OW2 Consortium FAQ
Please suggest a Question, help refine the Answers by contacting Cedric Thomas (cedric.thomas AT ow2.org)
- What is OW2 Consortium?
- OW2 is the result of the merger between ObjectWeb and OrientWare consortia. A new consortium agreement was necessary because the one governing ObjectWeb ended on December 31, 2006. This was the occasion to address some limitations of the previous agreement. For instance, ObjectWeb was not an independent organization, it was really a joint project launched by its original cofounders (Bull, France Telecom and INRIA) hosted by INRIA. In this configuration, ObjectWeb did lacks resources and was not scalable.
- What are ObjectWeb and OrientWare?
- ObjectWeb is a Consortium for open source middleware whose main goal is the development of a distributed software infrastructure for large scale information networks. ObjectWeb's mission is to develop open source middleware and to foster a vibrant community and business ecosystem.
OrientWare is an open organization supported by the Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) that integrates the mature results achieved by the 863 Program in the domain of middleware by leading chinese universities, institutes and middleware companies such as Beihang University, Peking University, the Institute of software for Chinese Science Academy and National University of Defense Technology, CVIC SE, etc.
- How do you define middleware?
- The focus on middleware contributed to the success of ObjectWeb and OrientWare. In a distributed computing system, middleware is defined as the software layer that lies between the operating system and the applications on each site of the system. OW2 focus is on Middleware at large, i.e. including tools for the development, deployment and management of distributed applications.
- Is OW2 about technology or marketing?
- OW2 is a platform where software developers cooperate to jointly develop industry-grade open source middleware. OW2 is not in the business of marketing software and does not intend to become a new software vendor. OW2 members however may market middleware software products on a commercial basis. OW2 helps its members develop their business ecosystems.
- When will OW2 be launched?
- OW2 has been launched on January 1, 2007. This date has been chosen because the consortium agreement which defines ObjectWeb as it was known ended on December 31, 2006.
- How can I participate in OW2?
- OW2 is still in the making. Currently we need help essentially to:
- develop the Initiatives,
- organize the Consortium communication,
- finalize the legal documents,
- write the Book of Procedure,
- develop membership.
- Who can Join OW2?
- Membership in OW2 is open to all types of organizations including commercial, educational and governmental organizations, as well as individuals. Any entity which can sign the Membership Agreement can become a Member.
- Can I join OW2 as an individual?
- Yes. OW2 has defined a membership category specifically for individuals. You must sign and return the Individual Membership Agreement when we make it available, in Q1 2007.
- Are membership categories different in OW2?
- OW2 has three main categories of membership: Strategic Members, Corporate Members and Individual Members. The dues, rights and duties of all categories as currently defined by the task force and endorsed by members attending OW2 Inaugural Workshop in July, 2006. (see: )
- Do all members pay the same fee?
- No. For Corporate Membership, companies are segmented in two categories: Small and Medium-Sized Organizations (SMORGs) and Large Organizations (LORGs) as defined by the European Commission ( page
Membership fees for organizations in developing countries will be adapted according to the Purchasing Power Parity as defined by the World Bank ( ).
Membership is free of charge for Individuals. ). Fees are described in the
- What is the actual cost of being a Strategic Member?
- Strategic Members are organizations which commit their dues for three years as well as in-kind contribution such as full time staff to help run the organization.
- Will current ObjectWeb and OrientWare members automatically become members of OW2?
- No. Current ObjectWeb and OrientWare members will have to sign a new Membership Agreement. Current ObjectWeb or OrientWare Membership Agreement will not be acceptable for OW2 since it will be governed by a new set of bylaws.
- What is an Initiative?
- An Initiative is a joint effort by companies aiming at facilitating technology integration between projects and helping build business synergies between companies targeting a market need. An Initiative is launched and driven by one or two Strategic Members. Corporate members are welcome to participate in an Initiative Management Team and can be invited to co-lead an Initiative.
- Which Initiatives are supported by OW2?
- OW2 is currently developing the ESBi Initiative. This Initiative has been used as a model to plan five more Initiatives which were proposed by OW2 members. Therefore OW22 should be launched with six Initiatives:
- ESB Initiative
- Telco Initiative
- E-Government Initiative
- Business Intelligence Initiative
- Embedded Software Initiative
- ONESSI Initiative
- What is a Local Chapter?
- A Local Chapter is an Activity carried out by a group of OW2 members who join their efforts to promote the goals of the consortium within a community characterized by its geography or its language.
The Local Chapter is an OW2 Activity and, as for all OW2 Activities, its budget is covered by its direct participants. This comes on top of their membership fees. Some expenses however can be covered by the Consortium directly if the Board decides such expense is strategic for the Consortium at large.
A Local Chapter:
- promotes OW2 and develops membership locally through meetings, OW2 Web site localization, press communication,
- ensures the presence of OW2 in local events (trade shows, conferences, etc.),
- facilitates synergies for the local community (including access to -publicly funded- research projects, coordination with other Local Chapters.
- How do you manage projects licenses?
- In this answer, a "license" means a given version of a given license.
1) License choice
Any OSS license may be accepted, as defined by our Intellectual Property Rights Policy (paragraph 1.7).
The Board makes the final decision.
When accepted, the license should be immediately published on the project's web pages.
2) License change
Any license change requires a Board decision.
When accepted, the license change should be immediately published on the project's web pages.
3) Board decision guidelines
- Should not arbitrarily ban any OSS business model.
- Should not affect negatively any member's business model (eg. dual-licensing, subscription...).
- Should foster reusability of OW2 components (mainly middleware - beware of usage restrictions).
- Should not impede cross-project collaborations.
- Should exercise regulation (eg. prevent appropriation of OSS components, reject a project that is not perceived as truly OSS, act as a "referee" to solve conflicts...).
- Should not allow a licence change toward more restrictive usage terms, unless OW2 has strong strategic reasons to do so.
- Should take into account the project "class" (eg. "core middleware", "application"...) to make the final decision.
- Does OW2 accept the dual licensing business model?
- Yes. OW2 recognizes that its members may choose to engage in dual licensing business practices. Each Member remains free to license outside of the Project hosted by the Consortium its own software contribution under any other license. The rule is that commercial companies engaged in dual licensing business model must allow third-party committers on the code.
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