A journey from Open to Closed to Open Source Project

JSystem history goes back to the year 2000. The grandmother of JSystem is an in-house framework that was developed by Guy Arieli for an Israeli start-up called P-Cube (today Cisco). Later on, in 2002 Guy was hired by another Israeli start-up, Atrica (today Nokia-Siemense), to develop similar in-house framework. This was the mother of JSystem.

After building two successful in-house projects, Guy decided to build an independent framework and so JSystem was born in 2004. The name JSystem comes to reflect the fact that it extends JUnit to system testing. As a great believer in open source, Guy released JSystem as an open source project.

In the beginning of 2005, Yoram Shamir joined Guy Arieli and together they founded AQUA Software Ltd. AQUA’s mission was to build test automation solutions based on JSystem. During 2005 AQUA was the sole sponsor of JSystem, releasing new version every ~quarter until version 3.1.9 (February 2006).

With time, and with the growing customer base AQUA decided to stop releasing new versions since it felt it doesn’t have the resources to support the project and the community in the highest standards it requires. Thus, AQUA decided to continue develop the technology, but keep it in-house.

JSystem as a closed technology kept growing as more and more companies adopted it as their test automation framework and at the beginning of 2007 it reached a point where it was mature enough that AQUA decided to build a licensed product of JSystem. After six months of packaging, AQUA Test Suite, the commercial version of JSystem, was released.

At the end of 2007 AQUA understood that it has two assets – a product (based on JSystem) and knowhow on how to build successful automation solutions. In order to leverage each asset, a spin-off of AQUA Software was born – Ignis Software Ltd – with the mission to continue the product development while AQUA focuses on building test automation solutions on top of the product.

At the beginning of 2008 life seemed good. Ignis was developing the Test Suite, AQUA was selling solutions and the customers were happy. However, Ignis staff, as big fans of open source, felt that a framework should be open. A true framework requires large users and developers community, such that only open source can build. Moreover, the real added value for the customer is not in the framework itself but in the solution the customer builds using the framework so it makes sense to share the framework and keep the specific solution private. And I could go on and on but you get the picture – Ignis staff believes in the open source model. So, in September 2008 Ignis decided to revive JSystem and opened its framework as the new version of JSystem.

Today JSystem is well accepted open source project with rapidly growing community of users and developers. The main contributors to JSystem code base are Ignis and AQUA engineers, but other companies like Optier, Juniper Networks and Sentrigo are also contributing code to the community.

And this is how the cycle closed. JSystem started as open source, became closed product, and now it is open again, this time for ever. To promise this, Ignis and AQUA are committed to sponsor the project, feel free to join us.

For more information about AQUA Software go to www.aquasw.com.

For more information about Ignis Software go to www.ignissoft.com.

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