Open source initiatives for Lokad integration
Currently Lokad is essentially an hosted solution relying on closed source software; but this situation is likely to evolve since we have already started to work on various applications that will be released under BSD license (the BSD license is an open source license compatible with closed-source commercial applications).
Integrating Lokad into existing applications
Lokad provides time-series forecasts; in order to leverage most of the added-value of those forecasts, an integration of Lokad within the company systems (ERP, CRM, SCM among other) is usually required. This integration can represent a significant investment for our customers depending on the complexity/extensibility of the existing applications. Thus, we want to lower the costs associated to those integrations.
We are currently planning to release as open source the Lokad integration components; i.e. the piece of software used to integrate Lokad within other applications. Those components will be actively supported by Lokad; yet, the open source license will give more freedom to our customers to customize or to adapt those components without having to wait for next release (if they want to).
Lokad OpenShell project
The first open source integration component to be released will be the Lokad OpenShell (planned for Q1 2007), a MS PowerShell Snap-In that will let you interact with the Lokad Web Services directly from the shell command-line. We have already setup a project space on CodePlex. Feel free to post your requests / suggestions.
More generally, if you think that your current ERP, CRM, SCM … application deserve its own open source Lokad integration component, do not hesitate to contact us (or simply post a comment to this post); your feedback will be used to assign the right priorities to the various projects.