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Oracle Shuttering OpenSSO 128

mdm42 writes "OpenSSO is one of the best open source web Single Sign On projects out there. Sun Microsystems made OpenSSO open source in 2008, so it's sad to see how, after absorbing Sun, Oracle is shutting down this amazing project, labelling it 'not strategic' and dismembering the few parts they think are worthwhile for their own SSO effort. They started by freezing the next express release, and during the last few weeks they have been removing all the open source downloads from the OpenSSO website and removing content from the wiki. Fortunately, a Norwegian company called ForgeRock has stepped up to the plate in an attempt to salvage the project under the new name OpenAM."
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Oracle Shuttering OpenSSO

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  • The Sun Also Sets (Score:3, Insightful)

    by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Friday March 19, 2010 @04:51PM (#31544428)
    Another nail in the once proud legacy of Sun.
  • Re: Maybe not (Score:4, Insightful)

    by colinnwn (677715) on Friday March 19, 2010 @04:54PM (#31544476)
    MySQL would be a very high profile project to kill. I think it is more likely they would provide much less support and engineering resources for it going forward, leaving it to the community outside of Sun to keep it feature and bug competitive.
  • by Night64 (1175319) on Friday March 19, 2010 @04:56PM (#31544490)
    Oracle is probably trying to leverage her own Identity Management product against IBM and Novell, who are kings on this market.
  • OSS FTW... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 19, 2010 @04:57PM (#31544498)
    because it was OSS, it can be forked and survive. :)
  • by PFAK (524350) * on Friday March 19, 2010 @04:58PM (#31544516)

    OpenSSO is not a trademark of Oracle/Sun, you can see a list of trademarks for Sun at []

  • by PFAK (524350) * on Friday March 19, 2010 @05:00PM (#31544560)

    Well, considering, there is no official announcement from Oracle that they are pulling OpenSSO from their product lineup. This article/blog entry is mere speculation.

  • by BitZtream (692029) on Friday March 19, 2010 @05:04PM (#31544614)

    Or it could be that no one actually gave a shit about OpenSSO outside a very small group of people.

    Its funny that everyone assume Oracle is being evil when a simple bit of common sense makes it pretty clear that its a waste of resources from pretty much every perspective to Oracle.

  • by Gerald (9696) on Friday March 19, 2010 @05:08PM (#31544656) Homepage

    It's not a registered trademark. You have plenty of rights over a mark even when you haven't registered it.

  • by olyar (591892) on Friday March 19, 2010 @05:13PM (#31544726) Homepage Journal

    As much as this is a bummer, it's actually a great example of the OSS model at work.

    If this was a closed source solution, where the company got acquired and the product wasn't strategic, the solution would just be gone.

    With OSS though, another company - for whom the solution is strategic - can step in and pick up the project.

  • Re:MySQL next? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Locke2005 (849178) on Friday March 19, 2010 @05:14PM (#31544730)
    Why so sad? This only proves that you can't kill an open source project; any worthwhile project will have someone else pick up the development, with or without forking it. If Sun attempts to "kill" MySQL, somebody else will pick that up too. Sure, repurposing the paid developers formerly working on the project is a real loss to the project, but not a fatal one.
  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Friday March 19, 2010 @05:18PM (#31544780)

    Just like MySQL? I can't see the business case that will cause Oracle to keep MySQL around. A low-end version into the DB market? Just slap a few limitations on an actual Oracle DB, and presto - low-end version with a trivial upgrade path to "the real thing."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 19, 2010 @05:18PM (#31544786)

    As a Snorkel employee (Sun->Oracle) I'll add a simple comment. If it isn't profitable or strategic, it will be shuttered or turned loose to the community to support. It is *as simple as that*.

  • Re:MySQL next? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by seebs (15766) on Friday March 19, 2010 @05:20PM (#31544812) Homepage

    Gee, if only we had PostgreSQL doing just fine as an alternative, then I wouldn't mind so much if MySQL went away.

  • by Chyeld (713439) <> on Friday March 19, 2010 @05:21PM (#31544822)

    Information on the Wiki being removed, all of the 'opensource' versions removed for download, all updates to the same removed, leaving only the pay "enterprise" version avaliable?

    Let me guess, in a previous life you worked in Baghdad handing press announcements concerning the Allied troop advances for the Iraqi government.

