Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Wireless Authors: Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, Dana Gardner, Jon McNeill

Related Topics: SOA & WOA

SOA & WOA: Article

i-Technology Viewpoint: Open Wounds – How Free May End Up Being Costly

"I make my living designing software, and I personally don't want to do it for free"

Like many people in the industry, I'm torn over open source software. I'm not opposed to developers creating software and deciding they do it for the love of programming, and have no need for payment - if they want to give their work away, I see no reason why they shouldn't be able to do so, although I think the people who want all software to be free should first get uniform agreement from everyone in the industry to work for nothing before they get on that soapbox. Even though I run a magazine in my spare time, I make my living designing software, and I personally don't want to do it for free.

I'm not opposed to people who want to develop for fun, or for the pure joy of programming. Lots of students in college do this, and many hardcore programmers who don't get enough code during the day seem to grind it out after hours as well.

Eventually though, the economics catch up. Businesses will use whatever they can legally obtain in order to create a competitive advantage, or maintain parity. Even though an application server provides capabilities that would cost millions to develop internally, corporations balk at buying one for tens of thousands of dollars - which is where the open source people come in.

Consortiums such as Apache make it easier for developers who are interested in building a free version of some tool to come together, manage a project, and produce software that is free and useful to the community at large. Linux and Apache Tomcat are probably two of the most useful and successful results of this type of endeavor.

Of course, when you get something for free, it seldom comes with a warranty. This is one of the biggest challenges for open source - the fact that no apparent support structure exists. Corporations that are buying software often look not just at the technical features of a product, but also at the organization's support team and financial outlook. A troubled software company with a good product can often spiral down because of its financial position, even when they have a superior product. Support is crucial to acceptance of software.

Enter the companies that provide support for open source. Some are new, such as Redhat, and some are existing companies like IBM and Novell, all of whom reap the benefit of the adoption of open source by providing a security blanket for when things go wrong. In one of the oddities of open source, the developers who contribute their brilliance get nothing, while companies who package free software up and offer support services make tons of money.

However the biggest challenge to open source remains legal. Intellectual property is a funny thing, and it's hard to separate the TCP/IP stack you wrote at work from the TCP/IP stack you wrote for fun at home. Concepts and ideas comingle and the legal ownership of things can be contested furiously. Also, the risk of being held liable for not purchasing a software license once someone wins a court victory is still a factor that prevents the adoption of Linux and other software in corporations today. It's not a simple world we live in, and free may end up being costly.

Nevertheless, open source software is clearly in use, and it's useful in the corporate world. Many companies have adopted Linux, Apache, MySQL, and other tools that help them reduce their cost of ownership. Things are no different in the world of Web services. Freeware tools abound that make it possible to run a Web services stack without paying any licensing costs. Our focus this issue is on just some of those tools and products that can help you deliver Web services without costing you a fortune - at least until the next lawsuit.

More Stories By Sean Rhody

Sean Rhody is the founding-editor (1999) and editor-in-chief of SOA World Magazine. He is a respected industry expert on SOA and Web Services and a consultant with a leading consulting services company. Most recently, Sean served as the tech chair of SOA World Conference & Expo 2007 East.

Comments (4) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
Luke 10/12/05 09:38:43 AM EDT

Joe doesn't sound bitter or anything, does he?

But I don't work in commercial software, I work as a software developer for a commercial oil industry supplier. We love open-source! With the money we can save moving our Windows servers to Linux, and moving our database from Informix to MySQL, we can pay the equivalent of many developers' salaries. And we get excellent support on both products from Red Hat and from MySQL AB.

We very carefully thought about embracing open-source, and it has been great for our business. Our IT costs are continually falling as we move more and more onto OS technologies, leaving more money available for developers' salaries.

Open source is generating lots of these kinds of jobs - developers using open-source inside non-software businesses. The smart and productive programmers change gears and will be in work for a long time to come.

Joe Meree 10/04/05 04:21:37 PM EDT

It's a little late for regrets. I was in commercial software for 20 years and have seen this coming for years. Once companies zero out their budget for software, they won't easily restore it. Those of you who went off without thinking about the consequences of your actions and created good software for free (on your own time) have done a great job and you will put a lot of programmers out of work. The jobs that remain are moving to India.

