ActiveState Stackato has announced a commitment to keeping a free license option for its private cloud-focused, multilingual platform-as-a-service, even when it leaves its current state of beta -- a potential boon for smaller cloud ISVs looking to develop SaaS apps on a private cloud.

As a quick refresher, ActiveState Stackato is built on the VMware Cloud Foundry code and supports applications built in Python, Java, Ruby, PHP, Perl and Node.js. Moreover, Open Virtualization Alliance and OpenStack community memberships speak to Stackato's design goal of a private cloud PaaS that maximizes developer flexibility and minimizes the chances of vendor lock-in when it comes to cloud applications.

And in a blog entry, ActiveState Director of Enterprise Product Management Diane Mueller acknowledged to the developer community there will "always" be a Stackato Micro Cloud license, free to install on a single node for non-commercial or internal commercial use. The actual license details are forthcoming, but Mueller indicated it likely will be in line with the Community Editions of other open source-based commercial projects.

Technical support won't be included, and that single node license is going to be a harsh restriction for some. But there are always the paid versions.

In the meanwhile, Stackato is one of the new class of PaaS solution providers that tries to be the solution to all developer problems. But since Cloud Foundry is apparently the developer's choice in this market, maybe Stackato has a competitive edge here, too.