Monday, June 30, 2008

How Much Open Source Are You Using?

In India this week, Bernard Golden touts the advantages of governance for your open source tools — especially at the enterprise level.

He starts with an anecdote that Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz shared shortly after the company had acquired the MySQL open source database. It goes something like this: After the CIO of a large financial institution told Schwartz the organization didn’t use MySQL because it was a proprietary software shop, a sales associate accompanying Schwartz was able to share that the organization had downloaded the open source database 1,300 times in a six-month period.

The CIO was completely unaware that the application was popular among her staffers, let alone being used in the organization. Golden points out that in such cases, ignorance is not bliss. Ignorance could, in such cases, prove risky — both in terms of meeting open source license requirements and because it means the CIO doesn’t have as much visibility into the organization’s infrastructure as she probably ought to have. That’s why, he says, companies should have policies in place to address downloading open source programs in an enterprise environment, and they should also implement controls with which to enforce those policies.

Read More Article...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Open-Source Reshaping the Software Industry

Volunteers drive Mozilla’s success; Microsoft concerned

The war for Web browser market share is kicking into high gear.

“People in the industry foresee a time in which for many people, the only thing they'll need on a computer is a browser. The browser is just extraordinarily strategic,” said Mitch Kapor, the software pioneer and a director at the Mozilla Foundation, according to the NewsFactor Network.

A Web browser is a type of software that allows one to view information on the Internet. The most well known browsers are Microsoft Corporation’s Internet Explorer and Apple, Inc.’s Safari.

Mozilla, which holds a 28 percent market share, recently released the newest version of its open source browser, dubbed Firefox 3. Firefox was downloaded more than 8 million times on its first day of release.

Read More Article...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Is open source software insecure? An introduction to the issues

This briefing note is intended to answer questions that those new to open source software may have about its security. By definition, open source software is software for which the source code is available to anyone. Source code can be thought of as a kind of blueprint for the software, a form which is ideal for gaining understanding of how a program works or modifying its design. A program's source code is in many cases processed by another program called a 'compiler' to create the actual file that runs on an end-user's computer. This file is called the object code (or executable), and it is this that an end-user receives when buying traditional proprietary, closed-source software like, for example, Microsoft Word. In comparison to its source code, the object code of a program is very difficult for a human being to comprehend or modify. Thus, open source software can be said to invite and facilitate modification, while closed source software tends not to. These technical characteristics are also generally carried through into the accompanying licences; open source licences permit modification and redistribution by the user, while closed source end user licence agreements tend to contractually bind the user to refrain from modifying or redistributing the software that they cover.

In this document, the first section aims to identify the chief ways in which software can be insecure, the second section discusses general approaches to mitigating software insecurity, and the final section compares closed and open source development methodologies in the light of the information from the preceding sections.

Read More Article...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Java is free at last. Now what?

Java started down the road to openness more than a year ago. Today it's finally free.

According to Red Hat, its open source IcedTea Project has passed Sun's Java Technology Compatibility Kit, a rigorous suite of tests designed to verify that a Java implementation conforms to the full Java specification. That makes it official: IcedTea does everything that Java is supposed to do, and it's fully open source.

It's impossible to overstate the significance of this milestone. At last, a full-blooded Java implementation is available under a 100 percent Free Software license. At last, the open source community can put aside any lingering objections to developing in Java.

So is this it -- the beginnings of Java's golden age? I wonder.

In terms of raw popularity, it's hard to argue that Java has been anything but a runaway success. Doubtless it will continue to enjoy a loyal following among enterprise application developers for years to come. Despite its newly relaxed license terms, however, actually growing Java's installed base could prove more challenging.

Read More Article...

Symbian Foundation: The Open Source War Is On

As the support and demand for open source increased, the competition got tougher. With the Android practically knocking at out door, Nokia wants to make an entrance on the market and turn Symbian into an open source platform.

For the time being, Symbian is not an open source software. Instead, phone manufacturers are given parts of its source code.

The new announcement was made on Tuesday, when Nokia revealed its plan to buy the rest of the Symbian shares that it does not already own.

Together with partners such as Motorola, NTT DoCoMo, LG Electronics, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, AT&T, Texas Instruments, STMicroelectronics and Vodafone, Nokia is planning on turning the Symbian into an Android or Linux rival.

