By now, you’ve probably realized why I wrote last week’s blog about open source development – because Dialogic is sponsoring Project DiaStar, which is an open-source project. Last week I talked about the commoditization impacts in the open source development model; this week I will explore the impact on the actual programming model.

Because of the commoditization possible in the open source model, developers can more easily focus on the application they want to create, and leave the “core” engines to others. Is this any different than the non-open source model? In some ways, not really, because instead of getting an engine by purchasing a Dialogic board (for instance), they can choose open source software engines. But in some ways, yes, it is different since there is an expectation of “free” open source software – and also, from my perspective, the developers don’t get as much into the details of the engines because they expect the open source engines to work as they program to them with higher level APIs. In other words, developers are using very advanced engine features without understanding or accounting for the complexities of the implementation. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with this. It allows new projects to get done faster, for instance. It’s just different; very different, in fact.

One big impact is that the engines used need to be pretty robust. While some solutions based on less than robust open source components work well, not all do. Especially mission-critical solutions. Using the least expensive engine option may not always be the best approach. (That’s what you said last week, Jim!)

And you know what? Like I said last week, it won’t be any different 10 years from now. The programming models change, but robust engines remain the key to being really successful. That’s what Project DiaStar is all about.