Ariba calls itself a "spend management" company, selling software that helps companies manage their expenses and supplier relationships. It developed AribaWeb over the years for its own use, and hopes taking it open source will improve the code.
CTO Bhaskar Himatsingka told ZDNet "we don't have any plans to leverage it" as a profit center.
AribaWeb features AutoAJAX, which produces interfaces automatically, InstantApp technology so users don't have to maintain their own interface code, Live Edit & X-Ray so developers can see how code works as it runs, and a full stack for developing business database applications.
The code is already available at AribaWeb.org
Himatsingka said it based development of its forge site on Google tools like Google Code and Google blogging tools. Google Subversion is being used for hosting.
"It's not a one time drop but an ongoing process," the CTO insisted, with promotion and support forums. But still, why do it?
Good citizenship is one reason. But there is a little more to it than that.
"As you get adopters you get contributors of new features and engineers who get excited about the technology. We might find some engineering stars who want to join Ariba, and that would be a benefit."