Open Source PLM Factoids

I’d like to continue discussion of Openness and PLM (see my yesterday post – Closed Thoughts about PLM Openness) with the discussion about Open Source. Open Source is one of the questions that always raised last time when it comes to the discussion of Openness. I got to read an interesting article – Being acquired is the best thing for a FOSS project from Network World Blog. They presented an interesting perspective on a particular niche of Open Source. The following numbers caught my interest – Sourceforge hosts about 7,000 security projects. Daniel says, “From these 7K only 10% will survive; they seem to die quickly.”  I made me think what is the right formula for Open Source in PLM?  Yoann from Prodeos wrote in his post (in French)  PLM=PLM = BPM + ECM + PM + CMII + … (if standards == true). His idea of various component syndication seems to me interesting (I just hope my French was good enough to understand it with the help of Google Translate). All these together made me think about the following aspects of PLM and Open Source:

Open Source Openness
This one is an important. Open Source imposes openness and democracy. I think, a portion of openness will be a good addition to today’s PLM business. Open Source can provide a different flavor of PLM implementations. However, the discussion about what means Open Source and how it will go beyond just providing free licenses.

Open Source Communities
This element is a integral portion of any open source projects. This is what I call “a life indicator” for the open source. If you have a working community, an open source project will have a future. Therefore, wiliness of people to be involved is important. Multiple projects can bring even more interest into development of communities. More projects in this space can create a viral effect on the future development of Open Source options for PLM.

Founding Companies
I think, commercial companies play a significant role in the development of Open Source projects. We all know about the role of IBM, HP and others. I think, role of founding companies is important. However, Open Source needs to be a “development community” project first and only after to become part of the commercial company. Aras, as a company associated with PLM and Open Source, can play an interesting role in this space.

Open Source Enterprise
This is not a simple question. In my view, Open Source was established mostly as “development projects”. Enterprise is different from many aspects- business, support, customer orientation. If a community of people involved into the open source PLM projects will grow, I can see two potential routes for PLM Open Source to enterprises: 1/IT development project; 2/Commercialization by a particular software vendor.

What is my conclusion? Open Source and PLM are still “Terra incognita“. We can see and hear lots of opinions, numbers, prospects. The key question today is how to develop open source community projects in PLM and how to make them connected to other open source projects related to enterprise software. A potenal candidate can be, for example, Drupal. This can be an interesting path for Open Source in the enterprise. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg


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