The goal of the Symbian Foundation is to make the Symbian OS “the most used platform in the world”, as they announced in the press conference.

Symbian owns over 65 percent of the smart mobile device market at the moment, and Nokia’s plans should put some pressure on the competition.

Read More Article...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Sun: We screwed up on open source

Many open-source developers remain sceptical as regards Sun, because their memories of the company focus on its interactions with the community in 2001-02.

Sun's chief open-source officer, Simon Phipps, now concedes that was a period in which Sun "screwed up".

Speaking in a recent interview with sister site Builder AU, Phipps explained the situation in which Sun finds itself: "Open-source developers have been much more sceptical of Sun; a lot of open-source developers don't remember the fact that Sun was pretty much the first open-source start-up, in 1982."

"All they can remember is what happened in 2001-02 when, to be quite frank with you, we screwed up. We alienated a large group of open-source developers by the attitudes we had of the community back then," said Phipps.

In order to remedy the alienation, Phipps said Sun is "leading by changing behaviour, rather than by just saying good words".

Read More Article...

Microsoft to developers: ‘Open source is a choice’

MANILA, Philippines -- At the Cebu open source summit, Microsoft was telling developers it is ready to help them go "primetime."

Microsoft's presence in the summit drew quite an impact, if not harmless ribbing. In a presentation by noted IT entrepreneur Winston Damarillo, mentioning indicators that open source is ready for primetime deployment, one answer reads: "The number of times in a month Microsoft says: ‘We support open source.’"

"My answer to that was: ‘We should have done it earlier,’” said Abet Dela Cruz, Microsoft Philippines platform strategy manager, narrating Monday's panel discussion at the Cebu summit.

Dela Cruz represented Microsoft in the panel along with representatives from IBM and Red Hat.

"It took IBM about 10 years to be at this stage and it is only now that Microsoft is going in the same direction," said Dela Cruz, who is still in Cebu attending the two-day summit.

IBM has been a staunch supporter of open source although the tech giant does sell its own proprietary software.

Read More Article...

Monday, June 23, 2008

Sun : Java to be 100 percent open by year's end

The struggle to open up Java completely is finally coming to an end.

Following the announcement of Sun's plans to make Java free and open under the General Public License (GPL) at JavaOne 2006, there have been a few struggles on the path to open source. At the time of the OpenJDK release in May last year, around five percent of the code — the portion not owned by Sun — was still closed.

Simon Phipps, chief open-source officer at Sun, said: "We released under the GPL everything we had the rights to release under the GPL, and that was last summer. There were a couple of holdouts there. One was the area to do with raster graphics and 2D graphics. That turned out to be owned by a company that didn't want us to release that code as open source. We negotiated with them and because they've said: 'Yes, you can open source the code', I can tell you they're Codec..."

"The only element that's left now is actually a sound-related component within Java. We finally decided that the vendor that's involved there just isn't going to play ball and we're rewriting the code from scratch. That's going to be done within the next couple of months," said Phipps.

Read More Article...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Advantages and disadvantages of the open source software such as Linux

Advantage #1 - Stability

If you have used other operating systems, once you have made the switch to Linux, you will notice that Linux has an edge over Windows here. I can remember rebooting Windows many times over the years, because an application crashed, and I couldn't continue working. Linux can crash also, but it is much harder to do. If an application crashes in Linux, it will usually not harm the kernel or other processes.

Advantage #2 - Free Software

Most software can be obtained without cost for Linux. For example, one thing that has kept people from Linux is the lack of office software. That has changed with Open Office, and now you can edit documents and presentations from the popular Microsoft software. The conversion isn't 100% perfect, but it has worked remarkably well in allowing me to correspond and use documents that people send me via e-mail or the web.

Advantage #3 - Runs on old hardware

If you have an old 386 or 486 laying around collecting dust, you can use this to run Linux. I remember running Linux just fine on a Pentium 100 with a 1 GB disk drive, and 16 MB of memory. One use of an old machine like that could be a file server. Just go to your computer store, buy a large hard disk (as long as your old stuff can support it), and you can make a great storage server. With all the digital pictures and movies around today, this could be a great use for Linux. Look into using Samba, a server application for Linux that allows you to make your machine share the disk as a Windows share.

