The New Software Industry: Open Source panel

First up after lunch is a panel on the role of open source in service management, moderated by Martin Griss of CMU West, and including Kim Polese of SpikeSource, and Jim Berbsleb and Tony Wasserman of CMU West.

Polese is included in the panel because her company is focussed on creating new business models for packaging and supporting open source software, whereas the other two are profs involved in open source research and projects.

The focus of the session is on how open source is increasingly being used to quickly and inexpensively create applications, both by established companies and startups: think of the number of web-based applications based on Apache and MySQL, for example. In many of these cases, a dilemma is created by the lack of traditional support models for open source components — that’s certainly an issue with the acceptance of open source for internal use within many organizations — so new models are emerging for development, distribution and support of open source.

Open source is helping to facilitate unbundling and modularization of software components: it’s very common to see open source components from multiple projects integrated with both commercial software components and custom components to create a complete application.

A question from the audience asked if there is a sense of misguided optimism about the usefulness open source; Polese pointed out in response that open source projects that aren’t useful end up dying on the vine, so there’s some amount of self-selection that tends to promote successful open source components and suppress those that are less successful through market acceptance.

As I mentioned during the Brainstorm BPM conference a few weeks back, it’s very difficult to blog about a panel — much less structure than a regular presentation, so the post tends to be even more disjointed than usual. With luck, you’ll still get some of the flavour of the panel.

Bits and pieces

I’m heads-down on a project this week so not much time for catching up on the news and blogging. However, interesting things keep happening whether I’m watching or not…

  • RUNA WFE 1.0.1, an open-source workflow based on JBOSS-JBPM was released. More details here, including a link to an online demo. Open source BPM is going to be a market force in some sectors, so best to be aware of what’s happening there.
  • Greg Wdowiak published an interesting post on the role of integration brokers within an integration stack. In particular, he discusses what you should expect to get from the integration broker portion of the stack, and where some of the vendors are lacking. If you’re new to EAI, you can read his excellent background post on bus versus broker models. In particular, he talks about how organizations move from a broker to a bus model as their integration needs become larger and more complex.
  • BEA buying Plumtree has been all over the tech news, with lots of interesting analysis. MWD blog thinks that the purchase may not be about what BEA says that it’s about, but more about moving away from complete Java-centricity and into a more neutral technology territory by supporting .Net. The Butler Group sees this as a better fit than some of the previous portal buy-outs, although an earlier post ponders the fate of the Plumtree-Fuego OEM agreement in light of BEA’s existing BPM strategy.
  • On the enterprise architecture front, The first issue of the Journal of Enterprise Architecture was published. Via Nick Mudge’s blog.

Lastly, if you’re free today at noon Eastern, there’s a webinar roundtable on Winning at BPM discussing IBM‘s WebSphere process integration products.


More open source BPM

An infrequently-updated but informative blog on open source BPM:

We share our discoveries in our search for open source workflow management tools. For tools that we find interesting, we download the code, try to execute the engine, or even get our reference process model working.

Also includes a list of open source BPM tools, including their evaluation notes where applicable.

Note that these are the only two sections of the site in English; for the rest, you’d better brush up on your Dutch (or use AltaVista’s Babel Fish translation utility, since Google’s translation doesn’t support Dutch).