Jerry Lowe 10/04/05 09:53:26 AM EDT

You make an incomplete argument. Many of today's technologies / products / works of art were done because people loved what they were doing. It created a usable product, and the market came afterwords. I hate to think what would have been had Steve Jobs and Woz taken your attitude towards creating something that had no initial guarantee of success. People who write literature (as a magazine type, you should know this) do it because they have to, they can't stop themselves. They don't do it because there is a pre-existing market for what they're doing. Innovation doesn't require a safe area to be born into.

Kalevi Nyman 10/03/05 10:14:25 PM EDT

People who like programming computers are often students, technicians or even medical doctors for that matter. What do you think is the easiest way to get started, to learn something?

As long as all programming tools are freely available for Open Source Software, who has the money to pay for Windows and associated high end tools?

Microsoft is digging it's own grave with present policy, despite all freelance whiners. There is no stopping for OSS. If you don't want to do it for free, change trade or keep charging what ever you want! This is a free world, isn't it?

@ThingsExpo Stories
One of the biggest impacts of the Internet of Things is and will continue to be on data; specifically data volume, management and usage. Companies are scrambling to adapt to this new and unpredictable data reality with legacy infrastructure that cannot handle the speed and volume of data. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and president of Infobright, will discuss how companies need to rethink their data infrastructure to participate in the IoT, including: Data storage: Understanding the kinds of data: structured, unstructured, big/small? Analytics: What kinds and how responsiv...
Since 2008 and for the first time in history, more than half of humans live in urban areas, urging cities to become “smart.” Today, cities can leverage the wide availability of smartphones combined with new technologies such as Beacons or NFC to connect their urban furniture and environment to create citizen-first services that improve transportation, way-finding and information delivery. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Laetitia Gazel-Anthoine, CEO of Connecthings, will focus on successful use cases.
The Workspace-as-a-Service (WaaS) market will grow to $6.4B by 2018. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Seth Bostock, CEO of IndependenceIT, will begin by walking the audience through the evolution of Workspace as-a-Service, where it is now vs. where it going. To look beyond the desktop we must understand exactly what WaaS is, who the users are, and where it is going in the future. IT departments, ISVs and service providers must look to workflow and automation capabilities to adapt to growing demand and the rapidly changing workspace model.
Sensor-enabled things are becoming more commonplace, precursors to a larger and more complex framework that most consider the ultimate promise of the IoT: things connecting, interacting, sharing, storing, and over time perhaps learning and predicting based on habits, behaviors, location, preferences, purchases and more. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tom Wesselman, Director of Communications Ecosystem Architecture at Plantronics, will examine the still nascent IoT as it is coalescing, including what it is today, what it might ultimately be, the role of wearable tech, and technology gaps stil...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., showed what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform your business. He discussed opportunities and challenges ahead for the IoT from a market and technical point of vie...
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what the future may hold. Mike Kavis is Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Pa...
Hadoop as a Service (as offered by handful of niche vendors now) is a cloud computing solution that makes medium and large-scale data processing accessible, easy, fast and inexpensive. In his session at Big Data Expo, Kumar Ramamurthy, Vice President and Chief Technologist, EIM & Big Data, at Virtusa, will discuss how this is achieved by eliminating the operational challenges of running Hadoop, so one can focus on business growth. The fragmented Hadoop distribution world and various PaaS solutions that provide a Hadoop flavor either make choices for customers very flexible in the name of opti...
The true value of the Internet of Things (IoT) lies not just in the data, but through the services that protect the data, perform the analysis and present findings in a usable way. With many IoT elements rooted in traditional IT components, Big Data and IoT isn’t just a play for enterprise. In fact, the IoT presents SMBs with the prospect of launching entirely new activities and exploring innovative areas. CompTIA research identifies several areas where IoT is expected to have the greatest impact.
Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) are increasing at an unprecedented rate. The threat landscape of today is drastically different than just a few years ago. Attacks are much more organized and sophisticated. They are harder to detect and even harder to anticipate. In the foreseeable future it's going to get a whole lot harder. Everything you know today will change. Keeping up with this changing landscape is already a daunting task. Your organization needs to use the latest tools, methods and expertise to guard against those threats. But will that be enough? In the foreseeable future attacks w...
