Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Leverage Your Core Competency

SD Times recently published my article on leveraging your core competency (free registration required).

In a recent posting, CollabNet is apparently attempting to reframe the article - which is fundamentally about leveraging an organization’s core competency - into a discussion of commercial software versus open source software. This is surprising because both CollabNet and AccuRev have business models that are based on a hybrid approach that involves a mix of commercial and open source tools.

AccuRev is a member of the Eclipse foundation, and a contributing member of the Eclipse ALF project which aims to provide a framework for software development tool interoperability. Furthermore, as an ardent believer in the advantages of good SCM, AccuRev salutes CollabNet’s efforts to advance the state of the art. We have a great deal of respect for the work that they have done with CollabNet Subversion and believe that CollabNet Subversion is arguably the best free SCM tool available today.

The central point of the article is that businesses should do a careful ROI analysis of the costs associated with maintaining their own homegrown SCM system (open source-based or not) in comparison with purchasing similar off-the-shelf functionality from vendors such as AccuRev and CollabNet. The subtler decision points are in the gaps between any given tool’s actual implemented capabilities and your full set of technology requirements.