CollabNet may open source to more of its software

CollabNet may put more of its software under open source licenses or under a dual licensing model to promote adoption of its products.

CollabNet may put some of its core software under an open-source license, or under a dual licensing model, to promote its adoption by users, an executive said.

The company offers a managed service for geographically distributed software development, using software products it has developed such as CollabNet Enterprise Edition and CollabNet Community Edition. Customers can also license the products and host them on their own data centers.

By opening the software's source code to users, the company will encourage more users to adopt it, and that would be an opportunity for CollabNet to grow its services business, said Bill Portelli, president and chief executive officer of CollabNet, in an interview Saturday.

"I can see CollabNet coming up with a (dual) license that allows users greater access, but will also help us thrive and protect our business", Portelli said. Under a dual license model, users will be able to download and use the software for free, he said. Companies and other organizations that redistribute the software would have to purchase the software, he added

The company however has no immediate plans to release its software under a dual license, Portelli added.

The company has already contributed software to the open source community, including Subversion, an open-source version-control system for enterprise software development.

As it opens up more of its software, the focus of the company would then shift to services around its software, as CollabNet has done with Subversion, which it now offers as a hosted service, Portelli said. The company also offers training and support on Subversion.

About 25 percent of CollabNet's customers include open-source software development projects such as OpenOffice.org, and community projects that typically include an open-source component, Portelli said.

Open-source development, outsourced software development and services-oriented architectures are helping CollabNet's business grow worldwide, because all three require software developers to be connected over the Internet, according to Portelli.

About a quarter of the company's clients buy CollabNet's service because they want to use it for offshore software development, he said. However, up to 75 percent of CollabNet's clients that use its service for distributed development have an offshore component to the development, he added.

To take advantage of the growth in offshore software development and local systems integration initiatives in India, CollabNet Inc. is setting up a data center in the country, as a fist step in its expansion in Asia, according to Portelli.

"Our business is ramping up in Asia because of the globalization of software development," he said.

The company is also planning to set up a data center in China later this year. It may also set up a data center in Japan depending on customer demand. CollabNet currently has two data centers in the U.S.

Its predominant business model is to host the service at its own data centers because of the efficiencies and cost savings it offers customers. The company also hosts its service from the client's data center if the client prefers this option, Portelli said.

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