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2016

Why go open source?

To enable the platform to grow as a whole and not be limited by what just Zebra can provide.

RhoMobile is only one part of a set of tools and utilities that developers can use to build enterprise grade devices. We provide multiple options so developers/customers can choose what best fits their skill set and solution requirements:

  • RhoMobile for cross-platform using web skills
  • EB for web-based applications
  • EMDK for Android, for native apps
  • EMDK for Xamarin, for cross platform apps for developers who have .NET skill set

RhoMobile supports both Zebra enterprise devices and consumer devices.  We recognize that there is wider interest in RhoMobile beyond Zebra devices, as many customers use the platform for consumer OS devices.

 

Please visit the RMS Open Source Forum.

 

What are the benefits of going open source?

By taking RhoMobile open source, we believe our customers and partners can better recognize the benefits open

source brings:

  • Innovation Acceleration: Companies and individuals can move faster, build more quickly; customers & partners can gain control of their IT investment; and all parties can benefit from each other’s enhancements, new ideas and challenges to the status quo.
  • Better Software: When work is visible to the world, culturally developers tend to build better code – architecting their open-source code to be extensible, have minimal dependencies, and stable APIs.
  • Community Learning: Encourages adoption for both Zebra & non-Zebra devices – advancing the platform as an industry platform, not just a Zebra platform.
  • Share Challenges: During an era of scale, complexity, and ever-evolving operating systems, open source allows for collaborative creation of scalable solutions to new problems – making projects evolve faster.
  • Control: Provides control to customers and partners using the platform – opening up the option to add new features, new OS support and more, specific to their solutions.

 

What are the migration options?

There are three migration options: 

  • Stay on Zebra releases. For customers who are satisfied with their current version/solution, Zebra will continue to sell and support existing versions of RhoMobile Suite (2.x through 5.4). There is no need to move to open source.
  • Migrate to Enterprise Browser. If you are using older versions of RhoElements for a web-based application, you may continue to do so, or you have the option to migrate to Enterprise Browser if new features or new device support is required and is covered by Enterprise Browser.
  • Migrate to RhoMobile Open Source. If your solution(s) require new platform enhancements, new OS support (such as iOS 10, or Android M) or new device support you will be able to migrate to the open-source platform – based on your own timing/need. Customers desiring assistance on the open-source platform can work with the open-source community as well as our partners, Tau Technologies and Kutir, who are committed to offering support options.

 

Which components of the current RhoMobile Suite will not be open-sourced?

  • Hosted cloud builds will remain available to customers with subscriptions up to version 5.4. Customers using open source will be responsible for their own build environments or will be able to take advantage of environments if offered by other partners.
  • Support for the Windows M/CE platform webkit is a third-party proprietary component that cannot be open sourced. Customers with solutions that use/need Zebra WinM/CE devices can remain on their current version of RhoMobile up to version 5.4.
  • The WM/CE framework APIs will be open sourced without the webkit – allowing the community to provide their own webkit replacement or work with a partner such as Tau Technologies who is working on a webkit option.
  • The RhoElements RFID plug-in for Windows Mobile/CE will not be available as open source.
  • Open Source components of the current RhoMobile Suite include:
  • Rhodes
  • RhoStudio
  • RhoElements
  • RhoConnect (client & server)

Enterprise Browser and AppGallery use RhoMobile – will they be open sourced?

No. Although built on the RhoMobile framework, both are considered separate products and will not be transitioned to open source. They will remain separate offerings as they are today.

 

Where can I find the source code?

The open sourced version of RhoMobile can be found on GitHub: https://github.com/rhomobile/rhodes

 

What resources will still exist on Launchpad?

The resources on the RhoMobile space in Launchpad will refer to the RhoMobile 2.x - 5.4 versions of RhoMobile Suite. If you are using these versions, then these resources apply to you. If you are using the open source version, you should consult the readme documentation in the open source repo.

 

Will the pricing structure change?

Prices for existing closed-source versions will not change. Versions 2.x, 4.x and 5.x will continue to be sold and supported. The open-source release will be free to the public to use and provide contributions. Customers desiring support on the open source line will be able to purchase support from our partners, Tau Technologies and Kutir.

 

Will my existing Silver or Gold subscription change?

Silver and Gold subscriptions used with version 5.x will continue to receive support. If you want to move to the open-source line, you may work with the community for free, or purchase support from support partners.

 

What happens if I am using RhoMobile v4.x or v2.x?

There are no changes to RhoMobile v4.x and v2.x – they will not be open-sourced. You  may continue to purchase support and licenses for your solution on these versions.

 

How will I get bugs fixed?

If you remain on your current version (v2.x, v4.x or v5.x) and have a current support contract, you will follow standard procedures and submit bugs to the ZenDesk Support Portal. If you move to the open-source code line, you will have the ability to hire support from other vendors also using/supporting the open-source software, or, address the bug and submit the fix back to the community.

 

Isn’t RhoMobile already open source?

Only Rhodes and RhoStudio are currently open source. With this move, we will be open-sourcing all enterprise grade capabilities including RhoElements enterprise API’s and our enterprise grade data synchronization engine RhoConnect and RhoConnect Client.

 

Will RhoMobile be included in the Gartner MADP Quadrant in 2016? 

No. Once RhoMobile is open source, we will no longer have a commercial offering on the open source release and will not qualify for the quadrant.

 

How do I engage with partners if there is a customer requirement for RhoMobile?

RhoMobile partners, Tau Technologies and Kutir, have committed to offering support options for the open-source platform.

Dear RhoMobile Users:

 

To encourage and expand opportunities for innovation, Zebra is committed to building a thriving developer community that enhances RhoMobile beyond what Zebra can do alone. To accomplish this, we will be making RhoMobile Suite an open-source software in Q2 2016.

 

Zebra will continue to sell and support existing versions of RhoMobile Suite (2.x through 5.4). If you are satisfied with your current version, there will be no need to move to open source.  If you are developing a solution that requires new platform enhancements, new OS support (such as iOS 10 or Android M) or new device support, you will be able to make the move to the open-source platform at your own pace.

 

The following portions of RhoMobile Suite will NOT be open-sourced:

  • Hosted Cloud Builds: Will remain available to customers with subscriptions up to version 5.4. Open source users will be responsible for their own build environments or will be able to take advantage of environments offered by other partners.
  • Windows M/CE Platform Webkit Support: Being a third-party proprietary component, this cannot be open-sourced. Customers with solutions that use/need Zebra WinM/CE devices can remain on their current version of RhoMobile up to version 5.4.
  • WM/CE framework APIs will be open sourced without the webkit – allowing the community to provide their own webkit replacement or work with a partner such as Tau Technologies, who is working on a webkit option.

 

For more information on how the transition to open-source will affect your subscription to RhoMobile Suite, please see the attached RhoMobile Suite FAQ. If you are in need of assistance on the open source line, our partners Tau Technologies (Tau-Technologies.com) and Kutir (www.kutirmobility.com) will be providing support options.

 

For more info, read the RhoMobile Open-Source FAQ.

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