Advantage #4 - Security

Linux has the advantage of the code being in the public domain. This can be a double-edged sword; while you can look at the code, and developers can fix holes rapidly, it also means hackers can find bad code. I have been very impressed with the security of Linux, and the programs that run on it. I think having the code out in the open, and the ability to fix things yourself if necessary is a big plus. Who likes to work blind? With some distributions, on installation the computer will ask you what levels of security you would like for your system. You can be very trusting, or you can be paranoid. Linux gives you this flexiblity.

Disadvantage #1 - Learning curve

I won't lie to you; Linux is going to take some time to learn. I know that our society likes to be instantly gratified. Learning Linux is definitely worth your time, but to really master it, you will need to spend some good time in front of your machine tinkering with things. Don't expect to be an expert after reading something like "Linux for Dummies". If you are contemplating this for your company, you will need to budget some money for training and learning time.

Disadvantage #2 - Equivalent programs

While I gave the example before of an office suite of programs that is working well, there are still applications that do not exist in Linux. Thankfully, this list has become much more narrow in recent months. You will want to think carefully when you switch to Linux about what programs you currently use, and if they have Linux support for them. It may not make sense for you to switch if you are going to spend tons of time converting databases and application data.

Disadvantage #3 - More technical ability needed

You will want to make sure that you train someone in Linux really well. Alternately, you could hire someone who has experience with Linux. A good Linux administrator needs to be on hand as you start to migrate your systems over. This is a disadvantage financially, at least in the beginning. You may find over time, however, that you only need a temporary administrator to handle the routine tasks.

Disadvantage #4 - Not all hardware compatible

Some of the latest and greatest hardware that is being produced is not compatible with Linux. At least, not yet. The people that contribute program code and drivers to the Linux kernel are great at including support fairly quickly. Until that time, not everything you buy for hardware in your system may work. I've had to rely on third-party drivers and other means to make hardware like a new Ethernet card work. Eventually, the support will be built in. One thing you can do is before your purchase, ask if the hardware vendor has support for Linux. Some manufacturers do write their own Linux drivers and distribute them with your purchase, making it very easy to integrate with your existing system.

Source :

Tags: BPO Services | Outsource Medical Billing | Medical Billing Services | Medical Coding | Medical Transcription | Medical Transcription Services | CAD Drafting | CAD Design | CAD 3D Modeling | CAD Engineering | CAD Rendering | AutoCAD Drawing

Friday, June 20, 2008

What is the open source technology model?

Open Vs Closed

To understand best how open source technology is developed, we can compare it to traditional closed source software produced by companies such as Microsoft.
Open source software is based around the idea that the user can not only view, but change the source code of an application.

Closed source software is hidden to prevent the user either viewing or changing the code.

After initial production, open source software is released to the development community and undergoes a secondary phase of evolution. It is scrutinised by thousands of professional developers across the globe who highlight potential flaws, bugs and security glitches. These suggestions and improvements are fed back to the developer who considers them for inclusion in his application.

Closed source software is developed in isolation with a small team of developers. It isn't possible to build a team of hundreds to check the code because the code is deemed proprietary and secret. Bugs and security flaws are often not found until after a product launch when a steady stream of security patches and updates are required.

Open source isn't just about having your own applications de-bugged for free. By releasing new applications to the community, we are helping new generations of developers learn how to code. These new developers create their own applications, which are fed back into the community and rapidly advance the growth of the whole system.

It is open source technology that has fuelled the growth of the Internet over the last six years with key applications such as Sendmail, Linux, Apache and WebStore, languages like Java and Perl, and mark-up languages such as HTML, WML and XML.

It is these same open source methods that have made eXtropia the standard for web applications and the head of a global open source development community.

Source :

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Is open source only good for undermining competitors?

I usually try very hard to not write about IBM. But the following from Matt Asay requires a reply.

Regardless, IBM isn't in the habit of open sourcing technology in which it has a lead or at least a strong position, such as it does with DB2. IBM strategically invests in open source to undermine the margins of its competitors, not its own.

Really? Take a look into OSGi, SCA, Apache HTTP Server or the countless other open source projects into which IBM has open sourced technology. This technology didn't undermine competitors; it helped customers and competitors alike (and let's not forget that competitor contributions helped IBM).

Read More Article...

