451 CAOS Links 2010.10.26

Cloudera raises $25m. OpenStack goes to Austin. And more.

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“Tracking the open source news wires, so you don’t have to.”

# Cloudera raised $25m in series C funding, led by Meritech Capital Partners.

# The OpenStack project confirmed the “Austin” code release of OpenStack Compute and Object Storage.

# Microsoft partnered with Cloud.com to integrate Hyper-V with the OpenStack project.

# Citrix confirmed that it will deliver and support OpenStack as a component of the OpenCloud framework.

# VMware and Google announced collaboration on projects including the SpringSource Tool Suite and Google Web Toolokit.

# Charles-H Shulz explained why he is leaving OpenOffice.org.

# Ian Skerrett politely invited Oracle to get a clue.

# Doug Lea explained why he is not standing for re-election to the JCP Executive Committee.

# Bill Burke argued that the Java Community Process is salvageable.

# The board of the Apache Software Foundation released a statement “on recent Java-related events”.

# The Outercurve Foundation created the Research Accelerators Gallery, targeted at research scientists and academics.

# The Open Invention Network claimed 187 licensees, up 34% in the third quarter.

# Teradata announced a partnership with Hadoop specialist Karmasphere.

# Fluendo joined the Open Invention Network as a licensee.

# Dries Buytaert provided some advice on the commercialization of volunteer-driven open source projects.

# Gemalto filed a patent infringement claims against Google, HTC, Motorola and Samsung related to Android and Dalvik.

# The Nagios trademark issue has been resolved.

# The default desktop interface for Ubuntu is moving from Gnome to Unity.

# FuseSource launched operations as an independent wholly owned subsidiary of Progress Software.

# The OpenNebula project released version 2.0 of its open source toolkit for cloud computing.

# Stephen Walli explained the difference between makers, users and buyers of open source software.

# FierceGovernmentIT reported that DARPA is seeking to replicate OSS development model for the design of vehicles.

# The Register reported that the Symbian Foundation faces closure.

# Digium announced the release of Asterisk 1.8, including integration with IPv6.

# Brian Aker ran the numbers on the Drizzle contributor statistics.

# Kineo, Catalyst IT and Flexible Learning Network formed Totara to develop a version of Moodle for corporates.

# Opscode announced that more than 200 individuals and 50 companies have registered to contribute to Chef.

# Pentaho and Ingres announced a strategic partnership.

451 CAOS Links 2010.08.31

VMware launches vFabric. Actuate claims $50m OSS-related revenue. And more.

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“Tracking the open source news wires, so you don’t have to.”

# VMware delivered vFabric cloud app platform, based on SpringSource, Hyperic, RabbitMQ, and GemFire technologies.

# Actuate claimed to have generated over $50m in BIRT-based revenue in less than four years.

# TierraCloud launched the HC2 open source private cloud project, based on the code from Sun’s Project Honeycomb.

# EnterpriseDB raised a strategic investment from KT (Korea Telecom) and new VC funding from TransLink Capital.

# Cloudant released its BigCouch project as open source software under the Apache 2.0 license.

# Nuxeo published an introduction to fise, an open source RESTful semantic engine.

# Gijs Hillenius reported on the increased use of the European Union Public Licence.

# Javlin released CloverETL Community Edition, based on the CloverETL open source transformation engine.

# Stephen Walli emphasized the difference between project and product when it comes to open source software.

# James Gosling began a campaign to hold Oracle to its pledge to create an open independent vendor-neutral JCP.

# The Software Freedom Law Center opened a branch in India.

# General Hugh Shelton was elected to serve as chairman of Red Hat’s board of directors.

# Citrix is integrating its OpenCloud with OpenStack and the Open vSwitch project.

# The Ruby on Rails community completed its work on Rails 3.

# Interesting perspective on the future of the government forges with reference to Forge.mil and Forge.gov.

# Adam Leventhal discussed the past, present and potential future of Solaris.

Does Consona-Compiere mean community doesn’t matter?

There was another acquisition involving open source software recently when Consona bought Compiere, but what is perhaps most striking about the deal from an open source software perspective is how little it and the Compiere community mattered in the deal.

By most accounts, including that of fellow open source ERP player xTuple CEO Ned Lilly, who offers an interesting and accurate depiction of Compiere’s changes, acknowledge the movement away from community that occurred over the last few years at Compiere. As discussed in our own recent report on the deal, we are also somewhat skeptical over the fate of what is left of Compiere’s open source community, even though Consona plans to continue offering both paid and free versions. At the same time, we are also wondering whether it will matter much — to Consona, to Compiere or even to its customers?

So how does this jibe, or not, with our views on how M&A deals and valuations involving open source software vendors tend to highlight the value of open source communities?

