Infor M3 open source platform announcement thing

Let’s talk about the Infor M3 open source platform announcement thing.

Announcement

In 2015, Infor announced: “The latest Infor M3 solution now features an open source based Linux platform as a deployment choice to reduce total cost of ownership for customers.”

It is admirable to support open source software, so please join us in congratulating Infor.

What about free/libre software?

It would have been more admirable to support free/libre software. The open source movement and the free/libre software movement are related but distinct; freedom is more important than open source.

Supported platform

The following documentation, M3 Core 13.4 Installation Guides Red Hat Linux > M3 Core Installation Planning Guide – RHEL > Introduction and overview > Installation Scenarios > Recommendations, says M3 Core is now available as an option on “Red Hat Enterprise Linux as operating system and Postgres Plus Advanced Server as database […] If the M3 Database Server is installed on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, the Postgres Plus Advanced Server must be used.”

Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Red Hat Enterprise Linux is a commercial product. Its source code is open and provided at no cost, but it is not provided in compiled form. To use it, we have to either buy it or go through the difficult compilation and derivative processes.

As a side note, Red Hat has controversy in the community with their non-free/libre licensing and inclusion of binary blobs [1] and as such is not endorsed by the Free Software Foundation [2].

EnterpriseDB Postgres Plus Advanced Server

EnterpriseDB Postgres Plus Advanced Server is also a commercial product, even though based on the open source PostgreSQL, it is provided at cost, and its source code is not available:

Technical reason?

Besides understandably not being able to support every combination of platform, are there any technical reasons for M3 to HAVE TO use Red Hat Enterprise Linux and EnterpriseDB Postgres Plus Advanced Server, and not Fedora, CentOS, Debian, Ubuntu, Suse, PostgreSQL?

Business collaboration?

Does it have anything to do with Infor’s joint collaboration with Red Hat and EnterpriseDB for Infor LN?

Wasn’t there something similar with the Intentia and IBM alliance [3] [4], where Movex Workplace HAD TO use the Enterprise Edition of IBM WebSphere Application Server for no apparent technical reason?

What about the community?

Infor uses a lot of free/libre software on free/libre licenses such as BSD, GPL and Apache. For example, this is the (not cleaned-up) list of about 100 projects used by one of the components of M3, the Infor Grid:

antlr antlr-runtime aopalliance-repackaged asm asm-commons asm-tree bcmail-jdk16 bcprov-jdk16 commonj.sdo commons-daemon commons-fileupload commons-logging commons-math3 ctivation cxf-api cxf-rt-bindings-soap cxf-rt-bindings-xml cxf-rt-core cxf-rt-databinding-jaxb cxf-rt-databinding-xmlbeans cxf-rt-frontend-jaxws cxf-rt-frontend-simple cxf-rt-management cxf-rt-transports-http cxf-rt-ws-addr cxf-rt-ws-policy cxf-rt-ws-rm cxf-rt-ws-security decision-trees derbyclient drools-compiler drools-core ecj eclipselink ehcache-core geronimo-javamail_1.4_spec groovy-all hk2-api hk2-locator hk2-utils izpack-api izpack-tools jackson-core-asl jackson-jaxrs jackson-mapper-asl jackson-xc javassist javax-websocket-client-impl javax-websocket-server-impl javax.annotation-api javax.el javax.inject javax.persistence javax.servlet-api javax.servlet.jsp javax.servlet.jsp-api javax.servlet.jsp.jstl javax.websocket-api javax.ws.rs-api jcommander jersey-client jersey-common jersey-container-servlet jersey-container-servlet-core jersey-core jersey-guava jersey-json jersey-media-json-jackson jersey-media-multipart jersey-multipart jersey-server jersey-servlet jetty-annotations jetty-continuation jetty-http jetty-io jetty-jndi jetty-jsp jetty-plus jetty-schemas jetty-security jetty-server jetty-servlet jetty-servlets jetty-util jetty-webapp jetty-xml jna jna-platform joda-time jsr166 jt400_jdk16 knowledge-api knowledge-internal-api linked-binaries liquibase log-viewer mail maven-shared-utils mimepull mockito-all mvel2 neethi ojalgo ojdbc6 org.apache.taglibs.standard.glassfish org.eclipse.jdt.core osgi-resource-locator postgresql scripting-client slf4j-api slf4j-grid sqljdbc4 stax2-api stringtemplate tasks validation-api websocket-api websocket-client websocket-common websocket-server websocket-servlet windowsjnasecurity woodstox-core-asl wsdl4j wss4j xml-resolver xmlbeans xmlschema-core xmlsec

Does Infor contribute back to the free/libre software community? Individual Infor developers probably contribute to free/libre software with bug fixes and documentation (congratulations). But I have not seen Infor as a company officially sponsor events, fund projects, contribute code, or provide developers to free/libre software. I do not know that they do or that they do not. If you know, please leave me a comment.

