Why OpenArchive?


Since 1998 GRAU DATA dedicated itself to the theme of archiving business-critical data. More than 100 man-years of developmental work have so far been invested in the development of ArchiveManager. Presently the software works very stable at more than 250 customer installations all over the world. This raises the question of why one would choose to make such an asset, or parts of it, freely available to the general public.

First of all, the open-source community has experienced tremendous growth in recent years. Sun Microsystems’ takeover of the mySQL firm for one billion dollars triggered an enormous response around the world. The heart of successful open-source models is that a dedicated global community of developers acts under its own motivation to provide developmental services which improve the features, functions and user-friendliness of software.

On the other hand, businesses, government authorities and public organizations are increasingly beginning to analyze open-source products before they make product-acquisition decisions. Alongside lower costs, another important criterion is above all the reduction of dependence upon specific manufacturers.

As a mid-sized business, GRAU DATA – in addition to the functionality and quality of its products – has two fundamental questions to answer: How can international global sales and marketing activities be financed? And how can international customers be given the certainty that the software will continue to be maintained and further developed during the next 10, 30 or even 100 years?

For these reasons, we’ve decided to make available the greater portion of our software as source code. The software will be available worldwide under an AGPL license.

As of now, there will be two product variants: the ArchiveManager as a licensed product including third-party product certifications and all compliance features and OpenArchive, which is available for downloading.

The following advantages will ensue from the accessibility of the source code:

1. Sales & Marketing

The software will be available to businesses and organizations around the world. If the software is used in productive environments, a maintenance and support contract has to be signed with GRAU DATA. The number of customers will therefore also increase in countries where GRAU DATA does not operate an active sales presence. This, and a positive response in the open-source community, will further increase public awareness of the GRAU DATA brand.

2. Development 

Solutions which have been developed by the open-source community on the basis of contributor agreements can – after acceptance by GRAU DATA – flow into the codes of OpenArchive and ArchiveManager.

3. “Perfect Escrow”

Customers want to be certain that access to software will remain uninterrupted, even in an emergency. This availability is typically assured via software depositing (escrow). Disclosure of the source code, combined with a global community of developers, assures that access is possible at all times and guarantees the ongoing evolution of the software.