Conflict of Interest in Open Source and PostgreSQL Replication

Community open source is open source that is not owned by any particular company. Rather, ownership is shared among a large number of diverse stakeholders. Given the right (read: permissive) license, commercial companies can provide extensions to the community project, earning a living. Since such extensions are a unique selling point of these companies, one might think that they would prefer to keep the community project small and limited in features to facilitate an easy upsell to their more comprehensive offering. This thought becomes particularly intriguing given that commercial companies typically hire the core developers of such community projects to bring the necessary expertise in-house, and as some argue, to influence the project to their liking.

I think that this common belief misses the point.

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Dave Humphrey: New Graduate Program on Linux and Open Source System Administration

For your information, a note from Dave Humphrey on LUX, a new graduate program on Linux and Open Source System Administration at Seneca College, Toronto, ON.

I wanted to let you know about a new graduate program we’re launching in September on Linux and open source system administration. LUX is designed for industry people who want to move into an open source Linux community—we’re partnering with Red Hat and Fedora—and is structured so people can still work while they study.

Dave Humphrey
Professor and Co-Founder
Centre for Development of Open Technology
Seneca College, Toronto

OSS 2.0: Leveraging The Open Source Community For Business

For your information, a research workshop on open source and business.

CALL FOR PAPERS

OSS 2.0 : Leveraging the Open Source community for business

Workshop at OSS 2008 Conference, co-located with IFIP WCC 2008 Milan (Italy)

http://conferenze.dei.polimi.it/oss20

Deadline for submission: 21st June 2008

Notification of acceptance: 11th July 2008

Final submission due: 25th July 2008

Workshop: 10th September 2008

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Open Source is a Business Strategy not a Business Model

Following up on related discussions, another common confusion in my opinion is to think that “open source” is a business model. It is not. Open source is a business strategy, in support of a business model. You still need to know how to make money, and it doesn’t happen by giving software away for free. That is to say, you need a business model like selling subscription or implementation services.

The most common commercial open source business strategy is the “dual-license strategy” as demonstrated by MySQL, Alfresco, etc. This particular business strategy is mostly a go-to-market strategy, a way by which the commercial open source company penetrates customers and fosters the sale. I’ve blogged about this before here and here.

There is more to say, obviously, and I’m working on it. Any thoughts would be appreciated!a

FOSSBazaar: Open Source Under the CIO’s Radar Screen: Good or Bad?

Commercial open source has a peculiar sales process. Frequently, when a firm decides to buy (license) a specific type of software like a content management system or a wiki engine, they’ll find that their company already employs multiple solutions, downloaded for free from the Internet. By some measures, this is dangerous to IT governance, as it bypasses corporate purchasing and operating regulations. On the other hand, open source empowers IT users to make their own decisions early on without having to go through lengthy approval processes, keeping them nimble and speedy. So, is commercial open source good or bad for IT operations and the CIO?

Read more on FOSSBazaar…

Archived copy of article.

SDN: Is Open Source Competing Unfairly?

Commercial open source firms go to market trying to create an “unfair” competitive advantage that lets them win customers more easily than their competitors. So do most other companies. Commercial open source firms do this by bypassing the traditional purchasing process by getting their software into customer companies for free, before the customers even know they will need the software. But is an employee’s decision to install a piece of open source software a good decision for the company? After all, every software locks in its users, whether open source or not.

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Commercial, Professional, and Community Open Source: Resolving the Naming Confusion

As a researcher, imprecise naming bothers me. The general confusion around the terms commercial open source, professional open source, and community open source warrants closer analysis.

First my proposal, then some litmus tests, followed by a bit of history.

  • Commercial open source is software provided as open source where a single legal entity owns the rights to the software (SugarCRM, Alfresco, etc.)
  • Professional open source is software provided as open source where a dominant firm provides services around the software without actually owning it (JBoss, Spring, etc.)
  • Community open source is software provided as open source where multiple stakeholders hold the rights and no player dominates the software (Linux, Apache, etc.)

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International Journal of Open Source Software & Processes

I’m a founding member and associate editor of the International Journal of Open Source Software & Processes. Please consider submitting a paper to this new journal, call for papers appended.

CALL FOR PAPERS

International Journal of Open Source Software & Processes (IJOSSP)

An Official Publication of the Information Resources Management Association – New in 2009

www.igi-global.com/ijossp

Editor-in-Chief: Stefan Koch, Vienna University of Economics and BA, Austria

Published: Quarterly (both in Print and Electronic form)

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