Community has served to drive up the price in deals stretching back for years (Citrix-XenSource for $500m, August 2007; Nokia-Trolltech at $153m, January 2008; Sun-MySQL for $1 billion, January 2008; VMware-SpringSource $420m, August 2009), but the reality in the case of Consona-Compiere (price not disclosed) is that community, or lack of a vibrant open source software community, may have actually driven the price down.

We must also consider the significance of cloud computing here. Cloud capabilities and possibilities in the enterprise version of Compiere’s platform may have trumped community in this case, but the deal still serves to remind open source software companies, as well as their existing and potential partners and acquirers, that community counts.

Alfresco has new Activiti en route to Apache

Interesting news from open source content management vendor Alfresco this morning, which has launched the Activiti business process management project and hired Tom Baeyens, founder and architect of the JBoss jBPM project, and fellow architect Joram Barrez to create it.

While the project will be led by Alfresco employees, Activiti is not designed to be an Alfresco-only initiative. Activiti will be licensed under Apache License 2.0 to encourage widespread usage and adoption. The SpringSource division of VMware is also involved, as well as Signavio and Camunda, while Alfresco plans to submit the project to the Apache Foundation.

Open source already has a presence in the BPM space thanks to JBoss jBPM, ProcessMaker, Intalio, and BonitaSoft, amongst others. However, as an Apache-licensed project, Activiti is likely to shake-up the BPM market with a ubiquitous project that supports the BPMN 2.0 standard from the Object Management Group.

Red Hat’s JBoss jBPM project is likely to feel the impact – not least since Tom Baeyens and Joram Barrez are joining Alfresco (we understand, incidentally, that Alfresco asked Red Hat to consider re-licensing jBPM and the latter declined).

Although the leadership has come from jBPM they have not brought any of the jBPM code with them. Activiti is being written from scratch, apart from the Activiti Modeler browser-based process modeling tool, which is based on the Signavio Process Editor.

Clearly, since it does not have skin in the BPM game, Alfresco can afford to disrupt that market with a liberally-licensed project and generate revenue from its complementary products and services (see also “A capitalist guide to open source licensing”). However, it seems likely that Activiti could also be a prelude to a more liberally-licensed Alfresco.

In the announcement, CTO John Newton notes that Alfresco “needed a more liberally-licensed process engine”. What he doesn’t say is that one reason the company needs a more liberally-licensed process engine is due to concerns from potential OEM customers about reciprocal licensing.

Even after Alfresco moved to the LGPL earlier this year it seems that is still an issue. As John noted at the time: “we currently have two main LGPL components – Hibernate for database access and JBPM for workflow – which prevent us from going to something like Apache or BSD licenses. However, this is something we may consider changing in the future.”

With Activiti licensed under Apache, and Alfresco also moving away from Hibernate to the Apache-licensed iBatis, that will soon not be an issue. At that point Alfresco would be in a position to license its entire Community Edition version under Apache, or another more liberal license.

This is something that I previously argued open core vendors should be considering last year. Of course it is not a simple matter. Alfresco does have skin in the ECM game.

Theoretically Alfresco could release Community Edition under the Apache License and could continue to generate revenue from the traditionally-license Enterprise Edition, as well as new complementary products and services, but that is something the company will have to think about very carefully.

451 CAOS Links 2010.05.07

SpringSource picks up GemStone. Separating community and customers. And more.

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“Tracking the open source news wires, so you don’t have to.”

# VMware’s SpringSource acquired data grid/cashing vendor GemStone Systems. Rod Johnson explained why.

# Stephen Walli published a guide to separating customers from open source community.

# LINBIT has taken over the development and maintenance of the formerly orphaned Heartbeat 2 Linux clustering project.

# REvolution Computing confirmed its change to become Revolution Analytics.

# Couchio published case studies on CouchDB’s use at the BBC, Assay Depot and Interactive Mediums.

# SGI released Altix ICE 8400, the next generation of its scale-out Linux supercomputer.

# Lucid Imagination launched a channel sales and support offering for VARs and SIs using Lucene/Solr.

# Rhomobile announced Rhodes 2.0, its open source cross-platform smartphone application development framework.

# Comintelli added a new Apache Solr-based Enterprise Search capability to its knowledge management software.

# Actuate claimed open BI leadership with $45m BIRT-related revenue in three years and 450 paying customers.

# Rapid-I, which offers OSS predictive analytics, data mining and text mining, has released RapidMiner 5.0.

# The OW2 Consortium launched the Open Source Cloudware Initiative to provide JavaEE autonomic server provisioning.

# Ingres targets VectorWise at financial services via a relationship with Bendigo Partners.

CAOS Theory Podcast 2010.04.16

Topics for this podcast:

*The latest in VC funding for open source
*VMware’s SpringSource buys cloud messenger Rabbit
*Open source monitoring vendors’ key cloud partnershps
*Oracle moves ahead, back on MySQL, OpenSolaris

iTunes or direct download (25:38, 7MB)

451 CAOS Links 2010.04.13

600 new customers for SugarCRM. James Gosling leaves Oracle. And more.

