With the exception of existing customers, MindTouch will no longer support or maintain Core or Platform. If you are an existing customer of MindTouch Platform, this year—2013—will be your last opportunity to renew Platform, MindTouch will support and maintain your deployment for the full annual term and all future purchases of licenses will have to be of our current product. While those existing customer of Platform can renew this year, or buy a perpetual license, I encourage you to upgrade to our latest version, which is cloud only, literally two orders of magnitude more performant, more secure and just generally a much better product.
MindTouch Core, the free and open source version, was originally released in July, 2006. That early release was a prototype of what was to come. A year later Core was ranked one of the most popular open source projects in the world by Sourceforge.net.
In 2008, MindTouch introduced a commercial version we named Platform. Core and Platform have been used by many millions of people all over the world and these will undoubtedly continue to be used for years to come. Core has been forked and there are more hosting providers than I could count that provide packages and hosting. All of us at MindTouch are very proud of these two products. They’ve served more people than I ever expected at our humble beginnings in the basement of my condo in Maplewood, MN and Steve’s apartment in Redmond, WA.
Core/Platform has been used to build a variety collaborative applications; these have ranged from Amazon’s social network for book enthusiasts Shelfari.com to social Intranet infrastructures at the largest telcos and even in the Pentagon. When properly installed and configured the product is damn near bullet-proof. Over the years we’ve received awards for the engineering quality and I’ve had the privilege of hearing remarkable stories from all over the world that attest to the durability of our work.
In late 2009, we set a course for MindTouch that would ensure the end of Core/Platform. We were determined to move away from packaging and shipping on-premise software. It just doesn’t make sense to ship software. The effort required to package and test for several flavors of Windows, various Linux distros and virtualization environments was effort that can be invested in making the product better for customers. It was clear that a cloud delivered product meant we could innovate faster and provide a vastly superior product to our customers.
In 2010, MindTouch launched our first enterprise grade cloud delivered product. We moved from a 4-6 month release cycle to a weekly release cycle and we haven’t looked back since. By the end of 2010 we began the process of upgrading our Platform customer base and informing Platform customers that this on-premise product would be sunsetting over the next two years. Well, it’s been more than two years now. We’ve managed to produce a major version release since then and put out more than the promised two maintenance releases a year for Core/Platform (average was four per year).
Today 90% of our business is on our cloud product. The difference between our cloud offering and the old Core/Platform builds is sufficiently profound as to render the two entirely unrecognizable. These are two completely different products. If you’re a Core/Platform user I encourage you to request a trial of MindTouch cloud. We stopped selling new Platform licenses in late 2011 and today we have a small base of customers that should upgrade because the cloud product is just so much better. If you wish to maintain a MindTouch deployment, but you can not use cloud—presumably because corporate security constraints are more stringent than the Central Intelligence Agency—you can purchase a perpetual Platform license.
What does this mean if you’ve already purchased a renewal this year? Nothing changes for you other than you will not be able to purchase a new Platform license next year. You will still receive the same level of support through the term of your license. If you have an annual license this will expire next year. If you have a perpetual license you can, of course, continue to use this license in perpetuity, but after the term of your support plan purchased this year you will not be able to purchase support again.
What if I have a perpetual Platform license or I am interested in purchasing a perpetual Platform license? Great. Business as usual. However, I strongly encourage you to consider the cloud product for the aforementioned reasons.
Will MindTouch continue to maintain the MindTouch Core code base? No. Today the MindTouch Cloud codebase is already 4 years forked from MindTouch Core.
Will MindTouch continue to maintain SGMLReader, MindTouch DReAM and continue to contribute to other open source projects you have in the past ? Yes.
Images by Peter Zoon and Andrew Feinberg.