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Monday, August 08, 2005

Open Source & Enterprise IT Friendliness

Of all the criticisms about opensource is its lack of readiness for meeting enterprise requirementsis the most strident criticism about opensource.We also covered Kim Polesce's views on providing support for opensource products.Linux world writes,Open-source apps becoming more enterprise IT friendly. The article notes that open-source software vendors are working to make the applications easier to deploy and support in a bid to make their applications more enticing for corporate IT users. At the recently concluded O'Reilly Open Source Convention, many open-source companies were touting enterprise applications that offer alternatives to proprietary software for a wide ranges of uses, including business intelligence, customer relationship management and content management. A major difference in the open-source movement compared to a few years ago is an increased focus on making open-source applications easier for corporate IT departments to use. At least two companies, SpikeSource, and SourceLabs, have been doing just that by offering custom-built, preconfigured and pretested stacks of open-source applications to enterprise IT users.
The goal, as per SpikeSource, is to help corporate IT departments better manage the various open-source applications they want to use, including Web servers, application servers, databases and more. Five years ago, corporate IT departments faced similar issues when deploying Linux and applications like Apache Web Server. As the number of open-source applications being deployed rose, interoperability became a major issue. The problem was that multiple patches, release dates and bug fixes for applications had to be tracked and completed, complicating the process. To ease the use of open-source applications, competitors SpikeSource and SourceLabs developed their own configuration and testing models, then offered their prebuilt or custom stacks to users. "The real issue is the interoperability of all these things and making sure they all work together & that's the benefit of automation" for testing and configuration. Seven preconfigured stacks are also available for users who want the most common open-source software assortments. The popular LAMP stack of open-source applications includes Linux, Apache Web Server, MySQL database and PHP, an open-source programming language mainly for server-side applications. The SASH and AMP stacks include similar applications. Interesting to read- clearly more effrots are going in to make opensource movement a success- but still a very long way to go before becoming a mainstreamoption for enteprises.

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