Open sourcing a commercial tool – What can I expect?

Session Type: 
Extended [55 minutes]

Schedule info


Why does a company decide to open source their software, how is it done, and what results and repercussions does it have? Beginning our journey almost a year ago, we were only aware of the “why”. Having survived our first release train and passed our graduation review, we can now say a little more about the “how” as well as the results we’ve noticed and the experiences we’ve had.

To introduce the talk, we begin by explaining how we moved through the various phases of an open source trajectory to finally base part of our business model on open source. We also present our reasons for making the long-term commitment to the continued project development in the open source space.

The second part of the talk looks at the technological aspects of becoming an open source (specifically Eclipse) project. Markus gives an overview of the IP process and the technologies we had to change and adapt to conform to it. He also deals with the topics of version control, release engineering and single sourcing for commercial and open source variants of the software.

Despite the amount of technical groundwork to do, the business perspective of open sourcing cannot be forgotten and also requires a certain amount of planning and effort. Alex dedicates the remainder of the talk to this aspect. She describes the (often negative) effects on the development process that can be expected and the measures that can be taken to combat them. Finally, she examines the multi-faceted aspect of community: forums, bugzilla, websites, blogs, and spreading the word about the project.

As a conclusion, we take a look at the experiences and results of the last year to weigh up the problems and challenges our decision brought against the advantages it has given us. We hope that this talk will be useful to anyone starting out on their open source journey, or thinking about doing so.


Great, thx. BTW. You would

Great, thx. BTW. You would get one of the few extended talks for that.


Hi Bernd, We'd be fine with

Hi Bernd,

We'd be fine with that I think, we'll contact Wayne.


Hi Markus, Hi Alex, we would

Hi Markus, Hi Alex,

we would like you to join your talk with Wayne's talk "Starting an Eclipse Project: The First 90 Days" (

The joined talk could be an extended talk where you should focus on the business aspects (Why? What do you gain from it?, ...) as well as the process aspects (What needs to be done? When? How much effort is it?, How to build a community, ...)

If you think this is a good idea, please contact Wayne and rework your abstract accordingly.

Please let us know, if possible, until Friday if the joined will happen and which submission is used for that.

Thank you