“ If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.”
George Bernard Shaw
Building up a community
Software AG started its TECHcommunity back in May 2006. The community has since grown to reach 60,000 people in 2016.
Currently the TECHcommunity offers:
- Discussion forums
- Products specific spaces for every product line with articles
- Community Edition free trial software
- Access to Software AG’s Prime methodology for project and technical excellence
- TECHniques newsletter for all community members
Going open source
Over time, we identified that sharing code – e.g., code samples, utility projects and free product add-ons – had to become easier. Sharing is not a one-way street and if we wanted to incorporate our community members’ code contributions, we needed to have a painless process to do so. We looked at examples and the best were the open source communities out there.
It became clear that in order to nurture collaboration, we needed to loosen up restrictions and make the shared code open for everybody.
The platform that we chose in which to publish our code as open source is GitHub®.
GitHub was launched nine years ago and has established itself as a standard collaboration tool for code sharing. Its key features are:
- Easy setup of repositories
- Seamless integration with Git clients
- Web interface that allows registered and unregistered community members to browse and evaluate the code
- Social networking-like functions such as feeds and followers
- Social network graph to display how developers work on their versions (“forks”) of a repository and what fork (and branch within that fork) is newest
- “Pull requests” with code review, that will be used by the community to contribute back to a repository
More information about GitHub features can be found at https://help.github.com/
The address of the official Software AG organization on GitHub is https://github.com/SoftwareAG
What will be shared?
Software AG’s aim is to promote its GitHub organization as a collaboration space. Apart from the code samples for all product lines, we are planning to open source lots of useful utilities, tools and demo scenarios, created from our R&D and consulting departments.
Customers and partners will be free to evaluate, use and contribute back to all of those solutions. Software AG will remain active and update its community open source software; however, we can’t commit to fixing any tool issues in a specific timeframe. The nature of the open source software allows any interested party to improve the code and hopefully contribute it back to the community, if desired.
We advise customers to carefully test any tools and utilities before considering their production usage, as those will not be officially supported by Software AG.
What does this mean for TECHcommunity?
Software AG’s TECHcommunity and all of its capabilities (see image on the left) will remain the major knowledge base for the community. It will continue to be the focal point for articles, news and discussions around the products.
GitHub complements the community portal by allowing everybody to effortlessly access code samples and utility tools. We don’t see the code as a static content and its modification by community members will be made much easier in the new system via a pull request.
At Software AG, we want to nurture the sharing of ideas and amples within our ecosystem. Our goal is to spread knowledge, increase the awareness of our products, and make them easier to use. We are aiming to make TECHcommunity much more developer-centric with its new code sharing capabilities.
To learn more, visit out code sharing space and our knowledge sharing center
Check our GitHub intro and learn how to collaborate here