When it comes to open source software there are usually two main perspectives (among several other opinions!) on its value. One is that the software is “free” (that is, there is typically not a license cost) and that is good for the consumer. The other perspective also notes that the software is “free”, but warns – as the old adage states – that “you get what you pay for!”
Understandably so – especially in this economy – open source
software can be tempting for organizations of all sizes. However, as my grandfather used to say, “there
is no free lunch”…so be sure to understand what “free” software really
costs you, and investigate and question how it can grow and evolve to support
what undoubtedly will be changes to your organization’s requirements. For some projects, open source might make
sense, and recognizing this, even IBM prides itself on being an active open
source software supporter,
as well as a provider of free software such as Lotus Symphony.
Where the Web is concerned, however, we think it’s a
different story (OK, call me biased!).
Web technology, uses and interaction has changed, is changing, and
undoubtedly will continue to change…rapidly.
Compared to other technologies, the Web is still in its formative
stage…not quite an infant, but not yet even a toddler. Here in the WebSphere Portal product team, we
strive to ensure that an investment in WebSphere Portal provides you with
assurance that as new and better Web technology emerges, we will provide it as
part of the portal so you can keep up with the demands of the ever increasing
Web-savvy user. In addition, we’ll
continue to invite
you to help us shape the future of the portal and provide you insight into
trends, such as the convergence of portal and social networking (something I
will be blogging about soon), to help you derive more value from your portal.
portal software has the initial appeal of being a low-cost alternative to
commercial portal technology, like WebSphere Portal; but not every (and I would
dare say most) Web portal application use case is a good fit for open source. Web users, whether for external or internal
uses, have a high expectation level for their Web experience; they want it to
be visually appealing, secure, fast and of course, available. These are just some of the factors to
consider when evaluating open source and commercial portal offerings.
To help understand all the factors, IBM is hosting a live Web seminar called: "Free" Open Source Portals: Myth, Hype, or Reality? on July 7, 2009, with Forrester's Matt Brown as the featured speaker. In this one hour session, we’ll go beyond the obvious licensing cost topic and take a broad look at how to perform an effective evaluation of the portal approaches. If you would like to participate or listen in, you can register here…bring your questions!
-- Brian Chaput