IBM won't open source DB2. Is this a surprise?

When I first saw ZDNet reporting that IBM may open source its DB2 database, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. The comment that led to the report? "We have a light version of the product offered for free, which is a step towards exposing our core (DB2) technology." This was made by a UK-based director-level IBMer, which probably wouldn't be the person one would expect to reveal Big Blue's plans to open source core technology.

Regardless, IBM isn't in the habit of open sourcing technology in which it has a lead or at least a strong position, such as it does with DB2. IBM strategically invests in open source to undermine the margins of its competitors, not its own.

It was therefore no surprise to see IBM quickly follow up ZDNet's article with a blunt statement: "IBM has no plans to open source DB2."

Of course it doesn't. Not yet, anyway. It's only when IBM derives no direct, pecuniary incentive in monetizing DB2. The day that it needs DB2 to undermine Oracle's database, however, we may see IBM making a similarly bald the other direction

Source :

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Disadvantages of open source software

Are you or your organization planning to jump onto the bandwagon of “the open source software revolution”? In case you’re not aware of what is open source software it is supposed to be free software. Open source software can be modified by anybody and then redistributed because its code is supposed to be freely available, unlike the commercial software applications that you cannot alter and redistribute. The only caveat is that you cannot alter the open source software and then sell it commercially. Some prevalent examples of open source software are, a Microsoft office alternative, Ubuntu (a variant of Linux), a Windows operating system alternative, and Gimp, a Photoshop alternative.

So if all these alternatives are freely available why do people go for the commercial versions and spend so much money on non-free source software? Contrary to the popular beliefs the open source software is not as free as it seems. In fact sometimes it can prove to be more expensive than the commercial software. Here are a few reasons that caution most of the serious organizations to steer clear of open source software applications:

Most open source software applications are not reliable

Although big multinational companies like IBM and Sun Microsystems are backing the open source software movement there are no great financial stakes involved and the motivation mostly originates from a prevalent anti-Microsoft feeling. So there is no clear-cut discipline in this field and everything is emotion driven. Most of the developers and promoters of free source software believe in an obscure, idealistic world where intellectual property rights do not exist and software companies do not sell commercial software. Hence most of the applications are not reliable and you cannot run critical business operations on them.

No support exists for open source software

Once you decide to use open source software you are on your own. Agreed, that lots of help is available on the Internet and there are many self-motivated forums that can help you install and run open source software, there is no qualified support available. You have to figure out on your own how to install and use applications without sabotaging your data and hardware. For instance, every second kid in the neighborhood exhorts you to ditch Windows and switch to Linux; many have lost their years of data trying to make the shift. No help documents and manuals are made available since the software is being changed every second week.

Higher installation costs

It is a total misconception that you save money by switching over to open source software. More than 99% of PCs and laptops come with Windows operating system preinstalled and very few open source software applications adjust well with Windows. I don’t mean to say that once we are stuck with Windows we shouldn’t try another operating system; the incompatibilities are there just because nobody cares for the quality of the software. After the installation — if at all you can install it without destroying your digital resources — you have to put lots of effort into integrating the applications and make them give some decent output. Further, many open source software applications depend on the whims and fancies of the developers and they are not specifically developed by keeping the end user in mind; so once you decide to use it you have to really figure out how to excess various things. Sometimes even the menu conventions are not followed.

Another great problem is that most of the open source applications are incompatible with the present day gadgets. For instance if you use some open source operating system you can forget about the cool plug and play hardware that you have been using for so many years. Sometimes people can’t even get their modems working with open source operating systems.

Technical support too is costlier compared to commercial software because people who provide support for free source and open source software expect to earn lots of money providing support and in fact this is the only revenue model perceived in favor of the open source software movement.

No guarantee of updates

Since you are not paying for the open source software nobody is bound to give you regular updates. You can get stuck with the same old version for years without ever getting an update.
I wouldn’t like to paint the entire open source movement with a black color. Of course commercial software is sometimes too expensive and people who don’t have big budgets cannot afford them. Some buggy software is better than no software. For instance, with all its quirks is far better than Microsoft Office for those who cannot afford Microsoft Office and hence wouldn’t have such a product if it were not for the providers. Similarly there are many poor countries where low cost open source software can be used without incurring huge costs. But open source software shouldn’t be promoted as a commercial alternative.

