October 15, 2005

Open Sour Contract

If there is one thing open source community lacks then it has to be the patience required to understand and adapt to the legal contractual base of the open source business model. It's a very unsexy thing to do and downright boring most of the time.

Whereas if they are putting their money where their  mouth is then community and open source advocates need to get basic grounding on the contractual issues.  If they don't then there will be many situations like the current MySQL/Oracle issue. Hiring a developer or acquiring the key components of a successful open source product will be used as a hedge going forward by those threatened by it's success.

Now MySQL would be reading the whole contract again and again. It's going to get tougher for MySQL going forward unless Uncle SAP decides to throw it's enterprise weight around MaxDB. 

Maybe it's time for the Postgres team to hire Firefox marketing team to inject some excitement in a good technology which  sorely lacks visibility and eco-system support.

October 15, 2005 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 29, 2005

Sun's open source database project !

Sun hiring engineers for an open source database project !

Senior engineer with expertise in relational database systems, Java, JDBC, and ODBC, to design and write software for an open source database project and to be a resident expert on database technology for Sun groups requiring advice on database technology for their customers or products

In the past they dropped many hints on this but so far they never came out with clear database strategy.

September 29, 2005 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 28, 2005


PR profession needs training on how to handle slashdotters.  Check this comment from one of the poster talking about SSH marketing chief challenging OpenSSH open source project -

We no longer just accept that corporations tell lies to the public. Now we also expect it...

September 28, 2005 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 15, 2005

Business with China

It's amazing to see how scared executives are about the growth of China.  Carol  Bartz of Autodesk has this to add -

"I think China is going to be very difficult to do business with in the next decade. India, with its emerging middle class, will be more amenable to global and American business"

I dont understand what data points are pointing her to this conclusion ? I think the real deal is that the business itself is going to be tough in the next decade.

And on the open source comment, atleast boardrooms have started taking note of the open source potential.

September 15, 2005 in Emerging Technologies, Open source | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

August 16, 2005

OSS Inside

Here is a clue, next time you look at any web2.o company one thing you can be sure of.  That company is completely running on open source components. It's like they have this logo inside their IT department -


Infoworld in its latest issue has a list of open source components to run your company.  Its not a big secret that many start-ups world over are actually using these software.

What you are seeing is actually a Tipping Point phenomena in action ! This will slowly spread from early adopters to mainstream and then to laggards.

Check out InfoWorld list if you want to get your company on the OSS track.

August 16, 2005 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

July 17, 2005

Open source components on the rise

Evans Data research suggesting a sharp increase in  open source share in the overall component mix (as preferred by developers).

While 38.1 percent said they used OSS modules in their applications in Spring of 2001, in the most recent survey, 56.2 percent said they had.

Looks like cost is not an issue any more !

July 17, 2005 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 24, 2005

Simply Open Source !

Between SimplyHired test drive and checking open source jobs I bumped into this job post.

Job description is a study in how things are linked together in crazy ways. Is open source a security issue?

June 24, 2005 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 31, 2005


In enterprise space we talk a lot about the "system of records".  You cannot complete a brainstorming session without mentioning it in some context.  SAP is a system of records for material master and product BOM, Seibel has customer info, Ariba has supplier inventory and so it goes.

There is a similar honorary  status at the infrastructure level which is usually given to the most popular component. Be it Apache for web server, Tomcat for servlet container etc. They constitute system level services for any enterprise stack.   They are fairly standardized to the extent that they are taken as obvious choice during architectural design.

Some where between system services and business system of records lies another set of service - in some cases I would say cluster of  services. LDAP is the oldest member of this service category.  It acts as a system of records for access and identity  information.  Microsoft Active Directory, Novell, Sun and Netscape LDAP lead the pack in this category.  There are other services in this category which include - single sign-on, federated process orchestration, portal services etc.

If you follow the web services growth then you will realize that the identity management is  key to a successful web services rollout. Identity and access management are closely related - they are like yin and yang. They have to co-exist.  They do this on top of LDAP persistence layer. That alone is a reason to take LDAP as a critical component of SOA-enabled enterprise architecture.

SOA infrastructure build-out is what makes Redhat's decision to acquire Netscape LDAP code (and subsequent decision to open source it)  a  very smart move. By tightly integrating it with Redhat Linux Enterprise server this will provide a very compelling foundation level architecture for open source based SOA.

The fact that Netscape LDAP is of high quality and can claim most intense deployments out there will help position Linux favorably. Watchout Sun.  As in other stories related to Sun, irony is that Sun LDAP server and Netscape Directory server share some common code. Now this same code will be available under CDDL and GPL separately.

Lets see how Redhat $25million gamble changes the enterprise architect's mindset in deciding which stack provides the biggest bang for the buck.

Related Links:

Slashdot discussion

May 31, 2005 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 24, 2005

ERP meets open source

SAP wants to be everywhere now. Having hit the limits of the enterprise spending on ERP solutions and realized that the LOBs are not putting multi-million dollars on their business suite anymore. They are now going for a strategy which rides on top of the developers.

Pitch goes like this - we are already system of records for most of the data, we already have core APIs to fetch that data, we link those APIs in key business processes and rules - so why not write new apps using our platform ! On the surface this all makes sense, but the big question remains will developers take this bait ! SAP is big but it's not IBM or Microsoft, atleast in the developers world.

Second strategy for Agassi is to see if this can fly on top of the open source wave.  Open source is a twin edge sword.  If more business processes go into the open source fold, you end up seeding the next generation open source business app. Who knows what future holds in terms of architecture and customer fad - so lets work the conservative route and go slow in selling to the slashdot addicts.

This same post mentions  Dave Duffield's new venture - Dave's Next Move.  I am biased towards innovation and optimism so I welcome this move, but I have one question here. This list of challenges were there when Dave was running  Peoplesoft -


Enterprise apps

  • Are too expensive to deploy and maintain.
  • Are complicated and difficult to use.
  • Were built for the back office and largely ignore the informational needs of the line manager.

My crib is that these same managers don't fix the problem when they are captain of the ship. Once booted they suddenly find the vision and next generation blue print ! Could this be true for lot of current CEOs of the public companies. Meaning they are selling inefficient vision to their customers because they are locked up in the cost-containment and this-quarter's-number obsessions ?

I hope Dave really puts open source philosophy behind this revolutionary product he is developing. Only then an enterprise solution can be revolutionary in the current context.

May 24, 2005 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 23, 2005

Only 30% !

Bruce Perens in a very thought provoking essay :

Whether or not we will admit it, most of us are very impressed   with Microsoft's wealth and arrogance, and when we think of   producing software, we automatically think of Microsoft and the   way they do it. But it   turns out that the Microsoft model accounts for only a   minority of the software   that is made and used in business today. Around 30% of the   software that is written is sold as software[2]. Most software is not sold at all.   It is developed directly for its customer, by the customer's own   employees or by consultants who bill for the service of software creation rather   than for the end product. It's important to look at why that is   the case, in order to understand the economics of Open   Source.

This is a great way to set the context for all the debates around "open source is a communist agenda which will kill software capitalism" !  Capitalism will be alive and kicking, what needs to change is the business model around software business.

Will be revisiting this essay, digesting complete essay will require spare cycles.

May 23, 2005 in Open source | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack