Has Open Source finally moved out of your parents' Garage?

Submitted by John B | Category: Programming | Published on Jul 15, 2010
One of the ironies that afflict open source software is the consumer mindset: If it's free, it's probably not reliable and secure.

However, that's not true any more. Lots of major players have invested major money in open source development and promotion, usually in ways that are "strategically profitable" to the companies themselves.

This has worked out great for Linux, Apache, MySQL and a few others. But the downside is lack of funds that has plagued development and nurturing of Open Source projects that don't fit quite comfortably with other the open source industry players.

The Open Source development model operates mostly under the GNU General Public License (GPL). The advance open source project depends largely on business synergies.

Here are three ways that open source projects can benefit from the "Suits" or businessmen.

  • Business Advisory
  • Product Management
  • Community Funds

There are de facto winners across most software implementations:
JBoss as application servers in enterprise adoption (with Tomcat winning the unpaid deployments race), SugarCRM in CRM, MySQL in the database market, and so on. But money talks, Very loudly!

Think of how much better these projects would be if we concentrated resources on their development, rather than creating a range of lightly developed, lightly used open-source alternatives.

There is a bright side.

The beauty of using Open Source software is you can build a complete Open Source stack from a skeletal framework. Unlike proprietary software, you don't see the external functions but the internal operations too. If you have the wherewithal, you can go right ahead and make changes to suit your purpose exactly.

The vast majority of Open Source Application Development are designed to run on the LAMP stack of Open Source applications - Linux, Apache, MySQL & PHP.

Applications have been developed on top of this such as SugarCRM for customer relationship management, Compiere for enterprise resource planning, OrangeHRM for human relations management and Asterisk to replace the traditional PABX.

Middleware like JBoss offers a Java-based Open Source applications platform. Primarily, Open Source has seen two shifts:

  1. A move away from a software licensing type of structure, towards a service delivery type of structure. 
  2. No bundles.

As consumers don't want to take all 30 changes that may come with a new version. They just want the one change which they know they need. Value proposition to the end customer One major cause for customers to buy Open Source is that it removes critical dependencies that they have on software companies.

At this stage, most channel partners should be looking to add some form of Open Source to their kit bag. The Crux: While OpenOffice is compatible with Microsoft document formats, by default it uses Open Document Format - an open XML-based document format which was adopted as an ISO standard in 2006.

Today, OpenOffice has built diverse user base. From the French Parliament, the Israeli Ministry of Commerce, to the Singapore military. The corporate world has been slower in coming to terms with the concept of open source. Largely because of the fear of "something new". But even as proprietary software evolves, everyone has to learn a new interface from time to time regardless of the platform.

About Author:

iFuturz is an established name in the computer industry. Its dedicated offshore development center employs more than 30 Joomla developers with a combined work experience of over 100 years developing e-commerce and community specific portals.


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