Source :

Tags: BPO Services | Outsource Medical Billing | Medical Billing Services | Medical Coding | Medical Transcription | Medical Transcription Services | CAD Drafting | CAD Design | CAD 3D Modeling | CAD Engineering | CAD Rendering | AutoCAD Drawing

Monday, June 16, 2008

What do Free and Open Source Software Leaders Think of Microsoft?

No user of free and open source software (FOSS) can escape having an opinion about Microsoft. Microsoft products and technologies represent what FOSS users have left behind. Some consider it increasingly irrelevant, and others a shadowy figure comparable to Satan in the Middle Ages or the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Yet, no matter how members of the FOSS community regard Microsoft, all of us have well-defined opinions on the subject that we can express eloquently at short notice.

But what attitude do FOSS leaders have about Microsoft? The question is not just gossip or a test of trustworthiness. How it is answered can indicate leaders' values and priorities, and whether they deserve to be followed at all. Yet despite (or perhaps because of) how large Microsoft looms in the free software world, the rest of us rarely glimpse the attitudes the movers and shakers have towards it.

To help provide a clearer view, I asked a number of prominent FOSS leaders how Microsoft affected their work and personal computing, how much of a threat Microsoft was to FOSS, and what the odds were of the company ever becoming a member in good standing of the FOSS community.

Read More Article...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Government CIOs 'do not understand open source'

Government CIOs that dismiss open source software because of support issues, which is the case for the Australian Tax Office, Defence and Centrelink, simply do not understand the concept, according to Sun Microsystems.

In April, ZDNet Asia's sister site ZDNet Australia revealed that a number of high-profile government CIOs claimed their primary reason for not deploying open source software was a lack of support.

"For our really big core stuff, we really need the support we get. We buy the support, so we're not likely to see massive open source right through the place," said Centrelink CIO, John Wadeson.

Simon Phipps, chief open source officer for Sun Microsystems, argues that support for open source projects of any scale is available, and has suggested that reliance on proprietary vendors based solely on their ability to provide support is not a sound business case.

"CIOs who are thinking there's a lack of support are probably people who are thinking solely in terms of spreading the risk over their existing infrastructure," he said.

Phipps claimed that the "commercial strength support" available for open source is comparable with that provided by proprietary vendors. He also explained that administrators have the option of "hiring experts to train their staff".

Read More Article...

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Next Frontier for Open Source

Open Source is still a disruptive idea. It has moved beyond that in server operating systems, of course, with Linux on 20% of servers shipped these days. That’s known as being “mainstream.”

But the effects of open source development and business models continue to be heavily disruptive as they spread into new technology markets. Disruption often benefits consumers directly.

Cell phones are the next device that will move to open standards. Whether the big providers like it or not.

Can you remember doing business before there were cell phones? Neither can I. It’s one of those technologies that became truly indispensable. (link) Indispensable but not invincible. Quality of service is somewhere near early-adopter stage even after over 15 years of mass adoption. Intentionally obtuse billing. And from a technology standpoint, there’s vendor lock-in, monopolistic advantages, and a resistance to new disruptive technologies. Still, being able to do a phone call from virtually anywhere is extremely valuable, so the consumers put up with a lot.

If you can do phone calls from anywhere you should be able to do computing from anywhere. Reading email, browsing the web… you’ve become dependent on those apps at your desk. In the rest of the world, you’re used to it on your phone now, too. (link) In the US, the cell phone carriers and manufactures misguided attempt to control everything has left consumers short and arguably not served their shareholders as well.

Open source is about to hit the cell phone industry hard. It may even take with it one of the early darlings of US smart phones — a halfway station to open cell phone technology — the iPhone. Apple will be announcing the results of opening up the iPhone to third party developers next week at Apple’s WWDC 08. But the iPhone SDK is accessible only to existing Mac developers. That’s not open enough. ABI Research is estimating that somewhere near one quarter of the world’s smartphones will be Linux-based in 5 years. (link) This is the iPhone’s real competition: Linux.

Where Linux goes, the consumer wins.

Source :

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Open source as industrial policy

Industrial policy is a long-held conservative shibboleth. It’s a code word, government choosing winners and losers, government bad, government replacing the market, socialism, communism.

How far you go down that slippery slope shows how devoted you are to the ideology.

