IBM moves open source business software to the cloud


IBM has set up a new code repository that aims to foster collaborative development of enterprise open source software—and it may also drum up interest in its own Bluemix platform services.

IBM has seeded the site, called DeveloperWorks Open, with more than 50 IBM open-source projects.

Many of the projects came from the IBM Research Labs, or were developed by vertical business units within IBM, said Angel Diaz, vice president of cloud architecture and technology.

The world has no shortage of open source software already, as a quick perusal of GitHub will show. This effort will concentrate on supporting business software, as well as software for the cloud, Diaz said.

For instance, the company has released parts of its MobileFirst portfolio of business applications. A healthcare app can track the progress made in at-home physical therapy programs. Other apps being open-sourced address the needs of the retail, insurance and banking industries.

IBM has also released a set of open-source data analysis technologies, such as the Agentless System Crawler, which provides a way to monitor cloud services. Another project on the new site is Node Application Metrics, which can monitor Node.js-based Web applications and highlight performance issues.

In addition to hosting the code, IBM will offer support via instruction blogs and videos. It will provide forums for contributors to discuss issues, and take care of all the licensing needed to help the software find a wider audience.

IBM has historically been a strong supporter of open source projects. Currently, it contributes to more than 150 different software projects, including Spark, OpenStack, Cloud Foundry, Node.js, Linux, and Eclipse.

In addition to launching DeveloperWorks Open, IBM is also offering Bluemix services to 200 academic institutions across 36 countries, hoping to get thousands of students to use the cloud services.

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