I can relate to that. Please allow me to bring a bit more structure into the wealth of ideas and points discussed.
It is abundantly clear that Knime offering more chargeable services as described – even if it would advance Knime’s capabilities to provide more innovative nodes by being able to invest more capital and provide the necessary means to Knime professionals to develop services and make a living – would be overkill and eventually defy the initial mission of the App and / or the community.
Initially, while thinking about the situation, I realized there is a gap and thus opportunity for everyone. Reason is, one either opts for Knime Server – which for individual professionals or even small companies could easily be overkill (please mind the fat head vs. long tail) – or fully puts good faith into a client’s commitment to not redistribute / stick to terms. There is no middle way at present.
Low effort & yield
Maybe the most basic question is: Is it allowed in the forum (in general or in the signature) to point to services like Buy me a Coffee or Patreon?
Moderate effort & yield
Continuing that thought, primary in regards to the aspect about protecting intellectual property or ensuring agreements are adhered to.
Option A: Limited Server-Access
Wouldn‘t it be an opportunity to provide limited access by Knime to individuals to a server like architecture only enabling them to share encrypted components?
Knime could charge, like regular SaaS providers does, opening another revenue stream. It would not be liable for the workflow only offering the means to execute. However Knime would still enable and incentivize to leverage the full server capabilities further bolstering it‘s initial goal.
A win-win for everyone.
*Option B: A node that verifies Component Integrity“
What about a node which, once enclosed into a component:
- ensures the component hasn’t being altered (component fingerprinting)
- verifying execution rights (by checking the instance fingerprint / license key against i.e. an activation-DB)
- masking node configurations but still allowing to inspect the component as well as in- and outputs
That verification service would still enable Knime to open a small revenue stream, allowing a certain degree of insights to be gained and the creator to make a living and eventually being able to effort Knime Server.
High effort & yield
The suggested Knime Solutions Marketplace. However, as we concluded, this is way out of reach for many reasons.
Thinking about the Hub I realized there are quite a few outdated workflows or those containing decommissioned nodes (recent example is the Bash Node from NGS). It feels like the Hub needs some level of moderation. An rather simple one could be accomplished automatically by marking workflows with decommissioned nodes as „non-functional“.