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The open source ambitions of Computer Associates International surfaced in detail Monday at the annual CA World conference in Las Vegas.
The Islandia, NY., technology company has for weeks touted open source as a key underpinning for future products related to its quest to lead the industry in the realm of IT management. But few anticipated CA would unveil its own open source software license, offer up its Ingres database code to the open source community, integrate CA's KGEM technology into Linux, or add a BrightStor document management platform running on the open source Plone Foundation engine -- all of which were announced Monday.
CA's new open source license, CA-TOSL (Trusted Open Source License), is a reciprocal license similar to that of Apache's open source license and essentially "protects the lineage and indemnification" of CA's open source work, said Sam Greenblatt, senior vice president and chief architect of CA's Linux Technology Group. Open source software improves through the participation of a community of developers, and such licensing is common practice in the open source world as a way of tracking the evolution of source code and ensuring that too many variants don't begin clutter the IT landscape.
Because users of open source typically "give back to the developer community," CA in 90 days will release the source code of it Ingres relational database product into the open source world, said Mark Barrenechea, senior vice president of product development. The move to open source Ingres aims a potential blow at Microsoft's closed-code SQL database.
"We don't think a company should have to buy a [database] license to run it," Barrenechea said.
In past practice, CA has not charged for Ingres when bundled with other CA products, but has charged for it as a point product, Barrenechea said. Going forward, CA hopes to enjoy the same revenue model for Ingres as an open source product bundled with chargeable goods, he said.
CA has also integrated Ingres with other open source technologies, including Oracle cluster file systems, IBM Open Distributed Locking Manager for cluster support, Sax for XML parsing, and Apache libraries for Web serving, Greenblatt said.
Co-development of Ingres will continue through an open source project spearheaded by JBoss, called Hibernate, Greenblatt said. CA will handle first level support, while JBoss will shoulder level two support.
Another gift to the open source community is CA's KGEM (kernel generalized event manager), which CA has integrated into open source Linux, said Barrenechea. CA developed KGEM to provide standardized support for management applications. It is now a part of Linux, and open to all.
Expanding CA's BrightStor storage line, the company also announced a new BrightStor document management solution that combines CA software with open source software from Plone, said Barrenechea. Known for its reliability as content management software, Plone also performs well in document management environments, and CA looks to expand BrightStor's market reach using lower cost opens source components.
CA's partnership with Plone extends outwards to another newly announced open source relationship between CA and the Zope open source development community, which Plone runs on top of in many instances, Greenblatt said. Zope is open source application server code for building content management architectures, portals, and other custom applications, and CA's goal with Zope is "to make Zope content managers highly scalable and enterprise-ready," with an eye on future CA products, Greenblatt said.
In all, Barrenechea said what CA had done with all its open source moves was to "build the industry's first open source management technology stack." The stack, dubbed IJPL for Ingres, Java, Python, and Linux, takes the speed of Ingres, the power of Java and Python, and the growth and innovation of Linux, and combines them to foster further development into systems utilizing both proprietary code and open source software, according to CA executives.