When I prompted Jesse Gorzinski, IBM’s Business Architect for open source on IBM i and creator of IBM i Access Client Solutions (ACS), “What is open source?” at the start of January’s iChime meeting, I was not surprised by his perfectly succinct reply.
“Open source is any application source code not only where there is a community for you to see the source code, but (that) also has some type of active contribution process by which you can suggest changes and make improvements to suit your needs,” Jesse explained. And “free” means freedom, not necessarily free of cost, he added.
One of the biggest challenges of using open source, he continued, is “the alphabet soup” of different technologies. But, he emphasized, that’s due more to the relative newness of open-source terminology to RPG developers, not to the validity of the methodology. Do not let that intimidate you, he urged as he shared his own journey from RPG developer to now-renowned open-source-on-IBM i expert — a reassuring story met by many nods of testament and a few “Hmmm”s of relief from many of the 60 attendees.
Jesse further explained how some processes which are already developed can easily be integrated into your existing applications and do much of the heavy lifting. Then he delivered to everyone just what they’d needed: a live, confident demonstration of Apache Camel (camel.apache.org), demonstrating with just a few lines of code how we could capture database changes which could be useful for other external applications.
During the session I polled attendees with a multiple-choice survey, asking, “What is your company’s attitude and readiness to adopt open-source solutions?”
Unsurprisingly, more than half (56 percent) replied, “We already have some in production and are always looking for new solutions to integrate.” Clearly open-source solutions have already made their mark on our community.
What did I take away? The incredible depth of Jesse’s knowledge and passion for the ever-increasing adoption of open-source solutions, and how they clearly and quickly will enhance our existing applications to new heights.
Follow Jesse Gorzinski on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/ibmjesseg?lang=en
If you want to join the open-source fun on IBM i, be sure to join one of the best collaboritive communities at https://ibmioss.ryver.com/application/signup/members/9tJsXDG7_iSSi1Q.
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