RealTime IT News

This Alliance Wants to Ease Open Source Friction

NEW YORK -- A new open source alliance is in town, consisting of "nobody and everybody" in open source development and looking to do some good.

Called the Open Solutions Alliance, the group unveiled itself at the LinuxWorld Open Solutions Summit today as first first reported by internetnews.com.

The consortium counts companies such as Jaspersoft, Hypernic, EntepriseDB, Spikesource, Adaptive Planning, OpenBravo, Groundwork, CentricCRM, Collabnet and Unisys as members. "We are nobody and everybody," Barry Klawans CTO at JasperSoft said.

In outlining the group's scope, Klawans said the group would make interoperability of applications its short term priority. Open source applications don't always play well together, he continued, and it's hard for enterprise to build out full, open source solution suites. "It's got to be easier for integrators to take multiple apps and make them work together," he said.

According to Klawans, joint marketing efforts are part of the mix as well, since the real goal is to make open source applications as pervasive as open source infrastructure.

Spikesource CEO Kim Polese explained that she kept getting requests from customers to create a common set of interfaces to make things work together.

"Working together to help create standards is more viable for business users and looking at open source beyond the infrastructure is key."

Andy Astor, CEO of EnterpriseDB, said the OSA is all about reducing friction -- the friction of bringing open source solutions together for a business audience.

Klawans noted that the nascent group has already published an interoperability white paper that has identified problem areas and they are now working on the process of how to address those items.

"My goal is that we won't be a group that produces mountains of new standards, "Klawans said. "We'll look at where there are existing applications and approaches and just bless them and that becomes the standard."

The OSA will offer three classes of membership with the top tier being for commercial vendors with applications who will pay $10,000 a year annual dues and commit 20 percent of a full time equivalent person. The second tier of membership is the System Integrator tier which carries a $5,000 a year annual fee. The third tier is the community member which is free but does not provide the ability to vote for the OSA board of directors.

The group also aims to be very inclusive. "It's important to show that it's not just a consortium of friends," Javier Soltero CEO of Hypernic said. "Our purpose spans beyond like minded friendly companies."