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Archive for the ‘Strategy’ Category

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

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

Introducing Eclipse Labs

Back in December, I discussed a number of initiatives that the Eclipse Foundation was going to be working on in 2010. The one that attracted the most feedback was “Eclipse Labs”. Well, we are very happy to announce that thanks to Google, this idea has become a reality. Better yet, Google has already released a cool new project “Workspace Mechanic” on Eclipse Labs.

The Eclipse community has a large and vibrant ecosystem of commercial and open source add-ons to the Eclipse platform. In the open source world, there are two options if you want to start an Eclipse oriented project: 1) propose a project with the Eclipse Foundation or 2) start a project on one of the existing forges, ex. Google Code, SourceForge, Codehaus, etc. For some projects, the IP due diligence and development process expected of Eclipse projects is not warranted. However, creating an Eclipse project on a forge makes it difficult to gain visibility in the Eclipse community. Can we find a third option that allows projects to start and prosper without the process of the Foundation but at the same time gain some of the visibility Eclipse projects often get by being at the Foundation?

Last year, we started a discussion with the people running the Project Hosting on Google Code service to see if they would be interested in creating an Eclipse area on Google Code. They had already been thinking along the same lines and were very receptive to the idea. Therefore, I am excited to announce the availability of Eclipse Labs, a third option for Eclipse oriented open source projects.

What is Eclipse Labs?
If you have ever created a project on Google Code you will quickly recognize Eclipse Labs. Eclipse Labs allows you to very quickly create an open source project with access to an issue tracking system, source code repository (Subversion or Mercurial) and a project web site. The default license is EPL but you can change it to the other licenses available on Google Code. Anyone can create a project on Eclipse Labs at any time. (Assuming you agree to the Google Code terms of use and the Eclipse Labs guidelines.) Eclipse Labs projects are encouraged to use the org.eclipselabs namespace, but are not required to do so.

Eclipse Labs project owners will also be encouraged to create tags/labels to describe your project. We have pre-populated a set of Eclipse specific labels that will be displayed on the Eclipse Labs search page. Eclipse Labs will also have an API that allows people to search on these labels. My hope is that Eclipse projects will begin to highlight on their own web site Eclipse Labs projects that are relevant to their own project. For example, Eclipse BIRT could list all the BIRT add-ons created on Eclipse Labs. We also want to populate Eclipse Marketplace with the projects from Eclipse Labs. The API is not yet available but it should be in the next couple of weeks. I think this will present a lot of opportunity for cross pollination for Eclipse Labs projects.

What is Eclipse Labs Not?
Remember, this is a third option. Projects hosted on Eclipse Labs are not official Eclipse projects. Therefore, they can’t be called Eclipse projects, use the org.eclipse namespace or be included in the Release Train or Packages. If an Eclipse project wants to include an Eclipse Labs project they will need to go through the normal IP process. If a project wants any of these benefits they must become an Eclipse Foundation project. The details have been specified in the Eclipse Labs Guidelines.

Moving Forward
Eclipse Labs is open for business now. It is still in a beta form, so please provide your feedback.

Our hope is that Eclipse Labs quickly grows to a larger number of projects than are already hosted at the Eclipse Foundation. We need to make it as easy as possible for someone to open source their awesome Eclipse based technology. Not all projects need to be hosted at the Eclipse Foundation and in fact I am hoping more projects will start at Eclipse Labs and then, if they choose, graduate to the Eclipse Foundation.

Big Thanks to Google
The people at Google have been great during this process. Google has once again shown their commitment and support for the open source community. Obviously without this support Eclipse Labs would not have been possible.

Thanks also goes to Ian Skerrett for driving this from our side!

Written by Mike Milinkovich

May 13, 2010 at 1:42 pm

It’s a Dessert Topping and a Floor Wax

Last week we saw probably more conversation than any of us wanted about the notion that Eclipse is a trade association and therefore not an open source community. I believe that perspective to be misguided as it implies those two states are somehow mutually exclusive. They are not. And it is our community’s embrace of both that makes Eclipse unique.

The Eclipse Foundation is and always will be a trade association. It is also and always will be an open source community. This duality is built into our bylaws, our organization and, I would assert, our DNA. Consider the following sentence from the first paragraph of our Bylaws:

The purpose of Eclipse Foundation Inc., (the “Eclipse Foundation”), is to advance the creation, evolution, promotion, and support of the Eclipse Platform and to cultivate both an open source community and an ecosystem of complementary products, capabilities, and services.

That sentence captures the very essence of the Eclipse Foundation. Our mission is to both move the technology and community forward and to work on its commercialization. The “trade association” of member companies financially support the operations of the Eclipse Foundation. Over 70 of them also provide committers who work on projects. There are relatively few obligations that an Eclipse member company undertakes when they sign the membership agreement, but one of the most important is to create a commercial offering based on Eclipse technologies. It is that obligation which completes the loop from open source to commercialization to trade association and back. Those trade association members are not strangers: they are companies that are intimately involved in and committed to the success of the entire Eclipse community.

