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Open Source Software Up the Stack

Dennis Byron

Talking to... Larry Alston of Iona/Progress, open source middleware provider

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Back in February, I posted on an interesting phone conversation I had have with Larry Alston, then the vice president and general manager of Open Source at IONA. Now Larry has that same title at Progress following Progress' recent acquisition of IONA. Mentally, I added Larry to a list of open source software (OSS) oriented executives that really have a clear understanding of OSS’s place in building a software business. These executives' message is functionality comes first, open source is a means to an end. I actually heard the same thing around the same time at an IBM analyst meeting from Steve Mills and I am happy to say it cross-tabbed with a lot of my own research among users.

Larry had some interesting opinions and observations about the open source development model and its terms and conditions from a marketing perspective that we couldn't fit it into one blog post back in February. So I invited him back to do this podcast. And with the new version of its Fuse ESB product being announced October 14, the first under the Progress banner, this seemed to be the right time to do it.

Larry brings a different perspective because of a software career that has spanned stints at Bachman, C-bridge, Object Design, and Pantero before joining IONA. If you are into IT software industry history, you'll know that makes three companies he's worked for that have been acquired by Progress.

In this podcast, Larry talks about this new product and how Iona is adopting to what I call the "functionality rules" open-source-as-a-tactic theme now that Iona is part of Progress.

Dennis Byron’s blog on open source software: A longtime market research analyst follows what “the movement? means to business integration—in applications, infrastructure, as services, as architecture and as functionality.

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