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“Tracking the open source news wires, so you don’t have to.”

# SugarCRM added nearly 600 customers in the first quarter of 2010.

# James Gosling resigned from Oracle.

# VMware’s SpringSource acquired Rabbit Technologies and its RabbitMQ messaging software.

# EnterpriseDB hired Sun’s former MySQL VP Karen Tegan Padir as vice president of products and marketing.

# Xen.org released version 4.0 of the Xen open source hypervisor.

# Talend 4.0 includes data integration, data quality and master data management in a single offering.

# rPath offered improved Linux patching capabilities, targets Red Hat Network Satellite users.

# SugarCRM has made the primary source code repository for Sugar Community Edition publicly accessible at SugarForge.

# Gear6’s memcached distribution supports native query and Redis integration, and is now available on Ubuntu and Debian.

# Percona announced Percona Server with XtraDB as a drop-in replacement for MySQL.

# Mezeo Software and Zmanda partnered on a new cloud storage backup offering.

# The Apache Software Foundation announced Apache Cassandra release 0.6.

# Fonality and SugarCRM partnered to provide contact center offering.

# Black Duck reported bookings up 80%, 31 new customers in the first quarter.

# Ulteo joined the Open Invention Network.

# The Linux Foundation announced the expansion of companies participating in the MeeGo project.

# Black Duck Software released a code search plug-in for Visual Studio 2010.

# Twitter released the source code to FlockDB, its distributed graph database technology.

# Hippo CEO Jeroen Verberg’s shared his thoughts on open source-related business strategies.

# EditShare announced plans to release Lightworks media editing software as open source.

# Marten Mickos’s presentation at Parc Forum – Open for business: Building successful commerce around open source.

Cloud monitoring keeps open source in cool crowd

One of the first special reports I wrote for 451 Group was an analysis of the open source systems management vendors on the scene — GroundWork, Hyperic, Zenoss, OpenNMS Group, Nagios Enterprises and some others. These named ones are those that made it and while there was some reckoning in the market and there have been changes, it is interesting to see these players still plugging away, pushing into new markets and powering open source for systems, network and application monitoring and management, including cloud computing environments.

When acquired by SpringSource a year ago, there was some question as to the real value of open source systems monitoring and management company Hyperic, which had taken the most pronounced and aggressive move toward the cloud. Flash forward to VMware’s latest SpringSource tc Server release and we see VMware, at the very least, still sees technical and market value in Hyperic, which continues to be its cloud appliation and infrastructure monitoring technology and brand. Hyperic and its acquisition by SpringSource also served as an early milestone in the devops trend.

As for GroundWork Open Source, the company just made an announcement for monitoring private clouds created with Eucalyptus Systems, which continues to gain buzz and attention itself with its recent hiring of former MySQL CEO Marten Mickos. The GroundWork-Eucalyptus joint offering, intended to provide one point of control for datacenters and cloud computing environments both private and public, is also intended for channel partners (which represent about half of GroundWork’s revenue) to offer Eucalyptus-based private clouds with monitoring as well.

Zenoss is another vendor that continues to leverage open source for systems management that is finding continued interest and traction in large part thanks to emergent models and strategies in cloud computing. In its case, Zenoss announced it will provide service assurance monitoring for private and public clouds based on Cisco’s Unified Computing System. The beta service promises enterprises and service providers fast and cost effective deployment of a unified operations console for UCS services, which could include physical, virtual and/or cloud computing environments.

There are also others that are still growing in the enterprise systems monitoring and management space with open source software: Nagios Enterprises and OpenNMS Group in particular. Nagios Enterprises, which shares the same name as the popular open source monitoring project, continues to grow its enterprise and cloud presence despite a fork and check on its development last year.

OpenNMS Group, among the most community and project-oriented of the open source commercial plays in systems management, is part of an interesting effort toward a cloud service broker (CSB), aimed at enabling service providers to connect to various cloud providers, along with British Telecom and others.

Given much of the efficiency and rewards of cloud computing center on driving greater utilization and efficiency, it is not surprising that monitoring is a big part of it. Given the trend toward using open source pieces for cloud computing, particularly as we consider the current wave of investment and building of private cloud infrastructures where open source is very well-suited, it is not surprising to see open source a big part of it, too.