There is no doubt that the focus on commercialization places added burdens on Eclipse projects. Our development and IP processes require real work to comply with. But there is value in that labour, and the value is in the added use, adoption, commercialization and plain old respect that the Eclipse brand brings to a project. Not every Eclipse-based open source project needs to be hosted at the Foundation. For some projects, our processes may be too heavyweight. But those projects are still a valuable part of the broader Eclipse ecosystem.

The Eclipse community is also an open development community. I strongly believe that our development process has all of the attributes of openness, transparency and meritocracy that open development requires. Our unique approach to open source development is what enables things like the annual release train, which is arguably the best run, most predictable feat of software engineering on the planet. And let’s not forget that although many projects at Eclipse are supported by developers working at member companies, there are many also projects with active participants who are here as individuals.

But there is also no denying that we have our challenges. Every project would love to have more resources and more community involvement. We need to make it easier for newcomers to contribute. There are projects who frankly don’t do a great job of welcoming contributions. We have to attract more resources committed to evolving the core platform. We have a major new release of the platform coming next year. The staff and the Board of the Eclipse Foundation recognize all of these challenges and are working very hard to address them.

The balance between a trade association and an open source community makes Eclipse unique in the software industry. We have always been both, and that has always been an important part of our success. We are different, and in my mind that is a very good thing. I believe that we should all be very proud of the organization that we have created.

Written by Mike Milinkovich

December 11, 2009 at 10:21 am

Posted in Foundation, Strategy

Membership Value Programs for 2010

Monday I blogged about some of the program plans we have for 2010 that are targeted at our project and committer community. Today, let’s turn to some of the things that we have in store for our members and the commercial ecosystem around Eclipse. Not all of these are new, but in each case there is significant value to the community, and there are at least a few new twists that we have planned for 2010.

  • Events: First of all, we are going to be continuing with the program items which have been very successful for the community the past couple of years. Amongst the most successful are the event programs that deliver the Eclipse Days and the Democamps. You may not be aware of this, but each of these events is sponsored in part by the Eclipse Foundation, in conjunction with one or more member companies. They have been enormously successful for bringing the community together, and in delivering value to members. For next year we are planning Democamp programs that line up with the Helios and e4 releases. And we hope to work with the members to bring even more topical Eclipse Days to your locale.
  • Conferences: EclipseCon and Eclipse Summit Europe are significant events in the annual calendars of the ecosystem. Although the content is very technical, a great deal of the talks are relevant to Eclipse users and adopters. The exhibit halls are also a great place for companies to show the cool products that they’ve been building with Eclipse. Running these conferences is a huge amount of work for a small organization such as the Eclipse Foundation, but they do great things for the ecosystem.
  • Eclipse Marketplace: As Ian blogged about yesterday, this week saw the launch of our new “Eclipse Marketplace”. This is a completely new replacement for the venerable Eclipse Plug-in Central (EPIC) website that has served the community well for so many years. Marketplace is a new code base with more features and more flexibility. (As an aside, I would like to recognize the great work that Genuitec, Instantiations and EclipseSource (formerly Innoopract) did in creating EPIC, and then helping us with transitioning its hosting to the Eclipse Foundation.) In 2010 we are going to be looking to expand Marketplace’s visibility in a couple of interesting ways:
    • We are going to be creating a Marketplace client that will ship with the Helios packages. The hope is that by making it easy to get plug-ins directly from within the IDE that will be able to drive more traffic to the commercial and open source plug-ins which make up the Eclipse ecosystem. Please comment on the bug where we are gathering requirements.
    • We are going to be working to make it easier for users and adopters to find products and services which are based on particular Eclipse projects. Using the data that we will have in Marketplace you will, for example, be able to find the companies that offer services for a particular Eclipse project.

    By the way, if you just read the above and are thinking “that’s lame, where’s the Eclipse AppStore?” you are not alone. We looked long and hard at doing an appstore in 2010 but in the end decided that we just did not have the resources. It turns out that while building the infrastructure for a commercial appstore may be tractable for an organization as small as the Eclipse Foundation, dealing with the legal and tax issues of selling in countries around the world is not. We will be re-evaluating this decision again next year.

  • Ship Helios and e4: Many readers may be surprised to see this topic listed under the program value for the commercial membership. After all, aren’t these Eclipse open source projects? They are indeed. But in terms of the value that the Eclipse Foundation brings to its commercial membership, these major new releases represent a lot of marketing, IT and IP value add from the Foundation staff. The annual release train brings enormous value to the commercial ecosystem because it provides them with a stable, predictable and IP reviewed platform each year upon which products can be built. The release train has been enormously beneficial to the commercial ecosystem. Obviously, most of the work is done by the project community. But it also represents the single largest work item on our annual calendar at the Eclipse Foundation.

So those are a few areas that the Foundation staff will be working on next year. I hope you agree that it looks like a busy and productive year coming up in 2010.

Written by Mike Milinkovich

December 9, 2009 at 4:28 pm

Posted in Foundation, Strategy