Commercial Open Source Transparency Matters

This week we read a vendor’s feedback to an earlier report about an open source BI platform, and we tried to join the conversation to bring some light over some issues raised in that blog entry.

Below you can read our original comment (awaiting moderation)

SpagoBI summary report points to 22 internet (public) resources, including OW2 forge, Ohloh meta-forge, project’s and vendor’s web pages.

All information provided is neither wrong nor weak, but based solely on verifiable evidence (included of course top of the week downloads and pricing, both retrieved on the 14th of December 2010).

QSOS proved to be a valid concept, and we selected 24 metrics that were both usable and practical, eventually democratizing the business of open source assessment.

SOS Open Source actually provides only tools to retrieve dispersed information in a fast and objective way, how information is automatically collected is the only secret sauce there is.

SOS Open Source doesn’t rely on assessor’s ability or judgment, in fact it provides the assessor with material and suggested grades, so that you don’t need to be an expert to identify interesting open source candidates (yet you need to spend time and effort to try out functionalities, performance and test security).

Until now few open source vendors have already asked for an assessment, but full reports (available only to our customers) are not always disclosed. Sometimes (in fact, frequently) vendors realized that they need time to refine their open source strategies – e.g. better nurtuting their communities, enabling stakeholders to contribute more to the planning process or react faster to bugs – and in these cases the publication of excerpts is postponed.

(Update): eventually the vendor approved our message, and we had the opportunity to make clear that what was called subjective was clearly supported by a large evidence base.