Why Open Source Software Selection Matters

20 April 2010

SOS Open Source author: Roberto GaloppiniDespite open source exponential growth – the number of available open source programs double every 14 months – only a tiny fraction of famous open source projects are backed by vendors. Actually many thousands of open source projects – included those that are considered by ISVs, SIs and solution providers “enterprise ready” – are largely unknown among the general public.

IT Giants standing on the shoulders of dwarfs.

Twitter recently made public its open source love, disclosing the usage of 29 different projects and making names of all their developers contributing code to 7 of them. Looking at the Twitter open source directory and reading the twitter engineering blog  is clear that they invest time and effort to qualify and select open source software. Facebook’s approach to open source is very similar: they use at least 20 projects and contribute to 6 of them.

Open source enables innovation by providing many components – often almost unknown, with very few exceptions – but even when those open source projects are not marketed by any vendor, yet they are able to provide great value to Twitter and others.

There is a general lack of knowledge about open source software packages, but for few dozen of products, either because of their long history or because created by open source vendors backed by VCs.

Open Source software selection.

Open source public procurement guidelines explain that downloading is not an alternative to the process of well justified software acquisition, and hence the importance of investigations of underlying open-source communities.

An examination of the origin and popularity of open source software and who offers which software services can greatly help to conduct a sustainable software acquisition, and we’ll soon look into how to find and select open source software.

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