Following its $10 million acquisition of Flyway, Redgate Software has secured the future of the popular Open Source database migration tool by taking a new approach to software development.
Flyway’s growth demonstrates the value of open source for software companies
Redgate Software’s multimillion-dollar acquisition of Flyway in 2019 was an ambitious move to help organizations include any database in DevOps by using the tool to standardize migrations across more than 20 different databases and platforms. The investment encouraged Redgate to fully embrace the Open Source software approach, and the company today confirmed it is doubling the size of the development team behind Flyway and recommitted to maintaining a free Community version under the Apache v2 licence.
Like many software companies, Redgate has a portfolio of proprietary database development tools and solutions, and Flyway was the company’s first foray into the Open Source arena. This presented a challenge in the way the tool was managed and developed.
From day one, Redgate committed to keeping the Community Edition of the tool, which is free to individual users, and continuing to maintain, support and improve it. The company also wanted to increase the number of businesses using the paid-for versions of the tool by streamlining them to a Teams Edition and adding additional features and support.
This required a different approach to the ongoing development of Flyway because its success needed to be measured by the number of monthly active users of the Community edition as well as the monthly recurring revenue from the Teams edition.
As Kendra Little, Redgate DevOps Advocate and a big fan of Flyway, comments: “Companies can’t go wrong with Flyway, but it does present a dilemma. On one hand, you want individuals to keep using the free tool they already enjoy. On the other, you want larger teams to embrace the paid version with extra available features. It turns traditional software on its head because you need two go-to-market strategies, not one.”
Redgate found the solution in the 1-2-3 Model developed by Adam Gross, technology investor and adviser, based on his work at Heroku. He helped to grow the revenue of the cloud application platform from $35m to $300m by shifting the company’s focus away from the traditional approach of selling software at the department or enterprise level.
Instead, the model focuses on encouraging individual adoption with a free version, migrating users up to teams with a paid-for self-serve option, and having an enterprise version at the end of the customer journey rather than the beginning.
Flyway now fulfils the first two steps in the model, and is integrated into Redgate Deploy, Redgate’s new cross-database development solution, to meet the needs of enterprises. From version control to continuous delivery, Redgate Deploy lets enterprises automate database development processes across different databases, accelerate software delivery and ensure quality code.
Over the past 18 months, Flyway has broadened Redgate’s understanding of Open Source software and shown how the demands of individuals, teams and enterprises can all be satisfied by offering a stepladder of benefits and capabilities depending on need. Redgate now has better visibility of database deployments across different technologies and among full stack developers, which in turn is helping inform what additional features should be created.
As a direct result, Redgate has doubled the revenue from the paid-for edition of Flyway, and the 1-2-3 Model has cemented the future of the free Community Edition, downloads of which also doubled to 40 million in 2020.
For more information about Flyway, or to get in touch with the team, please visit www.flywaydb.org
Red Gate makes ingeniously simple software used by 650,000 IT professionals who work with SQL Server, Azure, .NET, and Oracle. More than 100,000 companies use our products, including 93% of the Fortune 100. Our philosophy is to design highly usable, reliable tools which elegantly solve the problems that developers and database administrators face every day.