What’s in a name? Still open source

We industry analysts sometimes get a chuckle or two out of vendor names. Sometimes it’s a new vendor and we are left wondering, what were they thinking? Sometimes people take a vendor’s name and make fun or pun out of it. More seriously, though, we do continue to see vendors that focus and center their technology and business on open source software among the most frequent name changers in the industry. The reason is fairly simple: the name of the open source project is usually what people think of when the project is successful.

A few of years ago, we saw a spate of open source name changes, including Likewise and SpringSource. The reasoning then seems to remain the case today: the positive association of open source with cost savings and the positive connotations of an open source project in the enterprise outweigh any disconnect or disassociation with the project. This seems true even though differentiation from open source projects was a key challenge among vendors we polled recently for our report on sales and marketing for open source software.

This week, we were reminded the value often still lies with the name of the project, despite differentiation or branding advantages, as Reductive Labs, the server management and automation software startup that hosts and provides enterprise support for the open source Puppet automation framework, announced its name change to Puppet Labs. It makes sense and highlights the importance of open source software projects and communities in today’s enterprise IT.

Updated note: I also wonder whether the large number of open source projects and related commercial vendors in cloud computing will produce any similar name changes in the near future?

451 CAOS Links 2010.03.12

Updating the MPL. Funding for Lucid and eXo. StatusNet. And more.

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“Tracking the open source news wires, so you don’t have to.”

Updating the MPL
# ZDnet reported that the 10-year-old Mozilla Public License will be updated by the end of 2010, while Mitchell Baker explained the process.

Funding for Lucid and eXo
# Lucid Imagination raised $10m in series B funding from Shasta Ventures, Granite Ventures and Walden International.

# eXo Platform raised $6m from Auriga Partners and XAnge Capital and confirmed Bob Bickel as its chairman.

Status check
# StatusNet launched the StatusNet Cloud Service (SCS) into public beta, while OStatic published a Q&A with StatusNet’s CEO on the future of the open source microblogging platform provider.

Busy week for Simon Phipps
# Sun’s chief open source officer, Simon Phipps confirmed he will not be joining Oracle, but also confirmed his election as director of the Open Source Initiative. Joe Brockmeier asked if Simon Phipps will be able to energize the OSI.

# Jay Pipes confirmed that he and many of the Sun Drizzle team are now working at Rackspace Cloud.

# Open Source for America responded to the IIPA’s attack on open source.

# In the first of a series of article’s OpenNMS’s Tarus Balog explained what it takes to build an open source business. http://bit.ly/cTbQq1

# Bloomberg reported, and Elliot denied, that it plans to sell Novell’s NetWare and Linux units.

# Engine Yard claimed to have tripled its customer base in the last six months to reach 1,000 customers.

# SpringSource introduced SpringSource tc Server Spring Edition.

# Dirk Riehle outlined the three areas of open source economics.

# The VAR Guy speculated about Red Hat’s apparently imminent move into business intelligence.

# Digg explained its move from MySQL to Apache Cassandra.

# Appcelerator Titanium 1.0 is now generally available.

# SugarCRM launched its Open+ Partner Program.

# Terracotta announced the availability of Ehcache 2.0 as well as upgrades to Terracotta Web Sessions.

# MySQL/Memcached appliance vendor Schooner was ranked 34th on the WSJ’s list of the top 50 venture-backed companies, while Groundwork Open Source was ranked 28th.

# OSS Watch published an explanation of how the threat to copyleft licenses is not proliferation, but incompatibility.

# A short but sweet explanation of Cloudera’s formation and raison d’être.

# An interview with WaveMaker CEO Chris Keene on commercial open source licensing, business, community strategies.

# Squiz updated its MySource Matrix open source CMS with formal support for Funnelback Search.

# The creators of the Hypertable open source distributed (NoSQL) database have formed Hypertable Inc.

CAOS Theory Podcast 2010.03.05

Topics for this podcast:

*Novell gets unsolicited bid
*More deals and drive for devops
*Dual licensing debated
*Patent and IP deals, fights involve open source

iTunes or direct download (32:56, 9 MB)

DevOps mixing dev, ops, agile, cloud, open source and business

We continue to see and hear signs of a new movement in enterprise IT: devops. The term has for some time been a reference to the blending roles and benefits of an integrated approach when it comes to the ‘development’ of an application through testing and QA to production and ‘operations.’ We cited this as the focus of SpringSource’s acquisition of Hyperic and then VMware’s acquisition of SpringSource last year. Still, we see the trend today on a few different levels, all of which are drawing in vendors eager to meet the opportunity.

