by Philippe Magne
Technologies based on open source have advanced considerably over the recent years, in all the intricacies of the software development world. Is this just because the licenses are free? That would an over-simplistic view, because everyone now knows that “being free-of-charge” is counterbalanced by a large quantity of associated services carried out by specialized service companies that are not the ones writing the code.
But probably what most attracts the users of open source technology, are two other key aspects:
- First, with open source, the user is not 100% dependent on a given vendor for enhancement of the products. Many vendors stop enhancing their products while quite comfortably collecting the maintenance revenue. (ARCAD, with 4 major product releases per year, definitely does not belong to this category).
- Second, is the ability of open source products to very quickly become established as de facto standards. This trend towards “standards” is becoming more prevalent due to the rapid evolution of technology, and also the impetus of upcoming young generations.
Does this mean to say that both of these models should be rejected? Certainly not, because they are complementary to each other. Extreme positions in one direction or another never stand the test of time. Conversely, benefiting from the best of both worlds is without doubt a winning strategy.
This philosophy is perfectly illustrated by the strategic partnership we have just signed with GitHub. GitHub is a company employing over 600 staff that has “democratized” the use of the highly popular source code management tool, Git (developed originally by Linus Torvalds, the founder of Linux) by facilitating the concept of “social coding”. The result? A community of 21M developers collaborating together through the product. ARCAD brings to GitHub all the specific IBM i technology needed to make this tool relevant in the hitherto somewhat secluded IBM i world.
Why is open source so strategic in the IBM i world? Simply because it helps integrate the IBM i platform into company standards. This is not a question of doing away with the technical specifics of the IBM i – because they are the very reasons for its continued success – but to render them as transparent as possible, and prevent our dear platform from becoming an esoteric (and therefore unmanageable) island.
These are important times for the IBM i platform. Open source technology will make a major contribution in legitimizing this platform in the global technology landscape. This is the start of a new era and ARCAD is proud to spearhead this transformation.
I leave you to discover below the many lines our team has written on this subject. Don’t forget to register to join us in commemorating our 25th anniversary with the whole team. It is a symbolic moment to celebrate 25 years of innovation and anticipation of new technology evolutions while entering confidently into this new era.