Discussion

It is admirable that Infor provides M3 based on an open source platform as an option, it illustrates Infor’s commitment to the cloud and open platforms. However, the narrative is not clear as the required “open source” platform actually requires commercial products, at cost, that have restrictive licenses, with closed source code, possibly due to a business collaboration. For-profit corporations can choose to be commercial, closed source, and collaborate with partners, to fund product development and to protect intellectual property, but then the narrative should be made clear. Is there a technical reason? Is Infor misappropriating “open source”? Is Infor giving back to the free/libre software community? What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

Site map

I just re-organized this blog: I grouped all posts by category, I added a menu, I made this sitemap, and I re-wrote the pages About and Authors. The idea is to better navigate this blog so you can find more content.

Tips on how to use this blog:

  • Use Google Search to search this blog. Use the keyword m3ideas to filter results, e.g. the search  m3ideas m3 web services  will lead you to this blog. You can refine even further with the operator site, e.g.  site:m3ideas.org m3 web services . This blog has a search bar, but unfortunately the WordPress theme doesn’t let me put it above the menu so it’s buried below.
  • Click on the title of a blog post to open it in full and reveal the additional sections.
  • Read the Related and Pingback sections at the bottom of the blog posts, I use them to cross-reference posts with each other so you can find other content related to what you are reading; they are created automatically by WordPress. Sometimes I create my own Related section.
  • Read the comments at the bottom of a blog post, that’s where I put latest updates and notes about a post that I didn’t incorporate in the original post.
  • Please, if you like what you read, click Like, leave a comment, let me know what you think, subscribe to stay informed, and share around you. If there is something you want to write about, let me know, and I will send you an author invite. Even better, start your own blog and create your own community. The more information the better our work.
  • This blog is volunteer and community based and wouldn’t exist without your contribution. Thank you.

3D

Augmented Reality

Customer Lifecycle Management (CLM)

Event Hub, Event Analytics

External Program Connector (EPC)

Field Audit Trail (FAT)

H5 Client

Hacking

IBrix

Ideas

More links

Here are more links to M3-related sites:

I added them to the list. There have been many recent new blogs. Fantastic!

New blog! Beyond the Limits of M3

I was doing some web search about Infor M3, and I discovered this new blog that was started over a year ago, Beyond the Limits of M3, by Kasun Sandaruwan, Consultant at Brandix i3, Sri Lanka. The blog is about M3 technology: M3 Enterprise Collaborator, M3 Web Services, M3 API, LifeCycle Manager, Smart Office Scripts, etc. Congratulations Kasun!

Go check out his blog, say hi, and subscribe to it. Check out the other blogs too.

2015 in review

Happy New Year! Thank you for an amazing year 2015 writing and reading about Infor M3.

The goal of this blog is to create a community of software developers, technical consultants, and power users, to share ideas around Infor M3, and to motivate others to write and share and create their own blogs.

Here are some stats for 2015:

  • The blog was viewed 68,798 times in 2015, that is 40% more than 2014:
    0
  • The blog was viewed a total of 178,981 views since it started in 2011, with 517 views in its best day in June:
    1
  • We welcomed four new authors in 2015:
  • We wrote 28 posts, that is about one every two weeks
  • It is taking me longer than last year to craft each new blog post, about eight hours nowadays; I should write more, and quicker
  • We wrote mostly about Infor M3 Enterprise Collaborator (MEC), Infor ION Grid, Event Hub and Event Analytics, Infor Process Automation (IPA), M3 API, M3 Web Services (MWS), and some ideas and hacking
  • I changed the domain to m3ideas.org (from thibaudatwork) to make the blog more about the M3 community and less about me.
  • There are visitors from all countries, even countries I did not know had M3 users; Hello, Bonjour, Hej, Hola, Hallo, नमस्ते, Kumusta, Halo, ආයුබෝවන්, வணக்கம்:
    2
  • I discovered two new blogs (I put all the known blogs in the Links page):

Thank you. It would not be possible without you. Please subscribe. A like and a share would also go a long way. And if you have something to share, join us and become an author (contact me).

Forums

New M3 forums on PotatoIT 👍🏻

Potato IT

Some of you will have noticed a few changes recently…a new font for the site 🙂

And a new domain…and the purpose of this post – a page which will take you to some development forums (http://forum.potatoit.kiwi).

For quite some time I’ve wanted to create some M3 development specific forums or a mailing list as a nice and convenient way for people to ask quick questions or to share experiences around developing for M3.

I entertained the idea of dropping it on to my server at home, but as you can see from the photo below – home based servers have a tendency to get overwhelmed by dust puppies though mine hasn’t quite gone that far, it’s just a matter of time.  Not to mention that during summer my office gets pretty warm – not exactly lending confidence in the life expectancy of the drives.

Server

I also considered setting…

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