Reading the Open-Source Nutrition Labels

The open-source projects that underpin various IBM cloud services

Glynn Bird
Sep 29, 2017 · 3 min read

IBM used to be a closed-source company. Customers would come to us because it was the only place to get software we built behind closed doors in our research labs. The picture today is very different. We still have exclusive technologies such as Watson and Db2, but there are also familiar open-source projects operated as-a-service by IBM.

Each such service is based on an open-source project but may be renamed, to distinguish it from the original. IBM’s implementation may have additional features such as a web-based dashboard, backup tools, or unified authentication.

Open-Source soup

This is all possible because free, open-source software is both free of charge and free to re-model in other forms (within the limits of the license agreement), but it is certainly not free to produce. Many, many human hours are needed to create, maintain, and improve these products. IBM doesn’t just take from the open-source community, it is an active contributor to the products and tools it uses.

Sometimes, it may not be clear that the IBM product you are using is actually based on an open-source project. So let’s clear this up with list of IBM products and the open-source projects they’re built on.

Various IBM cloud services, as they would appear on packaging at the supermarket. Image by https://www.eugeneschlumberger.com/

Ingredients list

IBM Cloudant / Apache CouchDB™

IBM Message Hub / Apache Kafka™

IBM Blockchain / Hyperledger, a Linux Foundation Project

IBM Cloud Functions / Apache OpenWhisk™

Apache Spark™

IBM Bluemix

Open-source offerings from Compose

The Compose offerings are multi-node deployments of the service, not just the single-node instance you get when you download and run some software on your machine. They also add an access control layer on top of your service and add logging/monitoring underneath it. There’s an API, command-line tooling, and a web-based dashboard to control your service, plus other tools such as backup, restore, and version management.

Allergy information

Center for Open Source Data and AI Technologies

Things we made with data at IBM’s Center for Open Source…

Center for Open Source Data and AI Technologies

Things we made with data at IBM’s Center for Open Source Data and AI Technologies.

Glynn Bird

Written by

Developer @ IBM. https://glynnbird.com

Center for Open Source Data and AI Technologies

Things we made with data at IBM’s Center for Open Source Data and AI Technologies.