Wednesday, October 27, 2010

eXo Emerges as Alternative to Liferay + Alfresco

For the past 5 years Liferay and Alfresco have had great growth and emerged as the leaders in the US for Open Source Portal and Content Management. Over the past year I have seen eXo grow from leading the French market in this same space to be the emerging, modern alternative to Liferay + Alfresco. The diagram at the right (from the Real Story Group) shows how eXo has taken a lead over Liferay in both the evolution of the vendor and the product development.

There are several key reasons for that shift:
  • Partnership with Red Hat. Clearly Red Hat taking our product to market on a worldwide basis, having the resources to meet the needs of the largest customers is a big win.
  • Benjamin Mestrallet, the founder and CEO, moved to the US and opened an office in San Francisco. This has helped spur new relationships (some announced and many in the works) as well as visibility in the world market.
  • Funding to allow us to expand and meet the additional worldwide demands and build out our new technology.
  • eXo Platform 3.0. The product launch last month was met with rave reviews and fulfills the vision we set out to accomplish - to build the foundations for the next generation User Experience Platform.
eXo Platform 3.0 is a huge refresh of the foundation of our technology and brings together the critical elements that customers are demanding today. The foundation is modern and modular - allowing customers to use the technology for the solution they need. It provides interfaces from the Java API level to REST Service level up to pre-built application services with gadget-based user interfaces.

The solutions provided by eXo Platform 3.0 are also complete and integrated - no need to get a separate Portal and Web Content Management product and glue them together yourself. In addition, solutions for Social Intranet, Collaboration and Knowledge Management are tightly integrated.

We are having fun bringing some life back into this market.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

IBM Launches Dev & Test Service for the Cloud

Last week we got another hint that CloudBees is moving in the right direction when IBM announced their Cloud offering for Development and Testing.

I was raised in an IBM family, read Buck Rogers book when I was younger, my Father feared for me when I did not go to work for IBM, and heard the “You never get fired for going with IBM” line more than a few times. While some make fun of IBM, I do have an inbred healthy respect for them. They have superlative marketing and well-thought-out positioning. They have a huge installed base that mirrors the market, although perhaps a bit on the laggard side so their customers feel “safe”.

This announcement reflects all of that. It has compelling benefits for the customer:
“Traditional development and testing environments pose several challenges: high labor and capital costs, long development cycles and greater risk for configuration errors. Developers are now finding ways to meet these challenges using cloud computing.”

It includes a clear high level statement of the service and further hits the benefits:
“IBM Smart Business Development and Test on the IBM Cloud is designed to provide you with rapid access to a security-rich, cloud-based enterprise-class development and test environment. Our standardized development and test environment on the IBM Cloud can help you realize faster application deployment with reduced capital and operational costs. You have virtually no infrastructure to maintain and benefit from pay-as-you-go pricing for your development and testing resources. And, you can set up more accurate test environments in minutes versus weeks using standardized configurations.”

Of course, my heart today lies more with the people that chose something other than IBM and did not get fired. This offering is limited to Rational users, and only runs on IBM’s more “Hosted” than Amazon-ish “Cloud” service where users have to rent or pre-book machines.

Sacha talks
about how he used to view the Cloud as a set of machines and now he views it from the other side – as a set of services where users do not have to worry about machines and provisioning. Stuff just runs and scales and is secure. IBM views it from the machine side still. It will be interesting to see when they start to think about it from the other side…

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Spring Introduces Code2Cloud

It looks like the big guys are following the lead that CloudBees took back in August to bring Cloud Services to developers and QA groups.

Spring announced its upcoming (Q1, 2011) Code2Cloud offering this week - It is a nice announcement that reconfirms the direction that CloudBees – is taking.

The Cloud can definitely bring Development and QA processes great improvements in costs and agility. Spring seems to be focusing its early Cloud efforts on trying to tie it easily to Eclipse and several other projects like Mylyn, Git, Hudson and Bugzilla. The basic idea is that a developer sitting in Eclipse can run services that reside in the Cloud. Since it is several months away for Beta, it is difficult to tell how open or scalable it will be. For example, there was no mention of Maven, SVN, Ant, scalability for Hudson, or long term positioning of a Java PaaS.

CloudBees has taken a different approach for our first version of DEV@Cloud ( We view Continuous Integration as a “hub” Cloud Service, surrounded by other important services like Git, SVN, Maven, Ant, etc. The diagram below explains our strategy, especially when you consider the 350+ plug-ins for Hudson. This gives teams the ability to choose the tools and create the processes that are right for them.

Since we are running this on our PaaS, we have built in services that allow for any number of Hudson jobs running in parallel, thanks to our unique dynamic Hudson build agents provisioning feature. This means that CloudBees scales dynamically to meet any load demand that you have.

This is going to be a fun and dynamic market. Expect to see CloudBees emerge as a real innovation leader.