Development bundles as the new open source paradigm

A project-based tool set can also serve as a wedge into the larger enterprise. "Our first year cost can be $39,000 while Oracle-BEA may cost $700,000. That's enough so people may change the way they're writing applications."

Ingres and Red Hat are announcing a new "evaluation bundle" today, a combination of the Ingres database with JBOSS' application server and development tools.

The idea is to eliminate objections to a new database by paring it with middleware tools that will save money right away.

A project-based tool set can also serve as a wedge into the larger enterprise. "Our first year cost can be $39,000 while Oracle-BEA may cost $700,000. That's enough so people may change the way they're writing applications."

It certainly is.

The larger question is the importance of this "stack" business model. When open source projects go to market together, whether you call it a stack or a bundle, it can be the first step toward a deeper relationship for both customer and vendor.

The creation of such bundles can be a new business paradigm, but it can also lead to the same problem of lock-in that bedevils proprietary buyers.

Open standards and open APIs, not to mention open source, may serve to limit that concern, but even when a piece of your stack is open source and based on open standards it can be tough to replace. So does this trend make you smile or frown?