OW2 Consortium

OW2 Consortium

On this page:

  • What is OW2
  • The history of OW2
  • The OW2 opportunity
  • The OW2 business ecosystem strategy
  • OW2 as a business ecosystem Platform

What is OW2?

OW2 is a global open-source software community which goal is the development of open-source distributed middleware, in the form of flexible and adaptable components. These components range from specific software frameworks and protocols to integrated platforms. OW2 developments follow a component-based approach.

The consortium is an independent non-profit organization open to companies, institutions and individuals.

OW2 mission is to develop open source code middleware and to foster a vibrant community and business ecosystem.

OW2 is committed to growing a community of open source code developers. The organization is dedicated to the creation of new technology: original code development is one of its fundamental characteristics. As the organization becomes part of the open source marketplace, it also stresses the quality and market usability of its software. It fosters a common technical architecture to be shared by its members and to facilitate the implementation of its technology by systems integrators and end-users.

The OW2 projects aim at facilitating the development, deployment and management of distributed applications with a focus on open source middleware and related development and management tools. In the open source software value chain, OW2 is positioned as an industry platform facilitating interaction between open source code Producers and open source code Consumers.

The Origin of OW2

Since its inception in January 2002, ObjectWeb a joint project between INRIA, Bull and France Telecom, has grown into a mature open source community spanning three continents. Orientware, was launched two years later by Peking University, Beijing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics, National University of Defense Technology (NUDT), CVIC Software Engineering Co., Ltd.(CVIC SE) and Institute of Software, Chinese Academy of Sciences (ISCAS).

In September 2005, ObjectWeb and Orientware signed an agreement by which they committed to share their code base and jointly develop open source middleware software. The two communities merged at the end of 2006, here you have a brief account in pictures of the merger.

In the same way as biological ecosystems, the ObjectWeb and Orientware communities has developed over time. They are now ready to support a full fledged independent open source organization: the OW2 Consortium.

The initial thrust of the co-founders who dedicated time, expertise and financial resources to the project quickly gained the support of open source activists from around the world. A continuous cycle of contribution and expanding benefits has resulted in a rich business ecosystem of some 100 projects backed by more than 5,000 enthusiastic supporters. The OW2 business ecosystem did not happen overnight; much still remains to be done to take it to the next level.

The OW2 Opportunity

Market trends call for open source infrastructure software. As corporations and public administrations open up applications to remote employees, partners, suppliers, customers and citizens, and as distributed platforms interconnect a growing number of organizations, middleware becomes a critical execution environment. Modern computing systems are increasingly complex and middleware has become a strategic infrastructure component of modern societies.

The middleware layer stands between the operating system and the business applications. It handles communications between nodes. As distributed computing becomes ubiquitous, this layer becomes pivotal to an ever growing number of applications.

The rise of open source software is consistent with these trends, as is the concentration of of open source middleware software supply. The OW2 Consortium is designed to leverage these trends.

The OW2 Business Ecosystems Strategy

The IT industry is without doubt one of the most dynamic and competitive sectors in our economy. It provides an excellent stage for innovative strategies. The OW2 Consortium is fortunate to be at the junction of two recent innovations in business: open source software and business ecosystems.

Based on a presentation at Solution Linux 2008 in Paris, here a paper to explain the OW2 business ecosystem strategy. Drawing from our experience in the software industry, the paper starts by positioning the Business Ecosystem concept against the more popular Value Chain concept and by highlighting some of its characteristics. It then describes how the OW2 Consortium is implementing its business ecosystem strategy and the lessons learnt after nearly two years of operation.

OW2 As A Business Ecosystem Platform

Established from the onset as an unconventional means to share code among developers, open source has evolved into a major structuring factor in the software industry. Since open source is on its way to becoming mainstream, it is expected by the market to give itself the necessary business, community and legal environment to make it a sustainable phenomenon. The OW2 Consortium was launched to leverage these trends. OW2 is both an open source community and a community-driven organization. OW2 provides a meeting point for stakeholders of differing natures who share an interest, either technical or business, for open source middleware.

This paper analyses how the OW2 Consortium is positioning itself as the platform at the center of a business ecosystem. The paper shows how OW2 is implementing the core tactics of multi-sided platforms.

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