When I think of open source software Microsoft is rarely the first word that comes to mind. Actually it’s not even on of the first ten words. However, there are probably more Microsoft Windows users using open source software than on any other operating system. Despite this Microsoft’s stance on open source is changing evidenced by recent initiatives into open source software development.
Today Aras a provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software for companies that develop products announced the release if Version 9 of the Aras Innovator® suite. Version 9 delivers the first model-based service-oriented architecture (SOA) for PLM and includes single-instance multi-language capabilities and support for the latest Microsoft platform products; Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Microsoft Windows Server 2008, and Microsoft Visual Studio 2008. Aras is the first Microsoft Gold Partner to offer an open source solution.
Aras had already started to license its tools under the Microsoft Public License for it’s 8.x releases but version 9 is the first major release under an OSS license. Aras products compete with those from Oracle, SAP, Seimens and Parametric Technologies (PTC). In a recent discussion with Aras President Peter Schroer and Vice President of Marketing Marc Lind they noted that from a technology standpoint their competitors move slow and their code bases are 20 years old. From a SOA standpoint Aras products are at least on par with the marketing and starting to expand faster.
According to Lind open source has accelerated their business and adoption noting that Aras implementations are 10x faster and cost 10x less. Since going open Aras has seen the following benefits.
- Increased brand awareness and use from 10,000 free downloads
- Code contributions from Lockhead Martin, Motorola, Delphi, Ingersoll Rand, Rolls Royce, and the U.S. Army
- Deployments in 79 different countries
- Hugely improved localization with language support for 16 additional languages
When asked about how Aras OSS offerings are viewed among their peers at Microsoft events like Microsoft Partnerworld and Dynamics Lind responds,” A year ago people looked at us cross-eyed, now people are starting to ask questions. The key question…’How do you make money?'”
To which Lind responds enterprise subscriptions and chuckles as he thinks of the 180% increase in sales bookings.