Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Open source is getting more "mainstream" as people realize its economic benefits

Open source is getting more "mainstream" as software product companies - not just
the general software user - realize its economic benefits
. A few examples:

There are many commercial products and plugins based on Eclipse, the leading open source development platform/IDE for Java. See Eclipse Plugin Central for some of them.

Borland, another leading software development tools company, is basing the latest release of its flagship JBuilder product, on Eclipse. (The development tools are now actually from CodeGear - a Borland subsidiary to which Borland spun of its development tools unit, including JBuilder, C++ Builder and Delphi.)

The new Eclipse-based JBuilder 2007.

Actuate, a reporting tools company, has also based its latest product Actuate BIRT on BIRT from the Eclipse Foundation.

Another interesting article about Eclipse:

Eclipse's future appears to be sunny


"“There's great corporate support there and it was a great base product,” Goodall said.

"In an average month, the Ottawa-based Eclipse Foundation gets about half a million requests to download the base Eclipse software development kit, according to Ian Skerrett, the foundation's director of marketing. "

"So why did IBM open-source Eclipse? Thomson said it was a way to maximize adoption and create the best product. The idea was that “the real value of integration would come from the customer,” he said."

"Goodall said there was a strong economic argument too. “There's no margin in
integrated development environments, and no money in integrated development environments,” he said. Companies like IBM make their money on their database management systems, application servers and so forth, but they need IDEs to offer their customers a complete set of tools. So, said Goodall, “if there's no margin in the product, it's about controlling cost of development.” Open-sourcing Eclipse allowed IBM to do that and benefit from the input of other developers. The Eclipse consortium that IBM set up shortly after open-sourcing the code included Borland, Merant (since acquired by Serena Software), Ottawa-based QNX Software Systems, Rational Software (since taken over by IBM), Red Hat Software, SUSE (now part of Novell Inc.) and TogetherSoft (since acquired by Borland). Today, the Eclipse Foundation has 152 members.

"Though he foresees some people will disagree, Goodall said Eclipse is not the leading innovator in the IDE market. He gives that distinction to Microsoft's Visual Studio, but he said Eclipse is doing well as a fast follower. “They're about six months behind where Visual Studio is,” he said, “but that's OK - they're always within spitting distance.”

- Vasudev Ram

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