On its most basic level, devops is about people. Developers and admins/operations have historically been separate camps within enterprise organizations. While there has been some integration and collaboration, helped by open source software and social networking trends, there seemed to be a persistent disconnect between these two parts of typical enterprises. Similar to how open source software developers have come a long way in considering usability, user interfaces and users in general, we now see enterprise developers taking into consideration the deployment and use of the software. I’ve also actually met some of these devops, hired to strattle the software from creation to consumption, and I believe it is a growing job title for enterprise IT. Further reinforcing the devops people factor, CollabNet indicated a need to manage not only code and applications with agility, but also to similarly manage people and teams as a driver of its acquisition of Danube, a project management company.

Of course, most of the people involved in devops come from the software development and IT operations worlds. At the developer level, we see open source software tools and practices, Web and agile development all contributing to devops, whereby development and production are getting aligned.

On a more technical level, we again see open source and agile development practices, but with the addition of cloud computing as the delta of all of these trends.

Yet another level of devops is the business level, whereby not only developers and operations folks are getting involved, but the executives and people representing business and application requirements, needs and realities are also finding they have a stake in devops. This is something we’ve already seen in open source software thanks to vibrant communities of not only developers, but users too, particularly in specialized fields where their stake in the development and deployment of the software is more critical. For example, we’ve heard from many vendors how their open source software for the healthcare and government sectors is pulling in new stakeholders and experts, including doctors and nurses, who are directly reporting their needs, issues and realities to developers, operations and in the best case scenario, to devops.

One thing all of these different levels of devops have in common: they are all driving activity and strategy among a wide array of vendors and projects. After all, at yet another level, devops represents the promise of cloud computing, elasticity, doing more with less and driving synergy and efficiency through people and technology.

We will be delving much deeper into this subject for a special report from our Commercial Adoption of Open Source (CAOS) and Infrastructure Computing in the Enterprise (ICE) practices planned for this summer. We look forward to speaking with more devops players and hearing what they think of the trend.

451 CAOS Links 2010.01.25

WordPress Foundation formed. Reaction to Oracle-Sun approval. And more.

WordPress Foundation formed
# Matt Mullenwag launched the WordPress Foundation.

Reaction to Oracle-Sun’s EC approval

# In a memo Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz encouraged the company’s employees to emotionally resign from Sun.

# EnterpriseDB and PostgreSQL co-founder Bruce Momjian issued a statement on the EC’s decision to approve Oracle-Sun.

# Mike Hogan asked, did Oracle make concessions to the EU?

# Savio Rodrigues discussed Sun & Oracle’s impact on open source acquisitions.

# Save MySQL campaigner Florian Mueller commented following the EC’s clearance of the Oracle-Sun deal.

# Josh Berkus clarified his presentation on Sun and ten ways to destroy a community.

# Ingres CEO Roger Buckhardt analyzed the impact of Oracle-Sun on the database market.

Best of the rest
# Internetnews.com reported on Red Hat’s plans for JBoss in 2010.

# Red Hat’s opensource.com community site is now live.

# Talend introduced and open source Master Data Management (MDM) product.

# Joe “Zonker” Brockmeier, openSUSE community manager, is leaving Novell.

# JavaWorld compared JBoss and SpringSource.

# MuleSoft updated Tcat Server with support for the newest version of Apache Tomcat 6.0.24.

#OSS Watch discussed control versus community.

# McObject’s Perst open source, object-oriented embedded database now supports Microsoft’s Silverlight technology.

# GigaOM discussed how Red Hat has avoided the recession.

# Carlo Daffara discussed how open source enables new ways of cooperating.

VMware on open source track to cloud

I have to admit, I was somewhat skeptical of VMware’s interest and outlook with regard to open source software when the enterprise vendor acquired SpringSource in August 2009. Basically, I thought VMware was more focused on cloud strategy and SpringSource’s subscription business in application development and deployment than on its open source nature. However, after its second open source acquisition of Zimbra messaging and collaboration from Yahoo! and talking further with VMware, it is clear the company — once widely known as the proprietary virtualization option juxtaposed against Xen open source virtualization — is an open source believer.

Of course, much of this occurs as Linux and open source dive further under the covers, winning placement but not notoriety in a range of consumer and enterprise uses. Nevertheless, VMware makes no secret its belief that open source software represents the fastest way to reach the widest audience, whether it’s developers in the case of SpringSource, or service providers and other cloud computing users with Zimbra. Similar to our findings for a recent report about customer and user views on open source, VMware sees primarily cost and complexity mitigation benefits from open source software. The company also cites open source as the reason Zimbra has managed growth and popularity, even in the face of Microsoft’s popularity via Exchange and SharePoint.

This is not to say VMware will be making only open source acquisitions and deals going forward as it builds its vCloud stack and story. In fact, in this regard, VMware is in a more flexible position than Red Hat, which is practically more obligated to stick to open source targets or acquire with the intent to open, as we’ve seen with some of its acquired Qumranet technology.