It has become clear to me over the last few years, however, that many countries see open source as an important industrial policy. Ideology be darned.

This is clearer today, with EC Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes (above) stating plainly that open standards, and open source, are preferable to anything proprietary, especially Microsoft’s OOXML.

Read More Article...

Nokia: Linux Needs to Learn Business

A VP at the Finnish handset maker says open-source developers should be 'educated' in the way the mobile industry works

Open-source developers targeting the mobile space need to learn business rules including digital rights management, Nokia's software chief has claimed. India is the dream place for BPO services.

Speaking at the Handsets World conference in Berlin on Tuesday, Dr Ari Jaaksi told delegates that the open-source community needed to be 'educated' in the way the mobile industry currently works, because the industry has not yet moved beyond old business models.

Jaaksi, Nokia's vice president of software and head of the Finnish handset manufacturer's open-source operations, said: "We want to educate open-source developers. There are certain business rules [developers] need to obey, such as DRM, IPR [intellectual property rights], SIM locks and subsidised business models."

Read More Article...

Open source vs. proprietary? Turn the question around!

The failed argumentation for open source

Often you will find open source advocates trying to tell you all the reasons why you should use open source software: Access to the source, open data standards and cost are often mentioned. Sadly, while these arguments are actually very important – especially the ones relating to freedom of your data and freedom of choice – they are often not appreciated by the wider public. The significance of these issues usually only reveals itself after some exposure to the matter, some discussion and some thinking.

For example, the non-technical public will care very little about access to the source, not realising what degree of freedom this guarantees to them, even if they never look at the source themselves. Same with open data standards. Why change or even care if all the world seems to use the same 'standard' of some proprietary software package, right? The real issue of vendor lock-in is not usually on people's mind.

Read More Article...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

EU pushes open-source standard as 'smart business'

The EU's top antitrust official called Tuesday on member governments to use open-source software, an apparent jab at Microsoft Corp.'s proprietary technology.

"No citizen or company should be forced or encouraged to choose a closed technology over an open one, through a government having made that choice first," European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said at a conference organized by OpenForum Europe, a nonprofit group that advocates open standards.

Choosing technology formats that can be used by different vendors — often without paying a fee — is "a very smart business decision," Kroes said.

She said the European Commission would do its part when it picks software standards for its own use, saying "it must not rely on one vendor, it must not accept closed standards and it must refuse to become locked into a particular technology."

Read More Article...

Monday, June 9, 2008

Sun Moves Gingerly Toward Open SOA Platform

In a bid to woo smaller companies and independent developers, Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ: JAVA) has incorporated open source elements within today's release of Java Composite Application Platform Suite (CAPS) 6, the latest version of its suite for building service-oriented architecture (SOA) products.

CAPS 6 blends open source code from the Open ESB (define) project with the closed code of the 5.x set of releases.

It is architected around the Java Business Integration (JBI) standard, which "reduces vendor lock-in -- when things go south with one vendor, enterprises can move to another because their value is in the content, and not the middleware," Mark Herring, Sun's vice president of software infrastructure marketing, told

JBI is a Java-based standard that facilitates SOA (define) integration of Java-based applications.
Read More Article...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Computer groups say open source software not a threat

A group of computer manufacturers, distributors and dealers in the country believe the emergence of the open source software technology is not a threat to the industry but is instead considered a source of grassroots ideas.

Expertise in the open source software technology is still very limited, said Wesley Ngo, director of the Computer Manufacturers, Distributors and Dealers Association of the Philippines (Comddap).

Another Comddap director, Salvador Lastrilla, also said open source is still in the infancy stage although its growth potential is very, very big.

Open source has to be encouraged, said Lastrilla, adding that radical ideas will most possibly come from the use of open source software technology.

Read More Article...

Thursday, June 5, 2008

20 great Windows open source projects you should get to know

No one loves to pay crazy per-user licensing fees, not to mention 15- 22% annual support residuals. (And no one loves the endless, mind-numbing meetings with non-technical financial folks trying to pry budget for these tools from their clenched fists.) So today we're going to discuss tools that are free. However, we are not naming them to this list of "great" tools simply because they cost nothing. These are some of the best lesser-known tools out there.

