BMC Software and Its New Open-Source Projects

BMC Software has announced a new developer network, several open-source projects and its support of a single permissive license: the OSI-approved BSD license. The company used O'Reilly's annual Open Source Convention here in Portland to announce the immediate availability of the open-source projects, which have been built with its customers and partners, such as its adapter technologies that integrate various open-source and commercial products.

BMC has also decided to support a single permissive license, the BSD license, which will be used for all its open-source projects.

These announcements follow the company's appointment of William Hurley as the chief architect of open-source strategy in March.

"I spent the first three months in the job talking to customers, and the last month implementing what they told us they wanted. I have talked to more customers than you can ever imagine," Hurley said, adding that the primary mechanism for these discussions would now be out in the open on the developer forum.

For the company to open-source the adapters was the No. 1 request from BMC's existing community. "These adapters take certain information out of data repositories and integrate the data into a configuration management database, and include integrations with Altiris, CiscoWorks, LANDesk Asset Manager and HP OpenView AssetCenter," Hurley said.

BMC is also updating some older projects that it has already open-sourced, like CMSFS, SULoginv and MidWatch, and would be taking a more active role in developing these solutions on the new developer network.

Hurley said he is also evaluating several new ideas submitted by the community, and is actively soliciting new ideas.

He added, "I hope that other corporations will follow our lead and start building their developer networks with their customers rather than for their customers. I also hope that they will adopt a permissive license, and consider converting their existing projects to truly open licenses that put their users' needs first."

The developer network site is being built in cooperation with its users, and features development centers, forums, a resource center of technical documentation and an entire section dedicated to our open-source initiatives.

"We want to make it as easy as possible for the open-source community and our developers to interact, so we added these features to our developer network rather than creating a separate site. This makes the BMC Developer Network the industry's first global BSM developer community, and a key resource for open-source projects," he said.

More than 500 people, including both customers and competitors, have already signed up for the developer network, he said.

With regard to the BSD permissive license choice, Hurley noted that there are currently a lot of open-source point products that do not play well with one another, and no clear, comprehensive enterprise management strategy.

"By integrating open source with BSM, we're giving you the solutions you're looking for and the ability to map open-source management tools directly to your business strategy. We are committed to being completely open with the community," he said.

While BMC has historically been very proprietary, that is all changing, Hurley said. "If there were a more free license than the BSD, we would have chosen it. We are committed to looking at opening up whatever users want, where feasible, and we will be taking some of our intellectual property and pushing it out into the developer network," he said.

Also, while there was nothing wrong with having some proprietary software, and BMC would continue to do just that, he said, the company would also be very clear about what would remain proprietary and what would be open-sourced.

"We want to do open source right. We will also integrate and work with existing open-source communities," he said.