January 2008

In December, the Open Solutions Alliance published CEO Predictions 2008 which contains the responses received from their 2007 Customer Forum Series. A key finding was that the interoperability of open source with other open source and proprietary solutions was a primary concern. Several of the CEOs polled included interoperability in their answer to the question "what is the biggest challenge for the open source software industry in 2008?".

Wikipedia defines interoperability as "a property referring to the ability of diverse systems and organizations to work together (inter-operate). The term is often used in a technical systems engineering sense, or alternatively in a broad sense, taking into account social, political, and organizational factors that impact system to system performance." The articles in this issue examine interoperability on several of these levels.

Dominic Sartorio from the Open Solutions Alliance discusses the importance of vendor collaboration for tackling the interoperability challenge and for taking open source to the next level of enterprise maturity. Michael Bauwens from the Foundation for Peer to Peer Alternatives describes eleven possible models for interaction between participatory communities and business. Vijay Mahendran from Nortel examines the SCOPE Alliance and its efforts to promote service provider interoperability through carrier grade base platforms based on open source software building blocks. Stoyan Tanev and Amy Xu from Carleton University and Jim Wilmore from Intel introduce the OpenAccess Project and its impact on the Electronic Design Automation industry. The articles in this issue demonstrate that while there is more to be done regarding interoperability, foundations and alliances already exist and frameworks are in place to promote both open standards and interoperability. The articles include references to many resources and OSBR readers may be pleasantly surprised to learn that a large body of knowledge regarding both interoperability and viable business models is freely available.

This month you'll notice our "new look" as the OSBR is now published using Open Journal Systems. If you haven't already, take a moment to create a user account for the new website. This will allow you to continue to receive notification of newly published issues as well as take advantage of the new reading tools available in the right frame associated with each article. As always, we look forward to your feedback.

Dru Lavigne,


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