VMware calls the Zimbra acquisition its move ‘up the stack,’ and while additional pieces will not necessarily be open source, I expect the same cost, complexity, flexibility, developer, speed, strategic and other factors that drove the SringSource and Zimbra acquisitions will continue VMware’s focus on open source.

Updated 1/20/2010: VMware has already taken further open source steps with this announcement of vCloud SDKs supporting open source languages.

451 CAOS Links 2010.01.15

VMware confirms Zimbra buy. Facebook sponsors Apache Foundation. And more.

Follow 451 CAOS Links live @caostheory on Twitter and Identi.ca
“Tracking the open source news wires, so you don’t have to.”

For the latest on Oracle’s acquisition of MySQL via Sun, see Everything you always wanted to know about MySQL but were afraid to ask

# VMware confirmed its acquisition of Zimbra from Yahoo.

# Facebook became a gold sponsor of the Apache Foundation and outlined its OSS contributions.

# Alfresco’s open source ECM software is integrated with IBM Lotus Quickr, Notes, Connections and WebSphere Portal.

# MySQL’s co-founder David Axmark provided CBR with his views on Oracle acquiring MySQL.

# SFLC declared CES 2010 the best of times and the worst of times for free software.

# Black Duck reported 37% bookings growth in 2009 with IP assessments up 85% in the second half of the year.

# MuleSoft reported 152% growth in recurring subscription revenues, 98% customer growth in 2009.

# SugarCRM claimed revenue, customer, community and partner development growth in 2009.

# Zack Urlocker described the potent combination of open source and inbound marketing.

# MetaPass released its open-source enterprise single sign-on (SSO) software.

# Former Siebel exec Bob Mann joined Openbravo as new Chairman of the Board.

# Ted T’so, the Linux Foundation’s CTO, is moving to Google to work on the Linux kernel and the Ext4 file system.

# StreamBase’s Mark Plamer assessed the potential impact of open source on complex event processing software.

# Eric Lai reported on how Hadoop startup Cloudera is evolving.

# Shaun Walker blogged about his involvement in the CodePlex Foundation.

# Kaltura released an open source video extension for Joomla.

# Sony Pictures Imageworks released the Alpha version of its source code for its Open Shading Language.

# The VAR Guy reported that IBM and Canonical are cooking something up for Lotusphere.

# Joe Brockmeier published Permissive or Reciprocal? Choosing the Right License.

# Forge.mil’s ProjectForge offered SaaS collaborative open source development environment.

# DSS announced the availability of vxVistA open source EHR. For context see Vistapedia’s Which VistA?

# Jason van Zyl provided further insight into Sonatype’s business strategy with regards to Nexus and Maven and explained why Sonatype chose the GPL license for Nexus.

# What a SpringSource’s contribution of dm Server to Eclipse means for the OSGi/Java world, according to Michael Cote.

# Entrust brought its PKI security software to (Red Hat) Linux.

# Djigzo’s open source email encryption gateway now supports Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

A capitalist guide to open source licensing

We’ve provided a few examples recently of vendors choosing permissive licenses for open source software projects with the express purpose of rapidly driving adoption of a particular technology (Day Software, JetBrains, SpringSource).

The last of those was interesting as compared to SpringSource’s previous decision to use the GPL for the same project with the intention of maximizing its return on investment. Another example of that strategy in action was provide this week by Sonatype’s Jason van Zyl.

    “We thought for a long while before selecting the GNU Public License (GPL) for Nexus and we made it clear right from the start why we chose the GPL. We knew that we would invest heavily in Nexus. Even though the people involved with Sonatype are traditionally users of Apache style licenses, we didn’t know how our business would evolve and we wanted to choose a license that would offer adequate protection for that investment. We were honest and upfront about it. We chose a more restrictive license first this allows us to adapt and use a less restrictive license in the future if we think it is appropriate for the community.”

Our recent post on SpringSource prompted Matt Asay to state “moral of story? platforms flourish on permissive licensing. GPL is a capitalist’s best friend. Apache/EPL are a community’s”.

It is a massive generalization of course, which is the nature of the 140 character limit, but there is some truth in it. To get to that truth you have first to deal with a couple of related issues.

GPL and community
Matt’s statement suggests, and he confirmed in a follow-up, that it is harder to build a community with a restrictive license. The obvious argument against that statement is the number of community projects based around GPL code: the Linux kernel, the GNU project, Samba, Drupal, Gnome, and KDE for example.

Clearly the GPL does not prevent vibrant community development projects. The important point about those projects is that they are the result of true development communities, however, rather than a vendor-initiated effort to create a community.

