OSBC Annos and Demos
- By John K. Waters
It's Wednesday, so I must be in San Francisco. I'm attending just one day of
this week's two-day Open Source Business
Conference, but it's been a good one.
It's amazing to see all the application vendors at this show--about 30 by my
count. That's not many compared with other trade shows, but it's more than
double the number that even existed two years ago when this event first got off
the ground. Attendance was light, too, but close to what event organizers
expected. OSBC's conference director Matt Asay was talking about 750 attendees
when I interviewed him last week, but at the show I was hearing numbers closer
I was also able to catch some of the show's top product demos. My favorite
was an enterprise mail server and client from San Mateo, CA-based Scalix. Scalix 10 uses Linux clustering technology
to automatically detect failed messaging services and reroute email traffic to
alternative servers. The company claims to achieve 99.999 percent e-mail uptime.
The product also includes support for cross-platform calendar interoperability;
provides 64-bit support for Fedora Core, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SuSE Linux
Enterprise Server, and SuSE Linux OSS 10 operating systems; and features an
AJAX-based Scalix Administration Console that provides global password
management to facilitate policy enforcement and automated reporting of user
Other news from this show you should know:
- Sun Microsystems made good on its promise
last December to open the architecture for the UltraSPARC T1 multicore
processor. Sun COO Jonathan Schwartz made the announcement yesterday's during
his conference-opening keynote. The move is part of Sun's OpenSPARC Initiative,
which is part of an overall strategy to make the SPARC chip family more
hospitable to operating systems other than Solaris. Schwartz said that the chip
will be licensed under the GPL.
- SpikeSource and SugarCRM announced a distribution and
resale deal at the show. SugarCRM, the Cupertino, CA-based commercial
open-source CRM vendor, will distribute the Spike Stack for Sugar Professional,
a Sugar-optimized LAMP stack, and resell Spike Net, a solution that delivers
customized software updates to maintain the stack. Redwood City, CA-based
SpikeSource is a provider of what it calls ''business ready open source
software.'' Basically, the company packages, tests and maintains open-source
software stacks. Interestingly, during her keynote, SpikeSource CEO Kim Polese
talked about the evolution of the software model as an increasingly cooperative
effort among companies. Nice to see a company practicing what its execs preach.
- BEA Systems plans to open source the EJB 3
portion of its Java-based Kodo persistence engine, which the Cupertino, CA-based
company acquired when it bought SolarMetric in November. Look for the
open-sourced Kodo technology under its new name: Open JPA (Java Persistence
APIs). It should be available later this year through the Apache Software
Foundation, a BEA spokesperson said.
- EnterpriseDB Corporation
announced a significant upgrade to its flagship database product. Advanced
Server 8.1 is based on PostgreSQL 8.1.2, the latest version of the venerable
open-source database. Among the new features are Oracle-style packages,
Oracle-style sequences, and other features designed to improve compatibility
with Oracle. The Edison, NJ-based startup launched the first public beta of the
DBMS in May of last year.
- Black Duck's new Enhanced
Due Diligence program, launched at the show, may well be the first product of
its kind. The Waltham, MA-based company's new offering ''brings together focused
legal expertise and the best technology for automated code review and analysis,
and makes that powerful combination readily available on demand anywhere in the
world.'' In other words, it helps users to conduct more thorough, accurate, and
efficient due diligence and technology assessments by establishing a framework
and methodology for determining and documenting the pedigree of software assets.
I'll be following up on more news from this show next week. For now, it's
back to SJ tomorrow for the rest of RSA.
John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached