OW2 : distributed middleware consortium

OW2 : distributed middleware consortium

This description of OW2 consortium has been written by Stephan Ribas (2009, April).

OW2 is a global open-source software community which goal is the development of open-source distributed middleware, in the form of flexible and adaptable components. These components range from specific software frameworks and protocols to integrated platforms. OW2 developments follow a component-based approach. The consortium is an independent non-profit organization open to companies, institutions and individuals. OW2 mission is to develop open source code middleware and to foster a vibrant community and business ecosystem. OW2 is committed to growing a community of open source code developers. The organization is dedicated to the creation of new technology: original code development is one of its fundamental characteristics. As the organization becomes part of the open source marketplace, it also stresses the quality and market usability of its software. It fosters a common technical architecture to be shared by its members and to facilitate the implementation of its technology by systems integrators and end-users.

The OW2 projects aim at facilitating the development, deployment and management of distributed applications with a focus on open source middleware and related development and management tools. In the open source software value chain, OW2 is positioned as an industry platform facilitating interaction between open source code Producers and open source code Consumers. Since its inception in January 2002, ObjectWeb a joint project between INRIA, Bull and France Telecom, has grown into a mature open source community spanning three continents. Orientware, was launched two years later by Peking University, Beijing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics, National University of Defense Technology (NUDT), CVIC Software Engineering Co., Ltd.(CVIC SE) and Institute of Software, Chinese Academy of Sciences (ISCAS).

In September 2005, ObjectWeb and Orientware signed an agreement by which they committed to share their code base and jointly develop open source middleware software. The two communities merged at the end of 2006, here you have a brief account in pictures of the merger. In the same way as biological ecosystems, the ObjectWeb and Orientware communities has developed over time. They are now ready to support a full fledged independent open source organization: the OW2 Consortium.

In order to represent OW2 on a European scale, the Europe Local Chapter(1) launched by INRIA, Thales, Charles University and Fraunhofer Fokus on May 15th 2008. The Europe Local Chapter tasks and actions aim to contribute to the sustainable development of business ecosystems on the European scale, in a business neutral way.

The main actions of the Europe Local Chapter encompass:

  • Leading an academic and business community;
  • Cooperating with other open source organizations and European;
  • Promoting the consortium;
  • Fostering contribution to the code base,
  • Developing tools and services for the OW2 Local Chapter community by providing:

o Knowledge Sharing facilities using Web Conferencing tooling alike,
o OSS Governance guidelines,
o OSS Licensing Best Practices,
o Community Building Coaching,
o OSS Project Management Guidelines,
o Community Assessment Methodologies.

OW2 Europe Local Chapter is an active supporter of projects such as FossBridge (European – Asia Strategic Project), Aspire RFID (FP7), OSLC (Open Source Licence Checker - University of Helsinki), QualiPSo (FP6), Xwiki Concerto (Next Generation Wiki), and NESSI OSS Working Group.

OW2 Europe Local Chapter is also very active in the OSS arena and participates to European and Regional conferences (“Salon Linux 2009 – Paris”, “OSS 2009 – Sweden”, ...)

OW2 Europe Local Chapter proposes for new Academic projects OSS coaching and supporting facilities (OSS Governance, Communities Building, Education, etc).
Read more at http://europe.ow2.org

(1) A Local Chapter is a group of contributors willing to join their efforts and promote the goals of a consortium within a community characterized by its geography or its language.