In Open Source Move, SpringSource Buys Covalent

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SpringSource CEO Rod Johnson said the genesis of the deal emerged during a meeting in June with Walnut Creek, Calif-based Covalent's CEO, Mark Brewer. "It was becoming necessary for the companies to partner to provide customers with the capabilities the other had," he said. "We see this acquisition as a natural way to further our ability to deliver subscription value adds incorporating open source technology."

Brewer will join SpringSource as general manager of the Covalent division. "What we've been doing to date won't change, but this deal improves our reach and allows us to pair our technologies together," he said. "Companies are looking at the best product to meet their needs, and if it's an open source product that adds benefits."

While Brewer acknowledges open source is becoming an increasingly attractive alternative to proprietary-based software, he says it's not enough to just provide open source products and support. "It's not the fact that we're open source," Brewer said. Companies want products that offer them the best solutions, he says, a statement Johnson agrees with.

"We have very similar visions of where open source needs to be," he said. "Things like licensing costs are just one component of the TCO."

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Johnson says it does not make sense in the enterprise space to accept inferior solutions just because of lower cost. "The open source solutions that get adoption," he said, "have to meet the same criteria as you would see for proprietary software."