Adobe’s announcement yesterday that they are buying Open Source Content Management vendor Day Software for some $240 million marks some important trends.

First, Adobe, famous for tools for making your content look good — from Flash to Photoshop, from the hoary Postscript and its modern analogue, Acrobat PDF — is now investing aggressively in a content platform to manage the stuff you want to make look good. There’s more and more and more stuff to store and manage, and Adobe needed a control point to keep them in the game.

Second, there’s their choice of an open source software content management vendor. There are others, a bunch within open source — Drupal and Alfresco come to mind. There are definite different technical contours to their offerings, but the fact remains that open source is a force in content. Why? Because open source has the inherent property of enabling developers. If you’re going to want to better capture the infrastructure spend in the IT marketplace, you need to make your piece of the infrastructure attractive to the people who build stuff into the infrastructure.  Buying into open source buys into the open community of developers who powers the software and are powered by it. That’s the control point.

Third, it’s not just any open source: the Apache Jackrabbit Java Content Repository is a vibrant denizen of The Apache Software Foundation, a sister project to Lucene/Solr (and the recently spun out Mahout and Nutch projects). As our CEO Eric Gries commented in his Network World, in of open source licensing, the Apache  license does the trick in establishing the right balance of stimulating innovation and establishing intellectual property.

Finally, there’s the question of  interfaces to access the content. If the challenges of managing the content explosion need new solutions for where you put content, how you find what you put in there becomes even more important. Jackrabbit comes with a search index in that iss pluggable and has a default implementation based on Apache Lucene. In buying Day Software to provide the commercial exoskeleton to the vibrant creativity of Jackrabbit open source, Adobe is also opting in with the most scalable, flexible, performant search platform, one that’s got a world of developers, all day every day.