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Welcome to the Eclipse Foundation AISBL

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Today, we’re announcing that the Eclipse Foundation has successfully completed all of the necessary formalities and has formally established the Eclipse Foundation AISBL, an international non-profit association based in Brussels, Belgium.

As a European-based global organization, the Eclipse Foundation is in the ideal position to build on the growing momentum of strategic open source in Europe and on our strength in the region to support open source innovation globally.

Today’s announcement  is the culmination of months of work, since we first announced our intent to establish ourselves as European in May 2020. I want to thank everyone who has had a hand in making our legal transition to Europe a reality. There have been many aspects to consider and a lot of work behind the scenes to get all of the required pieces in place. And the journey isn’t over yet! I will be publishing a second blog post shortly discussing what this means for our members and committers. Tl;dr: keep doing what you’re doing. 

Building on Our Strength in Europe Advances Open Source Innovation Globally

The Eclipse Foundation is the largest open source software foundation in Europe in terms of staff, projects, developers, and members. We have more than 170 members and more than 900 committers based in Europe. And we’re already home to a number of publicly funded European research projects that enable academics, subject matter experts, and large organizations to collaborate and build on research results to benefit corporations and the public.

We see a huge opportunity to build on our strong membership base, active developer community, and strong institutional relationships in Europe to enable the free flow of open software innovation throughout the world. Everyone will benefit from more choices and greater diversity of open source software technologies to build on.

As the Eclipse Foundation continues to grow — we added 75 new members in 2020 alone — the choices, diversity, and benefits will multiply. The future of open source has never looked brighter.

Europe Has Embraced Open Source Software

The strategic value of open source software is recognized across European government organizations, corporations, and publicly funded institutions:

  • The European Commission considers open source initiatives to be strategically important to drive digital and industrial transformations that will help to shape Europe’s digital future.
  • Leading European corporations, including Bosch, Daimler TSS, IBM, and SAP — all founding members of the Eclipse Foundation AISBL — see open source collaboration as an important way to accelerate innovation and increase their competitive edge.
  • Academic and research institutions are increasingly using open source software as a catalyst for innovation.

All of these organizations see the benefits of joining forces with each other, and with organizations around the world, to collaborate on open source software innovation. Many already see the Eclipse Foundation as the right place to foster global industry collaboration on open source projects in strategic technology areas, such as cloud, edge computing, artificial intelligence, connected vehicles, telecom, and IoT.

Get More Information

To provide more insight into our legal move to Europe and what it means for Eclipse Foundation members, we’ve developed a number of resources we think you’ll find helpful. I will also be providing an additional post tomorrow with additional details for members.

This is a big day for the Eclipse Foundation and its community. I want to thank all of my colleagues on the staff and our Board that helped make this possible.

Written by Mike Milinkovich

January 14, 2021 at 1:00 am

What’s ahead for Open Source in 2021 and beyond

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For some reason, the tradition amongst most technology pundits is to spend the waning weeks and days of the past year making prognostications about what’s to come. I’m all for introspection, but making guesses right before the holidays usually means I’m going to forget what I said (wrote?) after my holiday break. Besides, I’d much rather focus on beginnings than endings. That’s why I’m opening the new year here at the Eclipse Foundation with some thoughts on what’s to come for open source software in general, but also specific insights into the technology segments the Eclipse community is focused on: enterprise Java, the IoT and Edge computing, developer tooling, and automotive design. 

Let’s start with a very general prediction, but a critically important one: the open source model for collaborative innovations will continue its growth, particularly with enterprises and industrials. Open source is already the dominant model for collaboration amongst companies in the IT and software technology sectors. But it is quickly becoming mainstream among every company working on a digitalization strategy. The pace of innovation and level of collaboration enabled by the open source model simply cannot be matched. 

Many European companies have largely missed out on this value to date. In order to create the new platforms necessary for future prosperity, both governments and industry need to become software-centric and master the process of innovating and contributing via the open source model. You’re going to see a lot of that in 2021, particularly as we shift our own legal headquarters to Brussels early this year. 

