I am excited to announce the ongoing commercial launch of SharpCrafters, the new company behind PostSharp. As we launched our new web site http://www.sharpcrafters.com/ earlier this week, we decommissioned the domain postsharp.org. The old web site has been serving the project and the community for the last five years.

Thanks for you support!

This is a major step in the life of PostSharp and it’s community of users. For the last 18 months, as the project has grown and got adopted by a raising community of professional developers, it became clear that we had to switch to a commercial model. As the attempt to make a living from services proofed unrealistic, there was only one option left: to make a living from the sales of licenses, which meant to abandon the open-source model. I must insist to all people whose this decision will make angry or disappointed (a minority, I think, yet possibly vocal): going commercial was the only option if PostSharp were to survive.

In this important moment, let me say a couple of words in personal name.

I am extremely thankful for the support I got from the community. Thank you to the thousands of people who downloaded PostSharp and spent time and energy to integrate it in their project. I am fully aware of the risks and costs of early adoption. Thank you to the hundreds who have taken the time to describe their problems the support forum so that I could make the software better. Thank you to companies who have supported the project financially, either by doing business with me or by making important sponsorships or donations, and especially: Starcounter, X-tensive.com, Omicron and a couple of other I am not allowed to name (thank you, David, Daniel, Peter and Yoav). Thank you Carl and Richard from .NET Rocks for the boost you gave to the project before it got any hype. Thank you Ralf Westphal for your extraordinary and sustained help to introduce me to conferences and magazines. Thanks to all guys who presented PostSharp at conferences or invited (particularly Olaf, Michal, and Szymon). Finally, thanks to the dozens and dozens bloggers who shared their enthusiasm.

It’s only because of your joint support that I found the energy, during these 5 years, to strive for the project.

Introducing SharpCrafters

SharpCrafters is the new company behind PostSharp. SharpCrafters has been founded in September 2009 as a limited company of Czech right.

I am especially proud to announce that Roman Stanek accepted to be a private investor and board member at SharpCrafters. Roman is a veteran startup founder. He is the Founder and CEO of Good Data, a SaaS business intelligence platform. Roman was the Founder and CEO of NetBeans (acquired by Sun Microsystems) and Systinet (acquired by Mercury Interactive and later Hewlett Packard). Roman joined our venture in September 2009.

I warmly introduce Vaclav Svacek, who became managing director of SharpCrafters in January 2010. Before joining SharpCrafters, Vaclav was a Technical Team Lead and Solution Architect at Husky Energy, Canada. Vaclav will now concentrate on operations of the company so I can concentrate on what I am good in: programming. Vaclav, I wish you a lot of courage and perseverance, as taking over a one-man business is not the easiest thing on earth (especially if this one man is as stubborn as I am).

So that’s our team today: two full-time employees (me and Vaclav), and a business angel somewhere between the azure and the clouds of California.

Our short-term business objective is to grow from organic resources to a team of 5, which would be a sustainable size to develop and maintain our product… and would allow me to take some rest. We hope to reach this size within one year. Then, we’ll have the ground to think about further developments and products.

Our Business Model

SharpCrafters is a product company. We provide support services to our products, but we don’t live from services themselves. We believe in win-win deals. When a product is good, both customers and publishers are happy, because none looses time in troubleshooting. From a customer’s point of view, contacting support is a defeat. Living from services is like making profit from the unhappiness your customers. It can’t work (unless your customers are unhappy from someone else’s product).

We want to sell licenses of PostSharp (and other products, in the future) to companies who use it for serious business, and we want these customers to be satisfied. We want to continuously improve the quality of our product so that the time our customers and us spend in support and troubleshooting is minimized.

We want people to learn or experiment with aspect-oriented programming – and we don’t want money from them.

Therefore, we have two editions of PostSharp:

  • The Community Edition is free of charges and has a limited set of features.
  • The Professional Edition is fully functional and we charge money for it.

How much do we charge? Less than Resharper. See our price list. We have license types for all sizes: personal, commercial, corporate site, corporate global. There’s an optional Support Subscription including free major upgrades and priority support (see our web site for details).

Students, teachers, bloggers… can request free licenses. I repeat: we don’t want your money if you’re not doing serious business with PostSharp. (Oh yes, disclaimer: there is no right to a free license; SharpCrafters will grant them at its sole discretion according to the information provided by the requestor and the information that can be publicly gathered on the web.)

Finally, our business model favors redistribution of PostSharp by third parties, and we’ll make sure that our offer is very affordable to startups.

