (plugin costing $2000 or whatever).
The "single vendor" observation is very valid. I checked my system... there is an overhead when buying from a new vendor. Thus, it's cheaper to place multiple orders with a single vendor.
It's unhappy from the perspective of someone prepping a confluence upgrade, ie me, and finding many plugins that were no great shakes in the first place are now commercial. Happy, for Atlassian getting 25% of the revenue. Unforeseen, probably not I agree.
I'm yet to be convinced that a previously OSS plugin gone commercial, will be better, or better-supported.
I think that Atlassian is taking the easy way out...
I'm not sure it's the easy way... it's the profitable way. More money in plugin devs' pockets means more and better plugins, which makes jira/confluence more attractive, and more of a lockin. You can't fault the business model. But you don't have to like it, or at least every aspect of it. Overall I think it's a good thing... if people have to really consider whether they should use a plugin or not that's probably also good.
A good example of switching to commercial license is the Reporting and Scaffolding Plugin.
These plugins have a big benefit to Confluence and the price 400$ (2000 users) per plugin is a good choice between free and commercial.
A bad example is the Team Calendar Plugin. 4000$ (2000 users). It's much to expensive for a calendar function.
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