The truth is, however, that for vendor-initiated open source projects it is hard to build a true collaborative community. This is true of the vendor is generating revenue directly from the project in the form of support/subscriptions, but especially so if the vendor in question elects to exert copyright control in order to generate revenue directly from that open source project via dual or open-core licensing strategies.

Update – As Jason van Zyl explains in his discussion of why Sonatype chose the GPL for Nexus: “Less restrictive licenses enable wider integration and make it easier to drum up community participation.”

van Zyl aslo explains that starting with a more restrictive license enables the company to move to a more permissive license at a later date without upsetting community users. “You can’t start a project using a less restrictive license to grow a community – because this tends to be easier with less restrictive licenses – and then switch. Such a practice is dishonest and you will never see Sonatype make a similar move.” – update.

Community and capitalism

Matt’s statement also suggests that community members aren’t driven by capitalist tendencies. Of course it is true to say that there are both capitalists and non-capitalists involved in EPL/Apache communities, but in the examples listed above (Day, JetBrains, SpringSource) it is worth noting that the decision to use permissive licenses is specifically driven by the desire to expand commercial opportunities for the vendor concerned to exploit indirectly via complementary products.

In Day’s case it took a while to work out how to precisely to monetize that opportunity by building on top of the open source code, while in JetBrain’s case it is a pre-meditated attempt to increase potential adoption of its proprietary products. As for VMware/SpringSource, it is not immediately obvious how the company stands to benefit from the Virgo project, although anything that encourages adoption of OSGi arguably benefits VMware by reducing the reliance on a full-blown operating system.

So the question is not which license is the capitalist’s best friend, but which license best fits the capitalist’s monetization strategy. Assuming you get to choose your license for a direct monetization strategy a reciprocal license is your best bet, while for indirect monetization strategy choose a permissive license.

See also, The 451 Group’s assessments of:
Day Software
JetBrains
VMware’s acquisition of SpringSource

Update – I should have said, of course, that the choice of open source license is one factor among many. As noted in the comments, community governance and copyright assignment policies also play a big part. I touched on the issue of copyright control recently, and we will be considering the bigger picture in an update to our Open Source is Not a Business Model report, later in the year.

Meanwhile, I will be expanding on this argument, and providing a snapshot of our ongoing research in relation to open source-related business strategies in a presentation at OSBC 2010 in March.

451 CAOS Links 2010.01.12

Eclipse adds OSGi server. VMware-Zimbra deal due today? And more.

Follow 451 CAOS Links live @caostheory on Twitter and Identi.ca
“Tracking the open source news wires, so you don’t have to.”

For the latest on Oracle’s acquisition of MySQL via Sun, see Everything you always wanted to know about MySQL but were afraid to ask

# VMware’s SpringSource proposed that its dm Server OSGi-based app server become an Eclipse.org community project, while SAP proposed the Graphiti project.

# All Things D reported that Yahoo will announce the sale of Zimbra to Vmware later today.

# Jaspersoft released Jaspersoft 3.7, including the new Jaspersoft Enterprise Edition.

# Alfresco released Alfresco Enterprise Edition 3.2, with advances for compliance and cloud computing.

# The Government of Jordan signed an MOU with Ingres for adoption of Ingres Database and other OSS across the country.

# InfoWorld reported that Genuitec is introducing a version of its MyEclipse IDE for the Spring Framework.

# Enea released version 2.2 of its Optima Eclipse-based integrated development environment.

# Terracotta released Quartz EX, the clustered enterprise edition of the Quartz job scheduler, and Terracotta 3.2.

# Eucalyptus Systems claimed a successful start for its open source private cloud software in 2009.

# xTuple gained over 100 new commercial customers in 2009.

# GroundWork Open Source grew its customer base 105% in 2009.

# Jason van Zyl discussed how Sonatype helps create the foundations of the Maven community.

# OStatic published a Q&A with a law firm’s IT Director on its use of open source software.

# Matt Asay reported that California has blessed open source as ‘acceptable’.

# Fonality increased sales 20%, customers 28%, in Q4, claims one billionth “cloud-based call”.

# KnowledgeTree announced the integration of its commercial SaaS and on-site editions with Capsys Capture.

# Version 4.6 of openQRM is now available.

# Tarus Balog explained the importance of copyright assignment to 100% open source companies.

What SpringSource dm Server licensing tells us about control versus community

When SpringSource introduced its dm Server product, then known as the Application Platform, I argued that it was fascinating (if you’re in to that sort of thing) to see that SpringSource had chosen the GPL for the OSGi application server.

It is equally fascinating (if you’re in to that sort of thing) to see that the company is now proposing that the dm Server move to the Eclipse Public License and become an Eclipse.org community project.

