Scott Dietzen

The Merge of SaaS and Open Source

By | June 27, 2008
Software as a Service (SaaS) is often seen as an alternative model to Open Source Software (OSS) for the delivery of next-generation software. However, we argue below that SaaS and OSS are independent and even complementary paradigms. Nevertheless, with few exceptions (e.g., SugarCRM), software startups do not pursue both approaches because building out an open source community and data center/operations is beyond their reach. Prior to the merger with Yahoo!, Zimbra made our bet on open source, believing that OSS was the best means to innovate in messaging and collaboration software (without having to fund a large data center, operations team, and sales force). While I am confident that this was the right choice, ever since the initial launch of the Zimbra Collaboration Suite, end-users have been asking us where they can get their Zimbra via SaaS rather than download, and we have been pointing them toward our many hosting partners.… Read more »

Innovating in delivering innovation: Blending open source, SaaS, and Web 2.0

By | May 21, 2007
In the Zimbra blog, we tend to focus on innovation within the Zimbra software, but the Zimbra team is also always striving to improve the process through which our technology is developed and delivered. We have arrived at our current model over three years of noodling and experimentation. Think of it as a best-of-breed blend of proven approaches from open source with innovations in Software as a Service (SaaS), software appliances, and Web 2.0. We summarize some of those key insights below (more…)… Read more »

Mashup best practices?

By | May 16, 2007
Last week IBM hosted an exploratory summit on mashups, modeled (I think) on our early brainstorming sessions that lead to the formation of the OpenAjax Alliance. Zimbra was thrilled to get the opportunity to join in and share some of our lessons learned in Ajax “mashing” the past couple of years. (As usual in these circumstances, I believe that any thoughts voiced by others are out of bounds for blogging, but feel no such reservations about our own contributions and ideas.) (more…)… Read more »

Top 150 I-Technology heroes and their teams

By | March 9, 2007
A couple of buddies pointed me toward Sys-Con Media's Top 150 Information Technology Heroes, and I have to admit it was fun (once you click past the obstructing ad anyway). While my first reaction was to want to point out omissions (see below), what's not to like about a list that mixes Dennis Ritchie, Luca Cardelli, Edsger Dijkstra, and Charles Babbage? However, you have to get a bit cranky with the fact that Jim Gray was left out. (His omission is even more surprising given recent events should have kept him on the authors' mind.) Jim's work on transactions was foundational for both relational databases and transaction processing (TP) monitors. Moreover, the whole web/Java application server category (WebLogic, WebSphere, .NET, ) is really just a TP monitor rearchitected for web processing. (By the way, the reason it was not called a web/Java TP monitor in the first place is that the venture capitalists would not fund start-ups to build a next-generation TP monitor.… Read more »

Software appliances, virtualization, and Zimbra

By | March 1, 2007
Sorry to have been dark for the last couple of months. Things have been very busy indeed for the Zimbra team, but it is gratifying to have some of our longer-term engineering efforts baring fruit: in addition to the release of 4.5 (more info here) and opening up our product management portal for your input, we have now posted the beta release of our software appliance distribution for ZCS! Software appliances promise to augment Software as a Service (SaaS) as an easier, cheaper way to use third-party software, especially by lowering the cost of managing independently changing subcomponents of a software "stack"---application logic, database, web application server, virtual machine, operating system, and so on. For our 1.0 software appliance, Zimbra has teamed up with rPath (think Linux distribution for software appliances), and for virualized deployment thereof, VMware. For a more detailed discussion of our thoughts on software appliances as well as our technical collaboration to date with rPath and VMware, please see our recently posted whitepaper.… Read more »

Thoughts on Office 2.0 (Reprise)

By | October 17, 2006
(FYI: I've made some enhancements/corrections based on Zimbra's participation at the Office 2.0 Conference; pointer below. May or may not be worth a quick reread.) Yes, the "2.0" hype is getting out of hand. However, just as with Web 2.… Read more »