SAN FRANCISCO—Open source software is expected to play large at this weeks JavaOne show here, not only on the operating system and application server fronts, but also in tools, with the launch of at least one new company with a new business model.
Highlighting its open-source tool set, a new company called OpenLogic Inc., of Highlands Ranch, Colo., will launch at the show and at the same time launch 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.
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."
Cope started what is now OpenLogic in 1998 as a software consulting business called EJB Solutions, and he soon began to work on many projects where he was asked to help companies integrate open-source technology into their IT infrastructures.
Cope said he wanted to try to productize what he was doing and in 2002 initially put together a suite of open-source tools that he called "Out-of-the-Box." That product attracted more than 300 customers by word of mouth in "stealth mode," said Andy Grolnick, vice president of product management at OpenLogic. Out-of-the-Box has been enhanced and renamed BlueGlue.
Grolnick said BlueGlue provides automated installation, configuration, integration, deployment and testing of all the tools included in the suite, as well as updates, sample applications, documentation and support.
"Very few developers enjoy doing this themselves," he said of open-source projects involving numerous tools. "Because theres no one throat to choke," he added.
"Our main product is an intelligent graphical installer that brings all this together," Cope said. However, he said the companys goal is not to create new tools but to integrate existing ones.
The tools suite is available in three versions on a subscription basis. BlueGlue Standard is for developers doing Web and GUI development and is priced at $199 per developer per year. BlueGlue Advanced is aimed at all types of front- and back-end development, including server-side projects, and costs $399 per developer per year. And BlueGlue Team, which features team and collaboration tools, costs $199 per server per year.
Cope said although OpenLogic has undergone an initial round of funding, the venture capital community has been talking to the company about another round.
"We want to scale to several million developers," he said. "Were looking at the large volume play."
Meanwhile, Cope said OpenLogic has talked with both JBoss Inc. and MySQL Inc. about possible partnering opportunities.