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This is an archived post from our old blog. It's here for the sake of posterity (and to keep the search engines happy). Our new blog can be found at

Announcing Open Source Edition

Today I am pleased to announce the release of Open Source Edition v1.0.

Many readers will already be familiar with, Fractured Atlas's cloud-based web app that empowers artists and arts organizations with tools for ticketing, donor management, and more. Open Source Edition (OSE) is the underlying engine that powers, and it is now freely available for anyone to download, use, modify, or extend.

Why use OSE? Well, the truth is that, for 90% of independent artists and small organizations out there, is the better fit. It's quick, easy, and inexpensive. Seriously, check it out and you'll see what I mean.

But for some of you, that's not enough. Your needs are unusual enough that one size decidedly doesn't fit all. What's more, you have the technical chops to set up a server or two and get your hands dirty with software code. It's for you that we offer OSE.

Open sourcing our code is also a highly transparent process that engages distributed peer review which we believe will lead to better quality code, increased reliability, greater flexibility, a lower total cost of ownership, and freedom from predatory vendor lock-in.

Now, a few of you may be thinking, "Hmm, haven't I heard this before?" Aha! You're right! The internet never forgets, and if this all sounds a bunch like ATHENA, that's because OSE is essentially the next generation of the ATHENA platform, with a couple of big changes:

(1) ATHENA, somewhat notoriously, was designed without a user interface. This seemed quite clever at first, and we fell in love with the idea that arts organizations would develop their own UIs for their own implementations. Nifty idea, but, as we soon realized, totally unrealistic in practice. OSE, by contrast, has a lovely default user interface borrowed from itself. Of course, if you don't like it, you can change it however you want, which is still a lot easier than building one from scratch!

(2) ATHENA was built in Enterprise Java, whereas OSE is a Ruby on Rails web application. (If you don't have any idea what that means, then you're probably a better candidate for the hosted app.) Enterprise Java certainly has its valid uses, but we believe Ruby on Rails is a better fit for the arts community. It's light weight yet powerful and designed from scratch for the web.

Anyway, now that OSE is publicly available we're officially retiring the ATHENA name and code base. (Rest in peace, ATHENA. We learned a ton building you and we'd never have made it to OSE without you!)

Finally, I'd like to offer a big thanks to our generous and steadfast funders. ATHENA was built with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and the Kresge Foundation. The conversion to OSE was funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Download Open Source Edition