Re: Business of Compilers

Ramesh <>
Sun, 13 Jun 2010 13:34:01 -0700 (PDT)

          From comp.compilers

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From: Ramesh <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: Sun, 13 Jun 2010 13:34:01 -0700 (PDT)
Organization: Compilers Central
References: 10-05-088
Keywords: practice
Posted-Date: 14 Jun 2010 12:54:25 EDT

On May 15, 1:33 pm, Seima Rao <> wrote:
> Twenty years ago, there was buzz surrounding compilers in the ISV segment.
> I am eager to know what business opportunities are available in the field
> of compiler technology nowadays. Is it possible to run a company
> purely by selling compiler technology? How sustainable would be
> such an enterprise? What compiler products can possible be sold
> these days?

Compiler technology based products have a much smaller user base i.e.,
software developers than broader commercial software. So even hits
have a lower upper bound.

There haven't been very many companies selling just compilers that
have been successful. Microfocus might be one of the few that has seen
broader success (as noted in an earlier post).

The standalone compiler vendor will see competition from the OS and/or
Hardware vendor who wants to make their platform as accessible as

(This article in Joel on Software blog [
articles/StrategyLetterV.html] makes the case why Hardware vendors
support open source; the same reasoning applies to compilers).

Application of compiler technology to Software Development Problems
has seen better success.

The most successful example might be Rational Software; one component
of Rational Software was the Purify/PureCov etc. which applied binary
rewrite to memory consistency, test coverage, etc.

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