Feeds

SpikeSource - an OSS innovation?

Open source software is growing up....

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Does SpikeSource represent the next stage in the evolution of open source software as a serious business tool?

It hopes so, and it has some significant names to call on: Kim Polese, its CEO and co-founder, once co-founder of Marimba; Ray Lane, co-founder of SpikeSource and former president of Oracle; Bill Joy, SpikeSource director and former chief scientist at Sun Microsystems; Brian Behlendorf, on the SpikeSource strategic advisory board and founder of the Apache Software Foundation and Collabnet; Tim O'Reilly, also on the Spikesource advisory board and CEO of O'Reilly Media. Polese was the original product manager for Java at Sun and she seems to be doing a good job gathering a similar community around her new company.

SpikeSource has launched in Europe with seven solution providers and that NEC is now shipping SpikeSource globally with its server hardware - the first time it has bundled OSS solutions - which gives SpikeSource an entrance to the conservative Japanese marketplace. It has also added Alfresco OSS enterprise content management to its offering.

So, what does SpikeSource do? Well, essentially it runs (continuously) an extensive automated interoperability testing suite (part open source, part proprietary IP) and services ISV and SI partners, providing tested and certified open source software (OSS) components and fallback support and assistance.

It handles, for example, that annoying corollary of OSS, constantly scanning the web forums for patches, issues, and updates. It manages the risk of OSS for SME ISVs and SIs (although it has some very large partners too) and, more significantly, for SME end users of OSS that can't afford to maintain an IT group. It supplies purely through the channel and doesn't compete with its channel.

OK, so don't RedHat/JBoss, Novell and others do something like this already? Well, only up to a point, according to Polese and her team. SpikeSource maintains complete independence and concentrates on interoperability. It isn't distracted by supporting a single strategic product/platform – and its customers shouldn't suspect a bias towards its own platform.

And what does SpikeSource supply to its partners, in exchange for a subscription to what it calls its SpikeIgnite platform for (by the way) either Linux or Windows? It supplies business-ready (it claims) OSS applications: Centric CRM, Drupal web content management, Open-Xchange email, and JasperSoft Professional BI. It also supplies SpikeNet to monitor and manage its platform.

So, are there issues with all this? Well, SpikeSource is taking OSS to a new business-focused culture (rather like JBoss' Professional Open Source) and some may not like this. It has to work on its relationships with its OSS "OEMs" to make it all work - and that probably includes keeping all sorts of individual OSS developers happy. The open source movement can be very critical, and very vocal, if it doesn't like you or the way you run your business.

But it appears to have this in hand and SpikeSource is making at least some of its tools and expertise available to the OSS communities, even on "unsupported" platforms. There are plenty of people in SpikeSource with experience of building and managing OSS communities.

So, a company well-worth watching, we think. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop
Web giant looking into why version 5.0 of Android is crippling older slabs
Be real, Apple: In-app goodie grab games AREN'T FREE – EU
Cupertino stands down after Euro legal threats
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Microsoft: Your Linux Docker containers are now OURS to command
New tool lets admins wrangle Linux apps from Windows
Bada-Bing! Mozilla flips Firefox to YAHOO! for search
Microsoft system will be the default for browser in US until 2020
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
The hidden costs of self-signed SSL certificates
Exploring the true TCO for self-signed SSL certificates, including a side-by-side comparison of a self-signed architecture versus working with a third-party SSL vendor.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.