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Open Source: Enterprise Solutions, Beyond The Infrastructure

by Bertrand Diard, http://www.talend.comWednesday, June 03, 2009

A Phenomenal Growth

Nothing will slow the progress and increased adoption of open software.  What was traditionally viewed as developer and infrastructure tools has quickly infiltrated the enterprise environment.

A study by IDC1 indicated that the open source market (excluding operating systems) which generated 1.8 billion dollars in 2006 should reach 5.8 billion dollars in 2011—an annual growth of 26 percent.  To compare: Gartner estimated that the portals and ERP market has a 14 percent annual growth, approximately 50 percent lower.  With a 26 percent annual growth, the open source market is roughly speaking at the same level as e-pub or RFID, two particularly dynamic markets.

The public sector was one of the first to initiate the trend; for example, well over 400,000 workstations in the French administration have already been migrated to Open Office.  Other players of the public sector have also switched to open source technologies: in the United States (City of Largo in Florida, University of Nebraska, Colorado Department of Human Services, City of Chicago, State of Tennessee, etc.), in France (National Gendarmerie, Ministry of Finance, National Assembly, etc.) and the rest of the world (Cities of Munich and Amsterdam, Swedish National Police, libraries in Romania, schools in Macedonia, Russia and Venezuela, etc.). Even if, according to a study by the University of Maastricht, contributions and innovations are mainly European (70 percent of open source developers are based in Europe), the US has the highest usage rate within enterprises and government agencies.

In February, 2009, the Obama administration published a new policy aimed at promoting the use of open source software in the public sector.  It is also aimed at promoting open standards and encouraging the re-use of IT solutions.  The Cabinet Office says that these measures will help provide better value for money which is, after all a primary goal of open source solutions in today’s market.

Open Source On Every Floor!

We already know that open source software is widely present within companies’ infrastructures: security (firewall, IPS-IDS, sniffer, proxy, antivirus, anti-spam etc.), operating systems (workstations, network, scientific computers, etc.), databases and web browsers.

Today, however, open source technology can also be found in the lower layers of companies’ or government agencies’ information systems. They are also deployed in the higher layers (business applications) as well as the middleware layers (invisible to the user) like Talend Open Studio.

For instance, some common middleware/business applications include SugarCRM (customer relationship), Jaspersoft or SpagoBI (business intelligence), Openbravo or Compiere (ERP), SQL Ledger (accounting), Thelia (e-business).  This also includes all the business applications, extensions developed in Java (or other languages) and donated to the community (Ovidentia, Spip, etc.)

In summary, five open source segments are particularly appreciated in the business world: enterprise applications (office automation, management, CRM, content management, business intelligence); development tools (applications, collaboration, project management); web servers and application software (middleware, enterprise service bus, integration, portals); databases and operating systems.

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