Of course, whenever we speak of great open source Windows projects we need to acknowledge the obvious players. These are the ones that have crossed over to the mainstream and have given paid software a run for its money. We all know them:, Firefox, MySQL, Xen, JBoss, and SugarCRM. These are what I like to refer to as the superstars of Open Source for Windows.

But you don't need me to tell you about the superstars. Instead, I have tested and compiled together a list of 20 great open source projects for Windows that will appeal mostly to the management and maintenance of your network. Some of these tools are just for the desktop and some are just for fun -- because happy IT folks are good IT folks. (They are not locking everyone out of the network while sneaking into the server room with a sledgehammer and … oh, come on! Admit it, I can't be the only one to have had that fantasy!) But enough of my outlandish ranting.

Read More Article...

Tags: BPO Services | Outsource Medical Billing | Medical Billing Services | Medical Coding | Medical Transcription | Medical Transcription Services | CAD Drafting | CAD Design | CAD 3D Modeling | CAD Engineering | CAD Rendering | AutoCAD Drawing

European Commission to increase its use of Open Source

The European Commission will take a more pro-active approach to its own use of Open Source and Open Standards. Xavier Heymans highlights the importance of a real and mature collaboration with communities where IT providers share their developments and adopt an "open source" philosophy.

Source : IBABC and Zea Partners

In a document published in March 2008, the European Commission states among others topics that the Commission will prefer Open Source software for its new IT projects: "For all new development, where deployment and usage is foreseen by parties outside of the Commission Infrastructure, Open Source Software will be the preferred development and deployment platform."

Next from stating its preference for Open Source for new projects, the EC decided that "for all future IT developments and procurement procedures, the Commission shall promote the use of products that support open, well-documented standards. Interoperability is a critical issue for the Commission, and usage of well-established open standards is a key factor to achieve and endorse it".

The Commission expects to reinforce its internal strategy with its external projects on Open Source, part of its IDABC programme on interoperable e-Government services. "Open Source software plays an important role in e-Government projects and interoperability in the broader sense."

Xavier Heymans, CEO of Zea Partners, an international federation of SMEs developing open source solutions, reacts to these statements. He explains that it's important to build communities around the organization. Open source software brings us a new logic of knowledge management where the knowledge isn't only inside the organization but is shared with lots of people without any formal control. This logic is the real innovation and the real added value. Most IT companies doesn't really understand it yet and sell open source software to do brand marketing. The use of open source software is important, Xavier Heymans tell, but to adopt its way of thinking is even more important. "We draw the attention of the European Commission on the necessity to control that IT providers will work in collaboration with open source communities and will give their development back to society".

Source :

The new case for open source data protection

The cost advantages are clear, and most of the drawbacks to open source backup software have recently been eliminated.

Open source tools, utilities, and products have been available for many years. While these alternatives tend to offer low acquisition costs, companies have been hesitant to adopt them for several reasons. These reasons include spotty technical support, poor or inconsistent documentation, unreliable release schedules, and lack of a driving commercial focus to address issues and provide sustained development directions.

The open source data-protection market has been no different in the past, but recent developments should make small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) take notice. Evolution in maturity, product functionality, and commercial backing warrant a re-evaluation of open source data-protection alternatives. This article reviews data-protection requirements for SMEs, and evaluates how today's open source data-protection alternatives are able to meet them.

SME data-protection requirements

SMEs generally have limited IT resources. Surveys confirm that in the data-protection arena, these companies look for ease of use, low cost, and then functionality—in that order.

In the ease-of-use area, SMEs need simple yet powerful solutions that can back up and restore data across heterogeneous clients, including Windows, Linux, Unix, and MacOS. Ease-of-use features include centralized management consoles and common tool sets across heterogeneous platforms, as well as "business" functionality, such as simple licensing schemes and responsive technical support. Data protection is a required administrative task, but because it does not really contribute to a company's competitive advantage, IT administrators naturally seek to minimize the amount of effort required to ensure recoverability.

Low cost applies not only to the initial purchase price, but also more importantly to the ongoing maintenance and administrative costs. Simpler, easier-to-use products generally exhibit lower ongoing management costs, so there is good synergy between the "ease-of-use" and "low-cost" requirements. Also, costs associated with maintaining ongoing access to archived data should be taken into account.

