IBM tests new ways to support open source

Big Blue announces measures to promote innovation in open-source technologies and boost ties with academia.

2 min read
IBM on Wednesday announced new measures designed to promote open-source innovation, including a job candidate database and an e-learning initiative.

The database is scheduled to launch in the third quarter, cataloging the resumes of university students who have open-source expertise.

Related story
IBM taking open
source on world tour

Big Blue plans a Linux
outreach effort to help
groom local talent
around the globe.

People eligible for inclusion in the database will include those who attend a post-secondary institution covered under IBM's Academic Initiative and pass IBM's professional certification exams in open source.

The database will be searchable by IBM customers and business partners. At first, the database will cover North America, but IBM plans to expand to other regions in the future.

The company, which made the announcements as part of its PartnerWorld conference in Las Vegas, also unveiled an e-learning program that will offer course materials to colleges and universities to help teach advanced software development using open standards.

Dubbed Shared Software Infrastructure Hubs, the program is based on the IBM Rational Software Development Platform, WebSphere, DB2, Workplace, Tivoli middleware and eServers running Linux.

IBM will provide the middleware and hardware needed at the universities through the IBM Academic Initiative and aims to charge little or nothing for the hubs.

Avnet Partner Solutions, an IBM distributor, will work with IBM and the schools to shape curriculum, work with students on projects and support development of the hubs.

The first such hub is slated to open this spring at Texas A&M University.

"This new platform will help schools overcome budget challenges in creating their own open skills curriculum, or supplement existing programs, without having to build it from the ground up," said Buell Duncan, general manager of the Academic Initiative.

Also at PartnerWorld, IBM announced that the company and its business partners will open 100 new "innovation centers" this year. The companies have pledged $150 million to open the centers, which Big Blue describes as places where people such as systems integrators, independent software vendors, value-added distributors and solution providers can access IBM's skills and equipment to help them test and optimize their products. The idea is to help them get to market faster and reduce their development costs.

As part of IBM's National Innovation Initiative program, about 40 such centers have already opened in North America and Europe since the program was launched in 2004.

Existing centers include the Developer Technical Support Center in Dallas and the WebSphere Competency Center in Pittsburgh. The centers also showcase eServer and TotalStorage products, as well as software.