One of the central arguments of our recent Control and Community report on open source business strategies was that many so-called open source vendors are failing to enjoy the full benefits of the open source development model by attempting to control their associated projects.
Specifically, we wrote:
“there is a clear trend back toward community-led development and collaboration, and our recommendation is that vendors that control open source projects need to transition toward more collaborative development in order to prove that they are more than just another software vendor that happens to release software using an open source license”
In that light it is interesting (not to mention validating) to see that Nuxeo has announced that it is going to contribute its Nuxeo Core to the Eclipse Foundation to form the “Eclipse Enterprise Content Repository” project.
If approved the proposal will see the creation of project to create a new Java content repository project leveraging CMIS as the main access protocol and API.
From a business strategy perspective, the proposal is designed to speed up content repository innovation by opening up the project for collaborative development and contribution from multiple interested parties.
As Nuxeo CEO Eric Barroca puts it: “We’ve got one main driver: innovation… By setting it free, we’d like to encourage the community to join and innovate in a vendor-neutral environment.”
The move will also create a clear split between what is now Nuxeo Core and Nuxeo’s value-added products and services, including Document Management, Digital Asset Management, and Case Management, and the Nuxeo Studio configuration and customization environment.
We have long argued that this is an approach that vendors who control open source projects should take to benefit from collaborative development and focus their own development effort on value-added products and services so it probably goes without saying that we see this as a positive move by Nuxeo.
It also fits with one of predicted trends (451 clients only) for open source in 2011, so on that basis we also expect and hope to see similar moves by other vendors during the rest of the year.