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November 10, 2015
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Community Innovation Matters

“It’s all about Hortonworks company vision, 100% open source and enterprise support.” Source: TechValidate TVID 8A7-EFF-21C

Hortonworks’ customer experience survey shows that our community innovation strategy is validated by our customers, with more than two-thirds of those who responded to the survey said they value community innovation

Hortonworks has been dedicated to 100% open community development since the very beginning because this strategy maximizes value we can bring to our customers. Here are a few reasons why this strategy delivers the best outcome for our customers.

Innovation at Scale and Quality

By working within the entire Apache Hadoop community, there are virtually no limitations on development capacity—there are thousands of developers who are experts in Hadoop around the world! Proprietary platform vendors have limited innovation capacity due to smaller size of their in house teams compared to whole community.

The community of developers, who are spread across the globe, are advancing Hadoop by continuously innovating and developing new features or fixing bugs. The end result is that our customers benefit from many more features and functions that are delivered more quickly than any proprietary solution, and the quality is often higher, too.

Simply put, there is no single R&D department or proprietary model that can meet the size or scope of what the community can do.

photoDelivering Most Recent Innovations from the “Trunk”

Companies that ship open source software have to make a strategic choice about their software release process: they can either remain on the trunk or go off on their own. The trunk, in this case, is the community’s software development and release process. Being on the trunk means being 100 percent aligned with open community development and its processes. The company doesn’t create their own version of the software, so every release includes the most recent output of the community.

Going off-trunk, on the other hand, means becoming disconnected from the community. The company borrows a version of the open source and then develops their own code (creating forks). This code is isolated and is no longer aligned with the community releases anymore. It takes longer to create and release functionality because the business has to rely on its own resources to maintain their software.

Here at Hortonworks, we decided at the very beginning that we were going to be completely on the trunk with everything we did. This means we can deliver more functionality faster and our customers can benefit from the maximum innovation advantage we can deliver compared to the off trunk software distributions.

Maintaining a Deep Knowledge and Influence

Any business like Hortonworks that remains on trunk means can devote all of their attention to community development. The developers don’t have to split their focus between developing their proprietary code and working with the community.

In order to implement our open community-led innovation strategy, Hortonworks has and continues to dedicate a sizable portion of development resources to the community. These resources include one-third of our Apache Hadoop committers and the majority of other Hadoop ecosystems projects. This enables us to channel our customer’s critical enterprise requirements to the community in order to provide them with the most innovative, timely solutions. At the same time, we can service our customers with expert resources who possess deep knowledge. 

Proprietary Cannot Out-Innovate the Community

The bottom line is that having a 100% community development strategy enables Hortonworks to deliver maximum innovation benefits to enterprise. Among these benefits are, most recent and richest functionality delivered with every release, expert resources with deep knowledge and customer input channeled to community development process.

Customer survey insights blogs will continue with the interoperability, but until then, don’t forget to check out the survey results at

Click here to learn more about Hortonworks differences.

Related blogs in this series:

Part 1: Why our customers choose Hortonworks?

About the Author

cuneytCuneyt Buyukbezci is the senior director of global product marketing for Hortonworks.  In this role, he leads Hortonworks portfolio marketing, pricing, and competitive intelligence. His background includes twenty years in enterprise software, including leading marketing and go to market organizations for HP Software, Sun Microsystems software, and CA Technologies.  Feel free to connect with him on LinkedIn and follow him on twitter.


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