Why OpenMAMA is the Future of Open Source


From the ‘Open Source for Wall St.’ files:

A group of financial firms have come together under the auspices of the Linux Foundation in a new open source effort known as, OpenMAMA (Middleware Agnostic Messaging API ).


OpenMAMA is an effort to standardize and simplify the MAMA APIs that have been in use since at least 2002. The basic idea behind have an open source implementation of MAMA is to have a level-set, a baseline implementation that is used to promote interoperability. The financial industry, especially stock exchanges like the NYSE are not strangers to Linux. The Big Board itself has been running on Red Hat since at least 2008. There has also been collaboration among financial services vendors as part of the AMPQ messaging standard too.

OpenMAMA is a bit different though. The way I see it, this is a case where the financial firms and in particular the NYSE, see a way to make money open sourcing their own technology.

Make no mistake about it, OpenMAMA isn’t about any kind of altruistic Free Software zeal, OpenMAMA will help the financial services companies to make money. Instead of going to a standards body, these vendors have decided that open source is what makes the standard.

This bodes incredibly well for Open Source as the defacto approach to building standard technology now and the future. The only way that technology can be a standard is for it to be open, and the way to be open is open source.

“I suspect that many people may view our effort to open source MAMA with skepticism and suspicion,” the OpenMAMA site states. “NYSE Technologies motivations for giving MAMA to the community are a topic worthy of a post of its own, but it is important to emphasize that OpenMAMA is truly FOSS (free and open source software). We chose the Linux Foundation to host the project because we feel that they bring both the credibility in the open source community as well as a neutral home for the OpenMAMA project.  Also, we selected the LGPL 2.1 license for OpenMAMA because it places the fewest restrictions on MAMA users while its hereditary nature ensures that project thrives and remains open.”

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