In terms of functionality, there are specific requirements that most SMEs look for. Backup-and-restore scheduling and management must cover heterogeneous clients and support multiple storage architectures, including DAS, SAN, and network-attached storage (NAS). Alternative client restores should be a supported option. Support for off-host backups that leverage snapshot technologies such as Windows VSS and others are also becoming requirements. Backup media support should include a variety of both disk and tape devices and provide media management capabilities with features such as media labeling and retention, overwrite protection, and tape duplication. Finally, scalability should be considered as well. Although an environment may start small, SMEs may grow to hundreds of systems that need to be backed up over time.

Read More Article...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Freeing up the future: Is open source best for business?

We spend $1 trillion on software every year, writing off around twenty percent in failed applications. Not only is open source software free, but many are now claiming it works better too. Exec finds out more.

There’s been a war of attrition going on for a few years now. On one side, there’s the old guard of proprietary software; heavyweights like Microsoft Windows, Adobe Photoshop and Mac OS X, providers of industry standard, premium products - at a premium price. On the other, there’s the young buck in the form of open source software, or OSS.

This upstart may need a little more introduction. Perhaps best described as publicly shared intellectual property, OSS is software for which the underlying code has been made available for users, who are then able to read it or change it as they wish. It’s very much bottom-up system, with an almost hippyish agenda in some quarters of bringing an end to the strangle-grip that software vendors have on the industry.

Typically for something tarred with the hippy brush, the latter has been branded unreliable and of questionable security. Yet, instead, some of the big-hitters of the technology world have been keen to sing its praises.

Read More Article...

Survey: Open source is entering the enterprise mainstream

The survey, collecting data from 328 respondents, showed that more than half the respondents (53 per cent) are using open-source applications in their organization.

Open-source solutions used to be adopted quietly by company boffins who snuck in an Apache Web server or an open-source development tool suite under the philosophy "It's easier to get forgiveness than permission" (not to mention "It's easier to do it with open-source tools than to get an IT budget").

That's no longer the case, according to a survey of IT and business executives and managers, conducted in late April 2008 by The survey, collecting data from 328 respondents, showed that more than half the respondents (53 percent) are using open-source applications in their organization today, and an additional 10 percent plan to do so in the next year. For nearly half, 44 percent, open-source applications are considered equally with proprietary solutions during the acquisition process.

Among those currently employing open-source solutions, the primary uses are operating systems such as Linux (78 percent), infrastructure applications, such as back-end databases and Web servers (74 percent), and software development tools like Eclipse (61 percent).

Those may sound fairly geeky, but business application use isn't far behind. Nearly half of the survey respondents, 45 percent, are using desktop applications such as, and 29 percent use open-source enterprise applications. The most popular of those enterprise applications are collaboration tools, customer relationship management (CRM) tools and ERP applications.

Moreover, open-source solutions are generating confidence. Close to three in five respondents, 58 percent, strongly agree or agree with the statement that Linux is reliable enough to depend upon for mission-critical applications. Remarkably, that confidence is highest among IT executives and managers: 62 percent say Linux is ready for prime time.

Respondents to the survey ranged from IT executive or manager (59 percent) and business executive or manager (13 percent) to IT professionals (20 percent) and business professionals (8 percent).

Read More Article....

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Taking a risk on open source

Sit back and let me tell you a story about a game-changing open source e-commerce project, an emerging web development firm in Bloomington, and how folks there discovered this project and I, in turn, discovered them.

(Open source is a model that provides access to a product's underlying technology and any specialized knowledge it took to create it. In the case of open source software, the underlying computer code --called "source code" -- is made available under some form of copyright license that adheres to the Open Source Definition.)

What I learned is illustrative of how Internet and web connections are changing everything from value discovery to customer satisfaction — and to how awareness of an emerging company can happen if they're in-the-game and leveraging new social media tools.

Last year, I was performing some due diligence for a client on e-commerce software. Stunned by how poorly executed most open source e-commerce projects were, I was delighted when happenstance brought me to this blog with a link to an open source e-commerce package called MagentoCommerce. After 30 minutes on the site, scanning posts in the forum and looking at the demos, I realized that the sheer scope of the energy, effort and enthusiasm the community was exhibiting around this open source project was going to raise the bar quite high for any other e-commerce offering ... whether commercial or open source.

Read More Article...