Open CASCADE SA as a successful example of Open Source-based business model
For most people the label of Open Source remains associated with software created by some enthusiasts in their spare time, available at no cost and therefore representing no value for the commercial users. Many business-minded professionals are still in front of a psychological barrier believing that a software product can be valuable only as long as they pay for it. First point to understand here is that Open Source does not necessarily mean "free of charge". It can be an efficient ground for successful business, such as one based on a dual licensing (GPL / commercial) model.
Playing a gambit the Open CASCADE Company even made a further move to win a more promising market. Loss of limited revenue the Company could make on licenses is over and above compensated by large custom development orders from industrial companies and by support contracts with ISV's (independent software vendors). Open CASCADE SA was the first CAD/CAM/CAE company that adopted this revolutionary approach turning from a software vendor to a service provider profile. It has been successfully employing its business model based on industrial Open Source for over 4 years.
Traditional and innovative approaches in Open CASCADE Technology and Salome CAD/CAE platforms
Since its publication in Open Source Open CASCADE Technology (the geometric modeling kernel available from Open CASCADE SA) has been recognized for its ample and powerful capabilities. Its surface and solid modeling algorithms (fillets and chamfers, pipes and offsetting, Boolean operations), data exchange (with neutral formats - including IGES and STEP, as well as proprietary - such as ACIS or Parasolid), shape healing (correction of corrupted models, including surface reconstruction), visualization (including transparency and texture mapping) have been used in numerous applications all over the world. Delivered with Application Framework, Test Harness, a wide range of examples and documentation, Open CASCADE Technology represents a complete development platform for 3D modeling and visualization applications.Inspired by the success of its flag-ship platform, the company, in cooperation with 9 partners and supported by the French government, deploys a new Open Source platform - Salome. Initially designed as a CAD-to-CAE middleware it integrates different modules applied in numerical simulation - from initial CAD modeling to FE (finite-element) post-processing and parallel computation. The second project - SALOME 2 - now involves over 20 partners including leading industrial companies such as Renault (automotive), Bureau Veritas (shipbuilding), EADS (airspace) and others.
Roman Lygin has been working for the Open CASCADE SA company for 7 years. He led both internal R&D projects and customer projects in Europe the company is providing for its clients. Roman was in charge of data exchange and shape healing modules of Open CASCADE Technology, the company's open source CAD/CAM/CAE development platform. It has been used in hundreds of commercial projects for automotive, aerospace, shipbuilding, energy, medicine and other industries as well is in numerous research projects. Since its publication the platform counts about 50,000 downloads. The latest public release 5.1 can be freely downloaded from www.opencascade.org.
From 2002 till 2003 Roman was the platform manager of Open CASCADE Technology. At the present time he is the sales manager of the Russian office located in the city of Nizhny Novgorod.