Artenum, 10 years or scientific open source software

Founded in 2001, Artenum, recently celebrated its 10th anniversary and is considering with serenity its future in the world of free software. It is mainly in the field of computing and scientific visualization that Artenum has developed its expertise in designing highsoftware, while keeping its autonomy.


This first journey led to the publication of many open source softwares, for both industrial and scientific world, such as:

  • SPIS, spacecraft-plasma interactions simulation software, developed in partnership with ONERA on behalf of the European Space Agency;
  • LibreSource, the web platform dedicated to collaborative work and software lifecycle management, developed in partnership with INRIA;
  • Cassandra, the 3D scientific visualization framework based on VTK and Java, now used for space environment and GIS;
  • Keridwen, the distributed Integrated Modelling Environment (IME), enabling scientists and engineers to perform the complete modelling cycle in an integrated and simplified way;
  • Penelope/JFreeMesh, high-performance library for 3D unstructured meshes in Java;
  • JRosetta/JyConsole, the interactive scripting console, a direct component of the open source project Scilab;
  • ArtTk, Artenum Java toolkit of graphical components, support modules and other tools.

Added to this are numerous custom software solutions, open source or proprietary, developed at the request of our customers and being today reference in their business areas.
This odyssey would have been impossible without the passion of all Artenum crew members and the loyal support of our customers and partners. And as such, we wish to thank them for their confidence.

This experience is the proof by example that open source, either as a publisher or service provider, may be the support of a stable economic life over time and benefit all its actors, while providing an appropriate response to the requirements of domains as demanding as scientific computing.

The open source tools for transparency and quality

In research as in the high-tech industry, visibility and traceability of developed technical components are the key criteria of software quality control : the latter will guarantee the confidence that the user will provide to the final tools.
With the open source approach, Artenum transfers more easily to customers all the information technology expertise necessary to handle the developed tools, so they can focus on their core business while maintaining their independence towards the supplier of software solutions.

Mutualization and economies of scale:
open source to help small communities

Because of their extreme specialization, many scientific communities need increasingly complex and costly tailored tools. However, their size remaining limited because of this specialization, their members are often not able to develop these tools themselves at a reasonable cost.
The choice of open source allows to share among several communities the software components that are not related to a specific area of expertise. Thus, the costs of development, implementation and maintenance are reduced by sharing reusable software components. This is the case, for example, for Cassandra, used as a 3D visualization tool in many areas.

Nevertheless, this option does not require to put all the software elements in open source. On the contrary, it is often relevant to keep confidential hyper-specialized components or within a specific business core. Specific choices of architectures and licenses allow this composite approach.
One of Artenum's roles throughout this decade has been to help our partners to differentiate items that can be shared by those who are intended to remain confidential, in a balanced approach and in the interest of all.

Free by nature

The increasing share of open source componentsin the field of business applications strongly influenced the way to design, distribute and use software and services associated with them. Open source has created an alternative to traditional approaches to software engineering and collaborative work, and thus played a major role in the areas of research and industry.
Since ten years and in specialized contexts par excellence, Artenum developed software solutions adapted to complex problems, while enabling its customers to preserve critical expertise while avoiding the dreaded "vendor locking" mechanism.

This approach has led many clients and partners of Artenum today to become active contributors to our projects and, thereby, demonstrate that open source is found to be, in specialized areas such as Scientific Computing, a reliable and robust model.
In short, our clients have become our top contributors.

For this, we thank them and invite them for a new decade of innovation.

^ Top of page

< back to Home