As we noted when SpringSource introduced dm Server, the choice of GPL was appeared to be designed to protect the company’s commercial interests by limiting the ability of other vendors to use the code in proprietary products.

As SpringSource CEO Rod Johnson explained:

    “Creating an application platform that makes the benefits of OSGi available to end users was a huge investment for us. There’s a lot of technical innovation under the hood which won’t be immediately apparent but which enables us to make a generational leap. If we’re giving that technology away in open source, we wanted others who build on it to also give away the results in open source.”

The move to the EPL appears to be motivated by a decision that there is more to gain by encouraging wider adoption of OSGi approaches through more permissive licensing and collaborative community development.

As Adrian Coyler explains:

    “There is a great deal of interest and innovation around enterprise OSGi and the dm Server. This interest is strongest amongst early adopters, and projects with requirements that match closely the dynamically modular nature of the OSGi Service Platform. For a mainstream development team though, who just want to build an enterprise application as quickly as possible, and with as little hassle as possible, the costs currently associated with adopting enterprise OSGi can outweigh the short-term benefits. This situation needs to be addressed before enterprise OSGi can become the de-facto approach for mainstream enterprise application development.”

One of the trends we predicted (451 clients only) for 2010 in open source was that we would see a trend towards community projects and a greater willingness to engage with existing open-source foundations such as the Apache and Eclipse Foundations:

    “The control afforded by reciprocal licenses such as the GPL was previously seen as a benefit for new open-source-related vendors, alongside other intellectual property controls. However, there is an argument that too much control can restrict the success of a project. We believe the trend is shifting away from vendor-led control and reciprocal licensing to community-led collaboration and permissive licensing.”

See also:
Three options for the future of Open-Core licensing
The rejuvenation of community-controlled open source
Out of control
Losing control

Save MySQL would not spare open source M&A

A recent pitch from the folks opposing Oracle’s ownership of MySQL via acquisition of Sun Microsystems got me thinking. The plea, ‘Oracle can have Sun, but not MySQL’ may make sense to some, but to me it speaks to the irony of closing out Oracle or any company or anyone from open source. Upon further reflection and given 2010 is off to a roaring pace of M&A, I also began to wonder what the impact of the ‘Save MySQL’ campaign could be on open source in M&A, particularly if it was to successfully derail the acquisition or somehow decouple MySQL from Sun under Oracle?

What would it mean to carve out the open source projects, components, teams and support from companies involved in mergers and acquisitions over the last few years?

Would Citrix have still bought XenSource if Xen were cut out or somehow separated in any way shape or form from the deal? Would it have paid $500m?

Would Nokia have bought Trolltech and Qt for $153m?

More recently, would VMware have purchsed SpringSource for $420m if some or any of SpringSource’s open source projects, developers or holdings — including its own acquisitions Covalent and Hyperic — were not included?

Oh yeah, would we even be here with MySQL owned by Sun Microsystems if Sun were prevented from fully acquiring the project, code and company despite spending $1 billion two years ago?

Some degree of concern about Oracle’s potential ownership of MySQL or any ownership of open source projects and code is certainly warrented and prudent, but I don’t believe the fear that punctuates the message of the ‘Save MySQL’ campaign makes much sense. This is particularly so in light of the past deals listed here and others where the market has required continued investment and support of open source and provided continued revenue and benefits from open source.

While some of these scenarios may be admittedly implausible, I believe that separating out open source components, parts, projects and subsidiaries from vendors could certainly serve to dull the shine of open source software assets and vendors amid M&A valuations, prospects and strategy.

451 CAOS Links 2009.11.24

Chrome OS and Andoid to merge – eventually. Oracle and SpringSource propose Eclipse OSGi project. And more.

Follow 451 CAOS Links live @caostheory on Twitter and Identi.ca
“Tracking the open source news wires, so you don’t have to.”

For the latest on Oracle’s acquisition of MySQL via Sun, see Everything you always wanted to know about MySQL but were afraid to ask

# Gizmodo reported that Chrome OS and Android are destined to merge, somehow.

# Q&A with open government activist David Eaves about Portland’s move towards open source, open data, and open standards.

# Oracle and SpringSource proposed a new Eclipse project, Gemini, for enterprise OSGi.

# SAP was the 4th largest contributor to Eclipse in 2009 with terms of lines of code.

# Extremadura Director General of ICT says open source is fundamental to sustainable and independent development. http://bit.ly/5ITmHf

# Mark Fidelman discussed the role of closed loop marketing for commercial open source companies.

# Alfresco included the OASIS CMIS version 1.0 in Alfresco Community 3.2.

# Andrew Aitken noted that open source vendors love lock-in too.

# Matt Asay reported that Microsoft’s embrace of MySQL could kill it.

# Mike Hogan asked, who owns the customer in the cloud?