Now, let’s get a little bit more specific … 

Cloud Native Java Predictions

The Java EE ecosystem will switch to Jakarta EE

With the release of Jakarta EE 9 on December 8 of last year, the enterprise Java ecosystem will move to the new  jakarta.* namespace. It will be gradual at first, but much of the industry will come around surprisingly quickly. We are already seeing rapid adoption of the new jakarta namespace by the vast ecosystem of open source projects built on Jakarta EE specifications.  

Now the focus is on innovation, and the pace of development for Jakarta EE will speed up with the community focusing on delivering both Jakarta EE 9.1 and 10 releases. In addition, the successful transition to the jakarta.* namespace cracks open the door on further integrating Jakarta EE with the world of microservices and containers. The community is already working on increasing the alignment of MicroProfile and Jakarta EE to meet this challenge. 

The inexorable rise of community-supported Java binaries will continue

With the move of AdoptOpenJDK to the Eclipse Foundation and its birth as Eclipse Adoptium, the industry will have a single, vendor-neutral source of high-quality open source Java runtimes. Expect to see adoption accelerate as developers use the project’s high quality binaries and technologies across the Java ecosystem.

2021 will serve as the “tipping point” for cloud-based development tools

A wholesale move to the cloud driven by the era of COVID-19 and remote work, combined with the release of new cloud-based tools like Eclipse Theia, Eclipse Che, and Github Codespaces, accelerates the trend towards cloud-based development tools Traditional desktop tools will have a long tail, but the proverbial tipping point has been reached. 

IoT and Edge Computing Predictions

As Edge Computing architectures and the Internet of Things (IoT) continue to proliferate throughout multiple vertical markets, one trend that enterprises have made abundantly clear is that, in 2021, they expect many edge computing solutions and IoT technologies to leverage open source. This was confirmed in the most recent Eclipse IoT Commercial Adoption survey published in March 2020, which found that 60% of the organizations surveyed are factoring open source into their deployment plans. 

One guiding factor to these trends is that businesses want to tailor information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT) builds to meet their specific requirements while avoiding vendor lock-in. This is best accomplished with solutions based on an open source model. In other words: while businesses certainly appreciate the cost and time savings open source offers, what they truly need is the control and flexibility it affords.

Open source will help solve SCADA software interoperability

This prediction is a bit specific to the Industrial IoT (IIoT), but given the size of this market, everyone from Chevron to Intel are carefully building solutions based on open source to address this issue. While SCADA providers have fully embraced IoT as a concept, sector growth has been limited by lack of interoperability between proprietary systems. Open source IoT solutions, such as Sparkplug, will enable new innovations that finally allow for true widespread interoperability. 

2021 will mark the rise of the Hybrid Edge

Hybrid cloud was definitely one of the biggest buzzwords of 2020, but in 2021, we believe this concept will be applied to edge computing architectures. Just as hybrid cloud requires orchestration between public, private, and distributed compute architectures, so too will enterprises that may be deploying their own edge networks, using edge compute offerings from a cloud provider, and operating separate edge networks for different use cases (AI vs. IoT for example). What is needed to fulfill this vision is an open source platform for Edge computing that the industry can rally around.

Cloud providers will embrace open source edge computing

Late 2020 saw all three major cloud providers – AWS, Azure, and GCP – deliver their own edge offerings. We believe 2021 will not only see a continuation of this trend, but also see providers embrace open source edge solutions as a means of differentiation and to speed innovation within their own development efforts. 

For organizations looking to leverage both edge computing and IoT, they need to carefully evaluate their strategies and the open source alternatives that will enable their software-defined initiatives to thrive. By doing so, they will enable not just near-term efficiency, but lay a foundation upon which future innovations can be built for years to come. 

Automotive Software Predictions 

Of all the market segments I’ve written about today, none have been as slow to adopt the open source model as the automotive industry. Open source is potentially a life saver for this industry given its many challenges.

Automakers will respond to the impact of the pandemic by accelerating their digital transformation. 

By and large, OEMs in the global auto sector have recognized a deep need to move on from development models of a bygone era. The global economic impact of the pandemic is forcing their hand to quickly pivot to meet the needs of a new economy. They know this. What will change in 2021 is the realization that mastering the art of open source is a necessary step in their digital transformation. 

OSS will serve as the primary catalyst in most automakers digital transformation. 

