Tour de Nuxeo, Stage 2: What is Nuxeo?


This is stage 2 of the 2011 "Tour de Nuxeo". Follow the link for the list of other stages.

"Nuxeo" is both a company and an open source project that aims at creating world-class technologies ("Nuxeo EP") and products ("Nuxeo DM", "Nuxeo DAM", etc.) for Enterprise Content Management.

Nuxeo, the company

Nuxeo is a company that I founded 10 years ago, in December 2000.

Our initial mission was to create open source "Web applications for better collaboration" (this was our first motto) - collaborative intranets, e-government websites - for a market that was comprised primarily of European public administrations (including several of the major French ministries).

In 2006, we did a full rewrite of our software stack using libraries and frameworks from the mature open source Java ecosystem, and started a business model migration from service company to open source software vendor.

At the same time, we chose to focus our efforts on:

  • creating the best possible open source ECM technologies and products,
  • working with a network of partners (systems integrators and vertical software vendors) to bring these technologies and products to the market,
  • selling subscriptions to support and maintenance services, as well as a small amount of highly specialized professional services, to ensure our customers' projects were a success.

Nuxeo now has around 50 employees, in three locations - Paris, Boston and San Francisco - and is fully dedicated to its open source software vendor business model: 80% of our annual turnover comes from subscription.

You will find more insight on our early history in this presentation I gave to students at Evry University this year:

Nuxeo, the open source project

Colloquially, Nuxeo is also the name of an open source project that we, as a company, are working on with more than 20 developers, and the help of a community of multiple contributors.

More precisely, the products we are developing as open source are:

  • Nuxeo EP, the platform (a framework and a set of components) that provide all the building blocks necessary to create an ECM system, as presented in yesterday's Tour de Nuxeo stage,

  • Nuxeo DM, a horizontal, but still highly customizable, application for Document Management,

  • Nuxeo DAM, an application for Digital Asset Management,

  • Nuxeo CMF, a framework for Case Management.

This diagram makes it easier to understand the relations between these different subprojects:

Screen shot 2011-07-05 at 6.20.58 PM

Note that, as we show in the diagram, the endgame for us is to foster the creation of a vibrant ecosystem of vertical applications based on the Nuxeo EP platform, or on customizations of the main packaged products.

Where is the enterprise edition?

This is a FAQ that people keep asking us when contacting us for the first time: what's the difference between the "open source" and the "enterprise" versions of your products?

The answer: there is none, because they are one and the same. In other words, we don't have an "enterprise" version, or, if you prefer, our open source version is already enterprise-class.

Contrary to other companies, we choose to keep our development process fully transparent, with our source code and task and issue tracker publicly available. We believe this is the best way to foster trust and collaboration between us and our customers and partners.

But it's also important to realize that Nuxeo software is also open source that can be trusted: thanks to our subscription offer, when you choose to base your next project or product on our technology, you know that you can reliably count on us to:

  • make sure that rigorous development techniques are used throughout projects (more on this in a later stage),
  • ensure that the released versions of our software have been thoroughly tested,
  • provide support to your development and production teams, as any other software vendor would do (and probably better, because, since support is our main source of revenue, it is especially important for us to do it right, contrary to a traditional vendor which derives its revenue from selling licenses and sees support as mostly an inconvenience).

Why Open Source?

We chose to adopt an open source model from the company's inception in 2000, because we believed (and still are convinced):

  • That open source is the most efficient way to develop software, and to foster open innovation.
  • That the ease of installation of our products and the transparency of our code base is the most reliable way for interested parties to evaluate our offer, instead of relying on unverifiable claims by classical software vendors,
  • That, combined with our solid support and maintenance subscription offer, our professional services, and our network of partners, this is the best way to ensure the success of our customers' projects.

More info:

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