What’s Next?

There’s still a lot to do before the commercial launch is complete. The next milestones are the following:

  1. Later this week, we’ll publish a new CTP without hard-coded timebomb and with support for Visual Studio 2010 RC. This new release will support license keys, which means that you can start to purchase licenses :).
  2. Then, we will update our web site so that you can acquire license keys online. (Currently, we only support manual orders).
  3. I need to blog about our legacy policies for PostSharp 1.5.
  4. Finally, we need to complete PostSharp 2.0.

Your Opinion Is Important

We are eager to hear from you. If you have any issue or question with our licensing and pricing model, if it’s just “not working for you”, chances are great that other have the same issue, and we will gladly attempt to address it.

Happy PostSharping!


Comments (11) -

Lasse Vågsæther Karlsen
Lasse Vågsæther Karlsen
2/25/2010 1:09:05 PM #

This rocks!

Great to see that you got all the financing details stabilized, this promises a great future (even greater than it had before) for PostSharp.

The 2.0 release will be a very important milestone to reach! Can't wait for it to go live.

Congrats and good luck :)

Jay Cincotta
Jay Cincotta
2/25/2010 3:56:30 PM #

This may be the best press release I've ever read.  Thanks for sharing the thinking and spirit behind this transition.  I wish SharpCrafters the best of luck -- but you won't need it.  Your success is assurred by the intelligence, talent, and hard work that has already brought PostSharp this far.

Dmitri Nesteruk
Dmitri Nesteruk
2/26/2010 9:19:18 AM #

Well, it only makes sense that such a great product goes commercial. I wish you the very best of luck in getting a client base. More people should be aware of what AOP is and how it can help business needs, and I hope you manage to spread the word.

Jan Willem B
Jan Willem B
2/26/2010 10:07:20 AM #

Good luck! Thanks for all the work so far.

Alex Yakunin
Alex Yakunin
2/26/2010 1:33:10 PM #

Gael, there is a link to  X-treme.com - isn't this a mistake (domain name is for sale)?

Gael Fraiteur
Gael Fraiteur
2/26/2010 1:41:06 PM #

Sorry, Alex. It was X-tensive.com of course. I was maybe tired...
That's corrected. Sorry for inconvenience.

Alex Yakunin
Alex Yakunin
2/26/2010 2:08:05 PM #

Acutally I just clicked on a link :)

Btw, new web site looks really nice.

Gael Fraiteur
Gael Fraiteur
2/26/2010 9:09:42 PM #

There's always a nuance between intentions and legal commitments. The intention is of course to have Community Edition of a high level of quality and features, competing with other free AOP frameworks. But you won't it find in legal texts, contracts and so on.

So I take it on me: it is our firm intention to maintain a free and high-quality Community Edition in the future. Attorneys may have more nuanced wordings.

4/16/2010 10:41:33 AM #

You are crazy. Framework like this (AOP) cannot go commercial. If you are unable to support the product, give it to users so they can commit the code.
You just killed the product, I'm going to refactor my code to one of the free alternatives.

Good luck anyway.

Lasse Vågsæther Karlsen
Lasse Vågsæther Karlsen
4/16/2010 11:05:04 AM #

That is the most ignorant statement I've heard all week. That PostSharp went commercial, but also releases a community version, is the best news for the future of PostSharp that has come in a long time.

Sure, Gael & Co. has done a terrific job so far, no complaints, but this ensures there's a viable future that will allow them to focus on the project and not get roped away to better paying jobs.

PostSharp is hands down the best AOP framework there is for .NET at the moment, and I don't see that changing any time soon, so I daresay you're going to find a worse situation to be in than having to cope with a company that is now commercializing your framework.

And again, there is still the community edition available, it won't go away, so you're no worse off than before if you keep using it than you would've been if they hadn't commercialized it, so I don't really understand what you're complaining about.

The commercial version is about providing more features than the community edition, not about removing features from the community edition and charging for them.

And just to be blunt, all types of software can go commercial. Even your favorite IoC container might develop a commercial version at some point if they want it.

4/16/2010 11:14:02 AM #

The only way someone would pay money for this is when they used it for years in a commercial product and now you are just going to make it commercial. Yeah, they just don't have a choice, because refactoring and retesting is going to take much more money.

Also, it's just not very polite to commercialize others' ideas. I could understand if you invented AOP. Otherwise it just sounds silly. AOP belongs to community, and it could develop only when it's free and anyone can contribute.

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