We’re already seeing this shift begin in 2020. The traditional automakers are embracing open source to establish industry-scale collaboration on core frameworks, toolchains, and systems for interoperability, simulation, testing, validation, and certification. We expect to see accelerating OSS innovation in areas like AI for autonomous driving, with some companies contributing AI elements to the open ecosystem. 

In 2021, the challenges of autonomous vehicle design will force the industry to turn to community-based collaboration in order to reach its full potential. 

Currently, the majority of firms choose to perform their development completely in-house. 2021 will see some of these organizations become aware that they cannot do everything alone. We predict more partnerships and potentially some consolidation in the market as well. Firms will shift to a more collaborative approach that leverages the entire industry, with the OSS model serving as a mechanism to enable this transition.  

And let’s not forget the best part about open source; you can participate in the process and help guide the outcome. The Eclipse Foundation is just one means to this end, but you want to find out more, visit here – https://www.eclipse.org/membership/#tab-membership

In the meantime, I’m looking forward to engaging with many of you as we all work to build more positive outcomes for 2021. Happy New Year everyone! 

Written by Mike Milinkovich

January 7, 2021 at 7:41 am

An update on the Eclipse Foundation’s move to Europe

In May we announced that the Eclipse Foundation is becoming a Belgian international nonprofit association. I wanted to take this opportunity to provide you with an update on the progress of the transition, the next steps, and what it all means to our global community of developers and diverse membership base.

Let’s start with where we are in the process. At time of writing, all of the incorporation and related documents have been filed with the Belgian authorities, and we are waiting for the Royal Decree which will formally create our new entity, the Eclipse Foundation AISBL. This normally takes on the order of sixty days and we expect the process to be finalized by early-to-mid October.

In parallel, the Board of Directors of the Eclipse Foundation, Inc. have approved a series of changes to the Bylaws and Membership Agreement of the existing Delaware, USA-based entity and we will be seeking the approval of the membership-at-large for those changes. To our members and committers, please stay tuned for your voting credentials in late August. In addition, some revisions have been made to our IP Policy and Antitrust Policy to enable both our US and Belgian entities to have exactly the same policies.

Once the new Belgian entity Eclipse Foundation AISBL is created and the approvals are finalized to the Eclipse Foundation, Inc.’s Bylaws and Membership Agreement, all members will be required to update their Membership Agreement and related other agreements. You will be asked to join Eclipse Foundation AISBL, and to resign your membership in the existing US organization. At the same time, we will be asking you to re-sign your Member Committer and Contribution Agreement (MCCA) and any Working Group Participation Agreements.

So exactly what’s changing?

As part of moving to European-based governance, effective October 1st we will be restating our membership dues for both the Belgian-based Eclipse Foundation AISBL and the existing Eclipse Foundation, Inc. in euros while retaining the same numeric value. So if you are currently paying $20,000, the dues in the new organization will be 20.000€. We understand that due to currency exchange rates this represents an increase in  dues. To help mitigate that, all members who renew between October 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021 will have their euro-based membership fees discounted by 10%. This modest increase is the first fee increase we have had in almost 15 years, and we hope that members appreciate the merit of stating all fees in euros as we complete this transition.

As part of the European transition, we are changing the name of the Solutions Members membership level to Contributing Members. We feel that this will better reflect the current, diverse group of organizations who participate and contribute to the Eclipse ecosystem in many ways, including, but not limited to, leading and contributing to our open source projects, and offering products and services based on Eclipse Foundation technologies.

Working Group Participation Agreements (WGPAs) will be updated to reflect the change of the corporate domicile to Belgium, as will the working group charters once approved by the respective Steering Committees. There are no fee changes to any working group participation associated with this transition, though some working groups may decide to restate their fees in Euros at some point in the future, similar to membership fees. As always, the budgets and fees established for each working group are determined by the Steering Committee of the working group.

For our committers, if you are an individual Committer Member you will be asked to execute the new Belgian Membership Agreement. If you have previously executed a committer agreement with the Eclipse Foundation as an individual, then you will need to re-execute the new version of the Individual Contributor Agreement.

For committers who are employees or consultants of a member company who has a Member Committer and Contributor Agreement (MCCA), your employer will be asked to execute the new MCCA, and no actions will be required on your part.

Our new GitLab-based forge physically hosted in Europe is operational and available as a choice for any projects that would like to use it. As we expand our presence in Europe, we anticipate new exciting opportunities for our global community members to participate and contribute in new open source projects. More announcements on this front will be coming soon.

