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By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2004-09-28 Print this article Print

Willis added that SourceLabs will certify its systems. "We provide one throat to choke for open-source infrastructure software," he said. Certification "means being up front with people about all the tests weve run against the software, providing access to the test suites, test results [and so on]," Sebastian said. "Were talking about being very clear about what the performance of the software is and that everything will do what we say it will."
Willis said the company will provide tested and certified systems as opposed to components. "What customers need is pre-integrated systems," he said. "So well be providing distribution points. Think about it as a Dell for software."
SourceLabs target market will be large enterprises. "This is a global opportunity and were targeting global 2000 enterprises, and also working closely with ISVs," Sebastian said. "We see them as being key partners as well as customers." In addition, Sebastian said SourceLabs is "egoless when it comes to technology." What the company delivers will be "based on customer demand rather than a technical agenda or lock-in," he said. "We promise not to lock you in, ever," said Willis. "We believe in opt-in, not lock-in," he added. Strange words, one might think, from a former Microsoft marketing executive. But, in an interview with eWEEK when he worked at BEA, Willis spoke about his plans to open-source some of the companys proprietary technology: "I started with BEA November 1, and I started working on this from the start," said Willis, in the interview in May. Open-sourcing a portion of BEAs Workshop "was my first goal when I got here, and its what I spent my first hour working on," he said. In a statement, Rich Freyberg, former CIO and senior vice president at Charles Schwab, said, "SourceLabs is providing what enterprise customers have been waiting for: someone to stand behind integrated open-source systems. Customers really do want one throat to choke and SourceLabs is the first company to provide this." However, another open-source firm is delivering on a similar model for tools. [/article2/0,1759,1617771,00.asp] OpenLogic Inc., of Highlands Ranch, Colo., in June introduced its debut product, BlueGlue 3.0. BlueGlue is a developer tools suite of more than 100 open-source tools from projects including Eclipse, MySQL, Apache and JBoss. Rod Cope, chief technology officer and founder of the company, said he came up with the idea for the business model after working as a consultant on several engagements for Fortune 50 companies that wanted to take advantage of open-source technology but lacked the expertise. Cope said OpenLogic relieves the headache of open-source development by putting together a suite of open-source tools and maintaining upgrades and delivery of the current technology on a subscription basis. "Thats one of our main value adds," Cope said. "We are sort of like Red Hat [Inc.] is for Linux. We do the same sort of thing they do, but for these top 100 tools." Check out eWEEK.coms Linux & Open Source Center at for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

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Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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