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OpenAdaptor, what's the motive?

I stumbled across openAdaptor the other day.  It's an open-source EAI tool from Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein.

It seems a fairly useful toolkit, and in the adoptors page it lists Deutsche and Abbey National (two rival banks).

What I don't understand is why a company like DrKW would want to open source one of it's internal products.  What could they possibly gain from it?  The best I can come up with is:

1) They want to gain kudos in the open source/developer community
2) They're hoping that it will be turned into a better product by people contributing to it (developers for free)
3) They're trying to undermine BEA, TIBCO or some other EAI vendor

Has anyone used it?

Furious George
Monday, June 21, 2004

"2) They're hoping that it will be turned into a better product by people contributing to it (developers for free)"

Probably that's most of it, since they're a bank, not a software vendor. Although it seems more like they want to collaborate rather than get someone else to do the work for free. Makes good business sense when you think about it from their perspective.

Tom H
Monday, June 21, 2004

I attended a conference on open source software in the financial industry a couple months ago.  They did a presentation on this.  Here is a link to their powerpoint.

Oren Miller
Monday, June 21, 2004

That is an awesome presentation! Oh all right, it was mine.

To summarise it though: 1 and 2 definitely. Absolutely not 3. (At the time we opensourced it we were using Tibco ETX as our standard message bus - although we use JMS now)

The 4th driver was that sooner or later someone would opensource this sort of software, which over time, could evolve into a de facto industry standard. The thinking was that if this happened we would have to migrate all our systems to using that standard. So if we opensourced ours, and it took off, then we would save ourselves the costs of migrating.

It hasn't turned into an industry standard yet (and we're not holding our breaths) but we're still hopeful. And the software keeps getting better. And external people do contribute.

Steve Howe
Wednesday, June 30, 2004

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