Archive for August, 2010

Free proprietary license for XSD and XSD/e

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Today we introduced a free proprietary license for CodeSynthesis XSD and XSD/e. The new license allows you to handle small XML vocabularies (less than 10,000 lines of generated code) in proprietary/closed-source applications free of charge and without any of the GPL restrictions such as having to publish your source code.

What were the reasons for offering such a license? After all, it seems like we will just loose money on this deal. We often get requests for our commercial proprietary license from developers that have a fairly small XML vocabulary. Typically a configuration file or a small communication protocol for their application. While the XML documents are quite simple and it wouldn’t be very hard to parse them using DOM or SAX, the developers would still prefer to handle this task using our tools. After all, spending a few days writing mind-numbing code is still worse than generating the same code in a few seconds.

However, the administrative burdens and delays involved in such a purchase (getting approval from management, contacting the purchasing department, purchasing via PO or credit card, etc.) are often hard to justify considering such simple XML processing needs. The administrative overheads on our side (processing the PO or credit card, delivering the license, issuing the invoice, etc.) also force us to set a minimum limit on the license size and price that we can offer.

All this usually leads to either the license being too expensive for the task at hand or the understandable unwillingness of the developers to endure the purchasing process. As a result we have decided to spare the developers the agony of using inferior products and/or raw XML processing APIs and offer this license for free.

How much is 10,000 lines of code? While it depends on the optional XSD and XSD/e compiler features that you use (e.g., support for XML serialization, polymorphism, comparison and printing operators, as well as XML Schema validation in case of XSD/e), as a rule of thumb, 10,000 lines of code are roughly equivalent to 40-50 local element/attribute definitions in the schema. This should be sufficient to handle small and and even some medium-sized XML vocabularies. Also, if you have your schemas ready, you can quickly check how much generated code they require by downloading XSD or XSD/e and passing the --show-sloc option when compiling the schemas.

For more information on the new license as well as for answers to other common questions, see the following pages: