IBM Expands Paid Open Source Strategy

Big Blue will use Gluecode's open source software as a springboard to paid services and its WebSphere line.
IBM is making a bid on professional open source with the acquisition of privately-held Gluecode, officials announced Tuesday.

Financial and operational details of the merger were not announced at press time.

Gluecode's operations will be assimilated into IBM's software group and expand the company's WebSphere application integration middleware product line.

Officials plan to offer customers and business partners Gluecode's application server software and sell software and support services on top of the offering, as well as let customers upgrade to IBM WebSphere products.

''With the Gluecode acquisition, IBM enables customers and Business Partners to tap the low cost of entry of open source technology to quickly develop and deploy applications, and migrate to WebSphere software as business needs expand,'' Robert LeBlanc, IBM software group general manager of application and integration middleware, said in a statement.

The Gluecode software stack is comprised of three Apache Software Foundation (ASF) projects: Geronimo, an application server; Pluto, a portal framework; and Derby database.

The company uses a professional open source model to garner revenues and fund operations. After customers download the free software, Gluecode provides a subscription-based premium service for technical support issues and software updates.

The deal highlights an increasingly popular business model in a world where more and more companies are looking at the cost benefits of open source software but need the support that a paying customer would get in order to trouble shoot technical problems.

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