Simon Phipps is chief open source officer of Sun Microsystems. In the FLOSS Weekly 39 he talks about Open Source and business. I want to point especially on his 4 phases of Open Source adoption. Starting at 56:30 he talks about this 4 stages a business has to go through as they become Open Source Business:
- Willingness to collaborate with their friends and customers i.e. the SAP ERP ABAP source code
- Be completely open but in terms of a license. Busy on knit picking every line of a license and trying to work out perfect licenses.
- Realising that code is king and that the license doesn’t matter so much as long as the code gets written and gets written fast and well.
- Community is king. So not the original author has to write and control all the code. It’s actually the community where all the benefits which make you successful gonna come from.
So in what stage does SAP and the SAP Community Network is currently in? I think clearly SAP is committed to provide their customers access to the source code which runs their business. Perhaps it’s a little bit less open on the Java side of NetWeaver as far as I know that as an ABAPer. SAP is working on the second step by introducing a so called Community Licence and has discussions going on with the Not authorized to view the specified document 7840 on that topic. Perhaps it would be better to skip that step and directly go to a already existing licence where everyone is familiar with. Because I think that the community is already there as you can see from the amount of users here in SCN or also in the list of ABAP Projects on Google code.