  • by Kjella (173770) on Friday March 19, 2010 @05:23PM (#31544842) Homepage

    Reality check: Nobody buys a company and just carries on because unless it was really mispriced in the market, you've gained nothing. You might as well have put the money in a stock fund. In closed source companies this means projects get canceled, reprioritized, product portfolios are aligned and they search high and low for the claimed synergies they were supposed to get. What happens in open source companies? Exactly this same. There's been quite a few of these stories now and they're all full of trivial projects and tin foil hat conspiracy. I just checked Digg and THEY got better stories than this. I'm quite the geek but still... stuff that matters. Or is at least cool, interesting or funny in a nerdy way. But not "Minor corporate politics" for 100$, I'll pass Alex.

  • by copponex (13876) on Friday March 19, 2010 @05:24PM (#31544850) Homepage

    The information asymmetry involved in technology make it a very lucrative place to be. A vast majority of people don't understand the differences between Windows and Linux, much less the difference of open and closed source.

    Oracle is determining what parts of Sun are profitable, and planning to abandon the parts that are not. The abandonment of unprofitable Sun products will be touted as their commitment to open source. The privatization of Sun products will be touted as their commitment to innovation, or some other meaningless phrase.

    If it makes you feel any better, that was also the policy of Sun. And Microsoft. And Apple. If you are ever on the wrong side of a profit equation for a company, you will be screwed. This is as certain as death and taxes.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 19, 2010 @05:36PM (#31544978)

    Not true.

    Let me cite an example in the exact same market space: CA acquired Netegrity because they wanted SiteMinder even though they (CA) already had a web SSO product. In addition to SiteMinder (their main business) Netegrity had a provisioning product. After the acquisition closed CA shot their in house SSO product and shot Netegrity's provisioning product.

    CA would never have even considered selling either product to anyone else at any price for two reasons:
    * why compete with a product you created when you already own it
    * it's better to migrate your existing customers on the "to be killed" product over to the strategic product than to sell them off along with the product you're killing.

    This happens throughout the software industry every time there's an acquisition and some overlapping products. The acquirer decides which products will live on, which will be shot immediately and which will be put onto life support until customers can be gently moved off onto the strategic product.

    The only difference here, as the grandparent says, is that someone can grab the code and resources and carry on.

  • by DMUTPeregrine (612791) on Friday March 19, 2010 @05:44PM (#31545104) Journal
    This is the first time I've heard of OpenSSO. Now, I'm not a web developer, but isn't OpenID much more popular as a SSO service?
  • Ironic (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ritzer (934174) on Friday March 19, 2010 @05:51PM (#31545192) Journal
    This has got to be the height of irony. Lamenting, a commercial entity is dropping a project that doesn't make money... But, isn't the beauty of open source related to the fact that those who care, can pick up the source and make it work? So, prove it.
  • Re:OSS FTW... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 19, 2010 @06:09PM (#31545366)
    ...or OSS FTL? If it had a viable business model behind it, they wouldn't be killing it off.
  • Re:SPARC (Score:4, Insightful)

    by david_thornley (598059) on Friday March 19, 2010 @06:19PM (#31545448)

    SPARC is strategic. It gives Oracle an opportunity to provide a whole hardware and software stack.

  • Re: Maybe not (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jhol13 (1087781) on Friday March 19, 2010 @07:54PM (#31546256)

    Why? MySQL is a goose laying golden eggs. Why would Oracle kill it?

    They will charge for the support and engineering, just like Trolltech and Sun did.

  • Re: Maybe not (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dimeglio (456244) on Friday March 19, 2010 @08:26PM (#31546424)

    Once you go opensource, you can't go back.

  • by petermgreen (876956) <> on Friday March 19, 2010 @09:22PM (#31546704) Homepage

    Yeae. and pretty much any time some propritary software package is terminated, it is almost certainly available for sale to someone else so it can be taken over if its worth it to someone.

    Buying out a propietry requires a substantial chunk of cash up front. So it's only an option if one of the following applies.
    1: you are big enough to buy it out
    2: you can convince another company that it's worth thier while to buy it out, take it over and sell you licences.
    3: you can get enough of the community together to buy it out.

    And even if you can get the money together the owner still has to be willing to sell. They may not be especially if they consider killing the project to be a strategic move.

    Copying the code of an opensource project and setting up repositries OTOH is so cheap that anyone can do it. Minimal maintenance (accepting bugfixes, dealing with new OS releases etc) is some work but should be managable by a few interested users working together.

It is contrary to reasoning to say that there is a vacuum or space in which there is absolutely nothing. -- Descartes