SourceLabs Unveils Enterprise Java OSS

SourceLabs is offering the latest version of its open source Java stack for enterprises. The company's SASH 2 software suite lets companies escape being locked into proprietary solutions by combining the popular Spring, Axis, Struts and Hibernate open source solutions. The stack works with Apache Tomcat, IBM WebSphere and BEA WebLogic servers.

SourceLab's approach emphasizes the support it provides to companies, addressing a perceived Achilles heel associated with open source solutions. SourceLabs tackles this issue by integrating its Continuous Support System into its SASH product, providing a way to automatically pull information and remotely solve problems that may occur.

SASH product support is offered on a per-server basis for a year. It's available 24 hours per day throughout a seven-day week. The company also offers a new SASH 2 Developer license for $299 that provides technical support, alerts and a notification service to application developers using the SASH stack.

In addition to addressing enterprise support concerns, SourceLabs provides assurances with its CERT7 testing process. The company tests the software stack to ensure that it meet real-world conditions faced by the enterprise. It shakes out the software under the kinds of loads and volume use found at the enterprise level.

SourceLabs provides its SASH product to Global 2000 companies and has worked to give them greater options than just proprietary solutions.

"Most large corporations have felt like they have two choices," said Byron Sebastian, SourceLabs' CEO. "One choice is an open source platform that has the advantage of being completely open and free from vendor lock-in, with no license cost and lots of innovation. And then there's proprietary software, which is seen as dependable and trustworthy. We founded the company with the aim of making sure that they didn't have to choose."

Sebastian got involved with SourceLabs having previously served as an executive at BEA Systems. After he left BEA, he traveled and talked to company reps, developers and executives about why they weren't using open source. They told him that open source was too risky. Sebastian also found keen developer interest in the same set of Java open source solutions. With that information in tow, the idea of offering SASH and providing open source support to companies was born.

While there are sometimes concerns about legal risks in using open source software, most companies are really focused on the operational risks, Sebastian said. They want to know who will help them out when their order-processing system goes out. So, SourceLabs has concentrated on providing superior support and maintenance services. The company doesn't send out a fleet of consultants and charge hundreds of dollars when something goes wrong, he added, which is too expensive for everyone involved.

Legal concerns about using open source software vary by customer and industry, Sebastian said. Very often, those concerns are caused by FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) stirred up by proprietary software vendors. SourceLabs performs open source consulting with companies and uses an open source management system so that customers can have some structure about using open source products.

General Public License (GPL) software isn't used in SASH, but Sebastian said that it is worth the while of companies to understand the latest open source license, GPLv3. He considered many of the expressed concerns about GPLv3 to be "overblown," however.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor, Enterprise Group, at 1105 Media Inc.