What’s staying the same?

As far as day-to-day interactions with the Eclipse Foundation, nothing will change for member organizations or committer members. Our projects and working groups will continue to run as is, and the recently modified IP Policy and Antitrust Policy of the Eclipse Foundation AISBL are identical to those of the US organization. Eclipse Foundation AISBL will become the steward of the Eclipse Public License and govern our community’s license going forward. The bulk of the Foundation’s operations will continue to be split between Europe and Canada, and you can expect your engagement with the staff of the Foundation to remain unchanged.

When is this all happening?

There are a lot of moving parts with this corporate restructuring, and we ask in advance for both your patience and your active engagement and support. Here are some upcoming key dates that members and committers need to be aware of:

  • August 31, 2020: Voting begins on approving the necessary changes to the Eclipse Foundation, Inc. (EF-US) Bylaws and Membership Agreement. Voting will go until September 29th. The new EF-US Bylaws and Membership Agreement will go into effect as soon as practicable after the completion of the membership vote.
  • October 1, 2020: The new dues structure stated in euros will go into effect. Renewals for existing members will receive a 10% discount for the following twelve months.
  • Soon after the Royal Decree which legally establishes the Eclipse Foundation AISBL we will be contacting all of our members and committers to update their agreements with the new Belgian entity. This may include your membership agreement, committer agreements, and working group participation agreements as applicable.

I hope that this post has helped update you on the execution of the transition and the way forward for the next exciting phase of our community’s expansion. If you have questions or feedback, feel free to reach out to me, or to our team at eclipse-europe@eclipse.org. Thank you for your continued support!

 

Written by Mike Milinkovich

August 20, 2020 at 6:03 am

Real-World IoT Adoption

The results of our first IoT Commercial Adoption survey tell a clear story about what organizations are doing with IoT right now and their plans for production deployments. The goal of the survey was to go beyond the IoT Developer Survey we’ve conducted for the last six years to gain insight into the industry landscape from the point of view of a broader spectrum of IoT ecosystem stakeholders.

Here are some of the key findings from the survey:

  • IoT may well live up to the hype, if somewhat slower than expected. Just under 40 percent of survey respondents are deploying IoT solutions today. Another 22 percent plan to start deploying IoT within the next two years.
  • IoT investment is on the rise, with 40 percent of organizations planning to increase their IoT spending in the next fiscal year.
  • Open source pervades IoT as a key enabler with 60 percent of companies factoring open source into their IoT deployment plans.
  • Hybrid clouds lead the way for IoT deployments. Overall, AWS, Azure, and GCP are the leading cloud platforms for IoT implementations.

The Commercial Perspective Is Crucial

The survey asked respondents to identify the requirements, priorities, and challenges they’re facing as they deploy and start using commercial IoT solutions, including those based on open source technologies. The survey ran for two months last fall and received responses from more than 360 individuals from a wide range of industries and organizations. You can read the full survey results here, and I would encourage IoT ecosystem players to do that.

IoT Ecosystem Players Must Focus on Real-World Requirements

As our survey results revealed, each player in the IoT ecosystem has an important role in driving IoT adoption. Here are some key takeaways broken down by stakeholder group.

  • Software vendors should incorporate open source technologies into their solutions to give customers the flexibility and control they need.
  • IoT platform vendors should build offerings that support hybrid cloud environments to become more responsive to customer requirements. At least part of the reason multi-cloud adoption is still in its early stages is because — not surprisingly — the leading cloud providers don’t offer their IoT platform services on other cloud platforms.
  • IoT solution providers should be prepared for extensive and intensive proofs of concept and pilot projects before they get to the stage of full production rollouts. With companies reluctant to invest heavily in IoT before they’re confident in the return on investment, these practical and tangible demonstrations will be key to encouraging broader adoption.
  • Manufacturing organizations should implement IoT solutions that tie automation, asset management, and logistics together. The most innovative organizations will also rely on IoT technologies to improve their value proposition to customers, for example, by including preventive maintenance features on manufacturing equipment.

