AppHub is transforming any open source project into a business-ready cloud application

Sep 16 2015


Interview: Alban Richard,  CEO of UShareSoft

How would you present the collaborative project?

Put simply, AppHub is the European Open Source marketplace. We know that open source is a major driving factor behind innovation, behind collaboration and much more. Unfortunately, making the source available is no guarantee of either contributors or end users. AppHub is designed to help overcome these limitations in two ways: first, enabling a fast, easy transformation of any open source project into a business-ready application which can be instantly delivered to any public, private or hybrid cloud; and second, by bringing the market to the project with visibility through an online store and connections with tier 1 cloud providers across Europe.


What is your role in the project?

UShareSoft is one of the three AppHub project members, working with Fraunhofer Fokus and OW2.  Being involved in AppHub is very beneficial for UShareSoft, helping the company stay at the forefront of the industry and continue to innovate. Our main contribution is provided through our UForge AppCenter and UForge Marketplace products which help open source projects achieving three steps. First, they can quickly build their project results as a “ready-to-run” software template using the AppHub “Factory”. Then, they can expose the resulting software template to contributors and end users in the AppHub “Store”. And finally, they enable end users to easily consume the template by generating a machine image in the format of their choice and then instantly publishing to any cloud.

UShareSoft is responsible for AppHub Operation (WP3), and makes important contributions to AppHub Integration (WP2). We also contribute to Quality & Compliance (WP4), and are heavily involved in the recruitment of as many European cloud providers as possible (WP5 Ecosystem Development and WP6 Dissemination).

What key innovation do you bring or help to develop?

It is often difficult for funded projects to make their results available for easy consumption by contributors and end users, which can have significant impact on adoption. By integrating UForge AppCenter and UForge Marketplace technology into AppHub, we are already removing many of the obstacles faced by funded projects in terms of making their results “ready for prime time”. Our roadmap for both UForge AppCenter and UForge Marketplace includes significant developments that are being driven by AppHub, which will make it even easier for projects to turn their results into business-ready applications.

It's an exciting project for us to be involved in. Right now, AppHub is largely designed for EU funded projects but the scope is definitely there to make it much broader, encompassing open source in general to become truly the European open-source marketplace.

Regarding your experience in software quality management and open source projects, what key lessons did you learn ?

At UShareSoft, we use many open source projects both for our own engineering and software development processes, and embedded in our product portfolio. We are very sensitive to the quality of the software we use, from a security perspective but also from a “peace of mind” and reputation perspective. Just as with our own software, we want to deliver only the best to our customers. As far as we're concerned, good software quality management is critical in the adoption of open software projects.

Do you have some best practices in community management and dissemination to share with us?

Not yet! We've just released our hammr tool (a Python-based open source tool for creating machine images for different environments from a single configuration file, or migrating live systems from one environment to another) as an OW2 open source project and are looking forward to working with the community on it.

A word on Alban Richard, UShareSoft CEO 

Alban Richard, CEO of UShareSoft is mainly involved in recruiting partners for the AppHub ecosystem and publicising AppHub at events and elsewhere. He is bringing more than 25 years experience in the IT industry, including engineering, marketing and product management executive roles, with P&L and general management responsibilities. He has a successful track record for building more than 20 server software product lines. Alban Richard is also a Board Member for the OW2 Consortium.
UShareSoft helps cloud providers, enterprises and ISVs build, ship, migrate and govern applications for virtual datacenters and public, private or hybrid clouds. UShareSoft offers UForge AppCenter, an end-to-end enterprise DevOps platform; UForgeNow, an online SaaS platform offering full AppCenter functionality; and UForge Marketplace, a dynamic platform for building cloud software marketplaces and enterprise app stores. UShareSoft has headquarters in Europe and offices in the United States and Japan.