I saw a press release about Nuxeo’s new product focusing on “SOA”. I didn’t know what that meant, and didn’t know much about Nuxeo. So, off I went to the Nuxeo website. I then asked Nuxeo CEO, Stefane Fermigier a few questions, which he graciously agreed to answer.

Stefane’s answer to question #3 is great. After I found out that Nuxeo does ECM software, I asked how they position against Alfresco. In an answer that would make Dave Rosenberg smile, Stefane essentially said, “we don’t..we position ourselves and compete against the commercial enterprise vendors”. Very cool. I was also pleasantly surprised to hear that Nuxeo’s Rich Client Platform (RCP), based on Eclipse RCP, is generating a lot of customer interest.

1. What’s the license story for Nuxeo?

“The code we write is licensed under the LGPL. Some parts which will be donated to the Eclipse Foundation (as part of the Apogee project) will also be dual-licensed under the EPL. The reason for this is that we want our platform to be reused by as many people as possible, including “traditional” (non open source) ISVs. With the LGPL, if you want to embed our components in your application, you can, with no constraints on your own license. Only if you improve our components, and use them in a publicly available product, are you mandated to provide back your changes to the project.”

2. What’s the history of Nuxeo?

“We’ve been in the business of open source information and document management for 7 years. We’ve started at the worst time to start up a software company (6 months after the first internet bubble crash), but we’ve been lucky to live in a country whose government was keen on open source at the time (from 2000 to 2005) and later on (2005-now) expanded in the private sector. We’ve also been smart in several decisions we have made. For example, we partnered with some big names in IT services companies (like Capgemini). We quickly moved up to higher value applications with real enterprise-level impact. We also expanded internationally starting from 2004.”

3. How do you position yourselves vs. Alfresco?

“We don’t position ourselves against Alfresco ;)

Our main competitors are Documentum, OpenText and Filenet (Vignette and Interwoven, which were strong competitors five years ago, seem to have disappeared altogether). We strive to provide similar levels of features and support so as to match the needs of our customers and our ecosystem. Customers usually pit us against these three guys in RFPs, and I would be lying if I told you we win every time, but we almost always end up first or second, which means we’re already on par with these market leaders.”

4. You website indicates that you get 30% of revenues from “development” – do you mean custom development? Are the features developed then put back into the generally available Nuxeo product?

“Yes, either improvement to the platform or some of its components to address the needs of a specific project, or new components that provide new functionalities, also needed for a specific project. In theory this is not mandatory because the choice to do so is left to the customer. In practice, we almost always end up putting these enhancements in the open source code base (and actually make such developments “live” on externally visible source code repository) because our customers understand that it’s the best way to protect their own investments.”

5. How have customers reached to Rich Client Platform (RCP) portion of your product line?

“We have not “marketed” the RCP part heavily towards the community, because we were already pretty busy with the server part, but we already have some serious customers. Actually, 50% of our biggest projects (well over several hundred thousand Euros) involve RCP to a certain degree. RCP is a strong driver for our business already. We plan to communicate more about Nuxeo RCP in the following weeks or months, and hope to spur some excitement in the community with this technology too.”