Get Involved in Eclipse IoT

It will take a diverse community co-developing a uniform set of building blocks based on open source and open standard to drive broad IoT adoption. If you’re interested in participating in the industry-scale collaboration happening at the Eclipse IoT Working Group or contributing to Eclipse IoT projects, please visit https://iot.eclipse.org/.

As an added benefit of membership, Eclipse IoT Working Group members receive exclusive access to detailed industry research findings, including those from the annual IoT Developer Survey, which are leveraged by the entire industry.

The 2020 IoT Developer Survey is coming soon. If you’d like to contribute questions or provide feedback, join the working group mailing list here.

Written by Mike Milinkovich

March 10, 2020 at 12:57 pm

The Internet of Things Will be Built on Open Source

This post was originally published on the Bosch Connected World Blog.

The Internet of Things is poised to become the next wave of technology to fundamentally change how humanity works, plays, and interacts with their environment. It is expected to transform everything from manufacturing to care for the elderly. The internet itself has — in twenty short years — dramatically transformed society. This scale of change and progress is about to be repeated, in perhaps even larger and more rapid ways. New ventures will emerge, existing businesses will be disrupted, and everywhere the incumbents will be challenged with new technologies, processes, and insight.

It is important to recognize that the internet is successful because it is one of the most radically open technology platforms in history. The fundamental protocols of the internet were invented in the 1970’s, and put in the public domain in the late 1980’s. The world-wide web was invented at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), which made it free for everyone. In subsequent years, open source technologies such as Linux, the Apache web server and the Netscape / Firefox browser ensured that the basic infrastructure for the web is based on open source. The technology behemoths of our day such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Twitter are only able to scale their infrastructure and their business models by relying on open source. In short: our modern digital world is built on open source software.

The Internet of Things will be implemented using open source software platforms. There is utterly no alternative to this outcome. Anyone who says otherwise is fooling themselves.

There are four reasons why this is true.

  1. Scale: Depending on which analyst you prefer, the next decade will see between 50 and 70 billion sensors being deployed on Earth. This will require tens, if not hundreds of millions of routers, gateways, and data servers. There is simply no way to achieve those levels of scale without relying on open source software to drive the vast majority of that infrastructure. Any other approach will simply be unaffordable, and will be out-competed by the economies of scale achievable by the open source alternatives.
  2. Freedom to Innovate: Open source software allows permission-less innovation. In particular, open source allows innovation by integration, where developers create new and novel systems by combining freely available open source components. This approach is somewhere between difficult and impossible for proprietary software stacks, where the vendor has to drive all of the invention.
  3. Inter-operability: I am a big believer in open standards, and firmly believe that they will be an integral part of the IoT. However, it has been proven time and again that the best possible way to have a new technology achieve rapid adoption is by combining open standards with a robust open source implementation. OSS implementations provide an easy adoption path, near-perfect interoperability with others, and reduces the cost of entering the market. In a world where developers are becoming one of the most precious of commodities, it makes no sense to waste them on implementing a standard. They should be focused on building software which provides the firm with product differentiating features that customers value.
  4. Developers: Lastly, recruiting and enabling developers is a key, and often overlooked part of any IoT strategy. By the end of this decade the number of IoT developers needs to grow from a few hundred thousand to over four million. Today’s developers demand open source solutions and tools. Even a decade ago, technology acquisition was largely a top-down process. Now technology choices are largely made bottom-up, by developers experimenting with open source components and integrating them into a solution.

For these reasons, IoT is rapidly becoming a strategic area of focus for the Eclipse community. From three projects two years ago the Eclipse IoT community has grown to seventeen projects, implementing protocols, device gateway frameworks, vertical frameworks, and tools for the needs of IoT developers.

Bosch has been an active member of the Eclipse Foundation since March 2010. Their initial focus was on the Automotive Working Group, which has been working on tools and methods for automotive embedded systems. Its subsidiary Bosch Software Innovations (BoschSI) is one of the world’s thought leaders in driving open source platforms for the Internet of Things. They have recognized its importance, and with contributions such as the Eclipse Vorto project are helping to make it a reality. The Eclipse Foundation values the partnership that we have with the development teams, and look forward to a long and fruitful collaboration.

The digital world we have today is built on open source technologies. The Internet of Things will be too. Come join the Eclipse IoT community to help make that happen

Written by Mike Milinkovich

October 28, 2014 at 3:50 am