Feeds

Valley open-source star swallowed by Black Duck

Pulling power ain't what it used to be

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

SpikeSource –a Silicon-Valley startup once blessed by big names and championed as the future of making money on open-source – has shut-up shop after seven years.

The assets of SpikeSource have been bought by Black Duck Software. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Welcoming the deal was Ray Lane, managing partner of venture fund Kleiner Perkins Caulfield and Byers, SpikeSource board member, and the person who incubated the company in 2003. He called SpikeSource a "natural fit" with Black Duck.

In 2003, Lane was just out of Oracle, where he'd been president and chief operating officer and left as Larry Ellison sought to extend his power over the database giant. Still with KPCB, Lane is now Hewlett-Packard chairman and has been having a run in with his former boss as a result.

With Lane's star power driving SpikeSource in the early 2000s, the company attracted some big tech-industry endorsements. Kim Polese was brought on as CEO just after launch. Polese was in the original Sun Microsystems Java line up as a company product manager, and she was one of the tech industry's few female CEOs, having then just served as chief executive of push-technology startup Marimba, which she co-founded in 1996.

The company's advisory board included CollabNet founder and chief technology officer Brian Behlendorf, former MySQL CEO Marten Mickos, and IP law attorney Lawrence Rosen.

The idea was simple: test and integrate popular open-source software components and sell certified stacks back to people. The opportunity was the complexity of managing open source inside big operations. Or so it seemed.

"Each time a Fortune 50 company picks up a new component it creates a new integration challenge," Polese told The Reg when all things seemed possible.

While appealing in concept, the business didn't flow, and it turned out that companies were happy making the bits and bites work themselves. Or maybe the community would do it. Or maybe large middleware and platform vendors took care of the ironing.

The only other company of note in this market was SourceLabs, which got $3.5m funding and was finally bought by EMC in summer 2009.

After seven years, Lane and others will have been looking for pay back and/or exit on SpikeSource. This is Black Duck's second acquisition in three months. Earlier this year, it nabbed Ohloh.net.

Black Duck said in a statement that the SpikeSource and Ohloh.net deals further its mission to "promote FOSS adoption by making it easier for developers to take advantage of the growing body of high-quality code in FOSS projects."

In the SpikeSource deal, Black Duck's getting SpikeInsight, an online service to identity application components and assess security vulnerabilities, SpikeForge - which consists of 17 open-source project - a group of forums, and some virtualization management technology. Black Duck provides code and license compliance tools for open-source software. ®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
Stick a 4K in them: Super high-res TVs are DONE
4,000 pixels is niche now... Don't say we didn't warn you
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.