A "Microsoft certified" version of Moodle can be downloaded now from SpikeSource, a venture capital backed US company that aims to make Open Source software "business ready". Available since February 27, 2008, neither Microsoft or SpikeSource announced the certified version. A representative for SpikeSource said this was a routine extension of the company’s certifications for Microsoft.
SpikeSource’s Advisory Board includes key Open Source leaders: Mitchell Baker, President of the Mozilla Foundation; Brian Behlendorf founder of the Apache Foundation; Marten Mickos CEO of MySQL AB; Tim O'Reilly founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media; Larry Rosen from the Open Source Initiative and Stanford University; Dirk Hohndel, Director of Linux and Open Source Strategy at Intel Corporation; and Steven Weber, University of California, Berkeley and author of The Success of Open Source; Robert “r0ml” Lefkowitz, VP of Research and Executive Education at Optaros , a Boston firm that “assembles and supports” open source implementations. SpikeSource CEO Kim Polese co-founded Marimba and continues her affiliation with Carnegie Mellon University West at Moffett Field, California.
The SpikeSource Web site confirmed availability:
“SpikeSource has SpikeIgnited five popular open source PHP applications to ensure their compatibility with Windows Server® 2008.”
Spikesource describes Moodle:
“SpikeIgnited Moodle is an online course management system written in PHP, with over 330,000 users globally. It is designed to help educators create effective online learning communities. Moodle can scale from a single-teacher site to a university with 200,000 students.”
The only support provided by SpikeSource is a discussion forum. Microsoft solution providers have access to technical support if there is a question about running Moodle on Microsoft Windows 2008. Also they can provide assistance integrating Moodle with other Microsoft products. So far there have been no postings on the SpikeSource forum for any of the five products since the initial February 27th entry.
On February 27, 2008 Microsoft Senior Director Dominic Sartorio blogged
“Similar to the previous applications we [Microsoft] released on Windows Server [e.g. Drupal, Alfresco in 2007], SpikeSource delivered these [five] as turnkey “SpikeIgnited” applications, with all components needed to run the application available in a single one-click-install distribution.”
Why would Microsoft team with SpikeSource for certification? Sartorio wrote: “Because customers want it.” A survey by the Open Solutions Alliance revealed more than 50% want open source applications interoperability with Microsoft products. More than 50% of U.S. and U.K. colleges and universities are estimated to use Microsoft products at the enterprise level.
Why Moodle? Moodle is written in PHP with demonstrated capability at the enterprise level. Moodle can be complemented by other SpikeSource products, such as their SuiteTwo, Drupal, or Alfresco, along with Microsoft products such as SharePoint and Active Directory. SpikeSource’s Suite Two includes blogs by Moveable Type, Wikis by SocialText, RSS feed-reading by NewsGator and RSS feed publishing by SimpleFeed all bundled with integrated services provide by SpikeSource.
Why no product announcement from either Microsoft or SpikeSource? IT Business Edge’s Lora Bentley commented:
“[I]f Microsoft wants to get along in open source circles, broadcasting that fact may not be advisable. When Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz said something similar about Solaris, the Linux Foundation took him to task.”
Earlier Linux Foundation’s Amanda MacPherson commented “that Schwartz is out of line to suggest that Sun isn’t bound by the ‘L’ in LAMP and would, in fact, substitute Solaris for Linux in the stack.” Likely she would make an even stronger comment about Microsoft, Windows Server 2008, and the WISP stack (Windows Server, IIS Internet Information Server, SQL Server and PHP).
Generally, links in this piece are to archived versions of postings and Web pages.
Jim Farmer: biography; email - jfx "AT" immagic "DOT" com.