ArnoldIT’s Beyond Search blog today features an interesting interview with one of our customers, Black Duck Software. There are a couple of cool things about Black Duck (besides their name, on which we’re in no position to comment).

First, its their core proposition of providing a practical code-level mechanism for managing the mix of software from multiple sources in a gigantic enterprise with zillions of lines of code. And today, more and more often, “mix of sources” means including variously licensed code, including the variants of open source combined with commercial licenses. How gigantic? SAP’s big enough to race boats against Larry Ellison (come to think of it, he”s also got a nice mix of open-and-commercial-source software).  They polished up some good soundbites in a recent press release; I think they also tell the story well in this sixty second video spot.

Second, at the core of the strategy — the core of the value proposition that enabled Black Duck to deliver value for SAP, and to let SAP embark on a strategic initiative to leverage open source to meet their business objectives? Search — specifically, Lucene/Solr open source search. Here’s Bill McQuaide, Black Duck Software’s Executive Vice President of Products and Strategy:

… Search is really about delivering on intent, as one expert has observed. is a perfect example of open source search in action. Say a developer is working on an application. He or she needs a compiler, but why write yet another compiler? It’s potentially a waste of time and a distraction away from more critical work. The developer’s intent is to find a compiler that meets a set of criteria. Koders delivers by searching for a compiler and returning results that meet the developer’s needs.

Search also has to be fast, return relevant results, be scalable, easy to use, and have access to many sources of information, in many formats. Lucene was originally developed to search text; the Apache Solr project extends Lucene with faceted search. …

Search and open source: dare I say, tastes great AND less filling?

Bill McQuaide is presenting at Lucene Revolution in Boston October 7-8.