Recently I have been writing about the M&A wave giving proprietary giants control over open source startups. IBM's acquisition of Gluecode, an open source middleware rival, was one of the first such deals and at the time, in 2003, made me wonder if Big Blue wasnt just eating up its competition to kill it.
IBM, of course, would beg to differ. On Monday, IBM announced that it had struck another OEM deal for its now named Websphere Application Server (WAS) Community Edition, formerly Gluecode, which offers customers an inexpensive entry into the middleware and SOA space and a first step toward the company's higher end flagship proprietary WebSphere server.
This time the deal is with Avada Software, which will OEM WAS CE Version 2.0 with its messaging management software. It's no blockbuster deal, but shows that WAS CE still has a heartbeat. Novell did an OEM deal with WAS CE some time ago with its SUSE Linux server.
Brenda Haynes, director of Websphere open source strategy, said IBM has counted more than two million downloads for WAS CE and is pleased with its uptake. She said Avada will deliver the community edition with its portfolio and resell IBM support, similar to the Novell deal. WAS CE is released under the Apache license.
IBM also announced that one of its Websphere (proprietary) customers, money transfer company Nexxar Group, deploys WAS CE to its remote check cashing hubs.