Open Source Mobile: Volantis eventually released Mobility Server under the GPLv3

Few months ago Volantis announced that was about to release its Mobility Server Community Edition to the open source community under the GNU General Public License version 3, starting making it available immediately as a free download under a proprietary license.

On the 19th of March Volantis released the Mobility Server, opening 1.2 million lines of code, the result of seven years’ of development as reported by the press release.

What is Volantis Mobility Server Community Edition?

The Community edition includes the Volantis Multi-Channel Server (MCS), Volantis Message Preparation Server (MPS) and Volantis Media Access Proxy (MAP), as well as a significant proportion of the Volantis Device Database and Eclipse-based developer tools.

Reading the Volantis Mobility Server Overview I understand that to get full access to the Volantis Device Database you need to buy the Professional Edition. Moreover if you want to use the Device Database directly with other commercial applications that are not using Mobility Server for rendering, the Device Database edition is required.

Volantis making available Device database updates from time to time has little chance to get voluntary contributions among individual developers (as seen with WURFL or Funambol), and it is probably targeting a different audience:

Telefonica has a strong desire to work with open source projects which is why we created the OpenMovilForum project. It’s also why we fully support the idea that Volantis develops its own open source initiative.
(Luis Almansa, Senior Project Manager at Telefonica)

Andrea Trasatti, Director of Device Initiatives at dotMobi and WURFL cofounder, kept me in the loop about the news he appears to be interested in. After reading the table comparing the Community edition and the Professional one I am convinced that dotMobi can’t take advantage of the open source one. I see consultants like Nick Lane being happy with the Community edition, as probably are happy SMEs that couldn’t afford the proprietary version to fulfill their own private needs.

Also Small IT firms can now step into this market, and I suggest Mark to consider to get the Mobility Server listed in the Ohloh open source directory.

Volantis primary aim seems to be setting industry standards, though. The company has results also from the press release has  contributed to a community standards process to create within , driven by the W3C the DIAL specification. As a matter of fact XDIME, a Web development markup language, has been created by Volantis to comply with the DIAL specification and is designed to create content viewable on any mobile device.

Am I looking forward to speak again with Mark Watson, Volantis Systems CEO and sort out more first hand information.

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