Last week, I attended a conference Lucene Revolution. The show was organized by a company Lucid Imagination, an outfit focusing how to repeat a success Red Hat made with Linux. For those who don’t know Lucid, their business is around a significant piece of open source Lucene and Solr. These products are all about search and enterprise search. Lucene is a text search engine library, and Solr is an open source enterprise search platform. To learn more about what Lucid is doing, navigate to their website.
Open Source Mojo
This is not a first time, I’m writing and thinking about Open Source. I think, Open Source represents some shifts in software development culture, which is absolutely important to understand. I’ve seen an excellent opportunity to learn about a community behind Lucene and Lucid business. The first I’ve seen is a community of coders. People actually were talking and coding and discussing what they code at the same time. So, here is a very important attribute of open source solution – community, comes into play. Second is customers and solution implementations are working together. Third, a business entity such as Lucid is thinking how to organize and expand this solution to make it more successful. You can see how all these three elements – community, customers and business entity interplay. It was an interesting experience to see working together.
PLM Open Source
Lucene Revolution made me think again about a current situation with Open Source PLM space. I’m aware about multiple Open Source initiatives happens now and, of course, Aras Innovator. I can see a certain interest in this field. However, in my view, all Open Source PLM projects are far from a maturity of libraries or products that can provide a valuable solution for customer. On the opposite side, Aras Innovator, represents a special type of solution that stands between community open source and freeware software. I can see some movement in Open Source PLM. There are few inhibitors – community, scale, and openness. The size of community is absolutely critical. The solution needs to be a viral and open to be adopted by a wide community of customers and supporter. Openness seems to be an obvious, but not simple.
What is my conclusion? There are two main questions I tried to answer: 1/what is the potential of FOSS models in enterprise and business software? 2/ what type of unique transformation needs to be done in Open Source to make it viable as a PLM solution for enterprise companies? My short answer on the first question is “licensing cost”. This is what, in my view, drives PLM Open Source now. I think, ROI of PLM solutions is a slow and “free license” is much more important word in PLM Open Source game now. The answer on a second question is more complicated. PLM industry needs to find something that answers the following criteria – mature solution, high level adoption rate and a community of coders that will be ready stand behind this solution. I’m not sure we have one answer this… yet. Just my thoughts.