Disruptive macro trends in technology are impacting and dramatically changing the "art of the possible" relative to supply chain management practices through the innovative use of IoT, cloud, machine learning and Big Data to enable connected ecosystems of engagement. Enterprise informatics can now move beyond point solutions that merely monitor the past and implement integrated enterprise fabrics that enable end-to-end supply chain visibility to improve customer service delivery and optimize supplier management. Learn about enterprise architecture strategies for designing connected systems tha...
Dale Kim is the Director of Industry Solutions at MapR. His background includes a variety of technical and management roles at information technology companies. While his experience includes work with relational databases, much of his career pertains to non-relational data in the areas of search, content management, and NoSQL, and includes senior roles in technical marketing, sales engineering, and support engineering. Dale holds an MBA from Santa Clara University, and a BA in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley.
Wearable devices have come of age. The primary applications of wearables so far have been "the Quantified Self" or the tracking of one's fitness and health status. We propose the evolution of wearables into social and emotional communication devices. Our BE(tm) sensor uses light to visualize the skin conductance response. Our sensors are very inexpensive and can be massively distributed to audiences or groups of any size, in order to gauge reactions to performances, video, or any kind of presentation. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Jocelyn Scheirer, CEO & Founder of Bionolux, will discuss ho...
The cloud is now a fact of life but generating recurring revenues that are driven by solutions and services on a consumption model have been hard to implement, until now. In their session at 16th Cloud Expo, Ermanno Bonifazi, CEO & Founder of Solgenia, and Ian Khan, Global Strategic Positioning & Brand Manager at Solgenia, will discuss how a top European telco has leveraged the innovative recurring revenue generating capability of the consumption cloud to enable a unique cloud monetization model to drive results.
As organizations shift toward IT-as-a-service models, the need for managing and protecting data residing across physical, virtual, and now cloud environments grows with it. CommVault can ensure protection &E-Discovery of your data – whether in a private cloud, a Service Provider delivered public cloud, or a hybrid cloud environment – across the heterogeneous enterprise. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Randy De Meno, Chief Technologist - Windows Products and Microsoft Partnerships, will discuss how to cut costs, scale easily, and unleash insight with CommVault Simpana software, the only si...
Analytics is the foundation of smart data and now, with the ability to run Hadoop directly on smart storage systems like Cloudian HyperStore, enterprises will gain huge business advantages in terms of scalability, efficiency and cost savings as they move closer to realizing the potential of the Internet of Things. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Paul Turner, technology evangelist and CMO at Cloudian, Inc., will discuss the revolutionary notion that the storage world is transitioning from mere Big Data to smart data. He will argue that today’s hybrid cloud storage solutions, with commodity...
Cloud data governance was previously an avoided function when cloud deployments were relatively small. With the rapid adoption in public cloud – both rogue and sanctioned, it’s not uncommon to find regulated data dumped into public cloud and unprotected. This is why enterprises and cloud providers alike need to embrace a cloud data governance function and map policies, processes and technology controls accordingly. In her session at 15th Cloud Expo, Evelyn de Souza, Data Privacy and Compliance Strategy Leader at Cisco Systems, will focus on how to set up a cloud data governance program and s...
Every innovation or invention was originally a daydream. You like to imagine a “what-if” scenario. And with all the attention being paid to the so-called Internet of Things (IoT) you don’t have to stretch the imagination too much to see how this may impact commercial and homeowners insurance. We’re beyond the point of accepting this as a leap of faith. The groundwork is laid. Now it’s just a matter of time. We can thank the inventors of smart thermostats for developing a practical business application that everyone can relate to. Gone are the salad days of smart home apps, the early chalkb...
Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, had reached 30,000 page views on his home page - http://RobertoMedrano.SYS-CON.com/ - on the SYS-CON family of online magazines, which includes Cloud Computing Journal, Internet of Things Journal, Big Data Journal, and SOA World Magazine. He is a recognized executive in the information technology fields of SOA, internet security, governance, and compliance. He has extensive experience with both start-ups and large companies, having been involved at the beginning of four IT industries: EDA, Open Systems, Computer Security and now SOA.
The industrial software market has treated data with the mentality of “collect everything now, worry about how to use it later.” We now find ourselves buried in data, with the pervasive connectivity of the (Industrial) Internet of Things only piling on more numbers. There’s too much data and not enough information. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Bob Gates, Global Marketing Director, GE’s Intelligent Platforms business, to discuss how realizing the power of IoT, software developers are now focused on understanding how industrial data can create intelligence for industrial operations. Imagine ...