In 2015, SMILE decided to add to Magento by filling a yawning gap in this solution in terms of the search engine. Although there were already basic search functionalities within the tool, they did not permit the level of use that web users would expect of a professional e-commerce website, and there was no way for a merchandiser to optimise their performances by promoting customised products. This solution, named Elastic Suite, was published under an open source licence and achieved resounding success, exceeding a million downloads this year, and is incorporated into tens of thousands of websites of all sizes around the world.
However, maintaining such a solution comes at a cost and we needed to find an economic model that ensures the continued existence of the solution. We examined a number of options and performed tests, some of which ended in failure and some in success. The aim of this talk will be to frankly share our lessons learned with you on what led us to offer a commercial version of this open source solution, what issues we encountered and how we finally found our way.
Publish open source software then create a commercial version of it: why and involving what issues