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Business Open Source Use Up 26% in One Year 106

CBR is reporting that open source use in the workplace is continuing to grow at an astonishing rate. Up 26% since last year, businesses are using 94 different open source tools to get the job done. "[OpenLogic's] breakdown of licenses for the top 25 packages found that Apache, not the GPL, is the most common license. 62% of the packages use Apache, 27% use some variant of GPL and 4% each use BSD, CPL, Eclipse, MPL and Perl licenses (since packages may be released under two or more licenses, percentages total to more than 100%).
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Business Open Source Use Up 26% in One Year

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    • by abigor ( 540274 ) on Friday February 01, 2008 @04:22PM (#22266058)
      From the article:

      "Enterprises on average used a whopping 94 different open source packages last year, compared to 75 in 2006..."

    • by yariv ( 1107831 )
      Of what it was last year, of course.
      The question is how is the use measured?
    • by sm62704 ( 957197 ) on Friday February 01, 2008 @04:26PM (#22266126) Journal
      If yestdrday's post was correct, 26% of .08%. Of course we're talking not just Linux here of course ;)

      However, as I pointed ot then, it's impossible to measure OSS use. OSS use by businesses would be pretty damned inaccurate, but wouldn't be as "out of my orifice" as desktop Linux use.

      Clemons (Twain for those who like pseudonyms) spoke of three kinds of lies: Lies, damned lies, and statistics.
      • by jonbryce ( 703250 ) on Friday February 01, 2008 @04:30PM (#22266166) Homepage
        I read somewhere that something like 90% of large companies use free and open source software somewhere in their business.

        This probably isn't on their desktop machines of course. It is more likely to be things like web. dns and email servers, and network routers.
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          I work on the factory floor of a screen printing company, and I always get a kick out of seeing the OO.o icon in the start menu on the factory computers. Apparently my employers didn't want to shell out the license fees to microsoft for 80+ computers so that they could use Word maybe once or twice a week.
          • hard to blame them. my brother is a college student and doesnt want to even shell out 60 bucks for Office 2007 ultimate (a special student price) because, presently, he just doesnt care and only needs to write a paper.

            one of my courses require it (meh) which means not only using office, but having to boot into windows to do it. its better than OO, for certain, but i just write essays and basic research papers, why its required is beyond me.
            • At my uni they give away Vista, XP, Office, Server 2003, etc... and still no one uses it.
            • one of my courses require it (meh) which means not only using office, but having to boot into windows to do it. its better than OO, for certain, but i just write essays and basic research papers, why its required is beyond me.

              First MS Office also runs on OS X. Then with Crossover MS Office, up to 2003 [codeweavers.com], Office for Window will run on both Linux and OS X. However I don't use MS Office at all, on my Mac with 10.4 I use the Mac native port of OO.org, NeoOffice [neooffice.org] I have had no problem opening even MS Office 20

        • by nschubach ( 922175 ) on Friday February 01, 2008 @05:53PM (#22267260) Journal
          At my workplace, they approved a few different open source applications, FlashDevelop for the eLearning Flash content, Audacity, and Eclipse for some of the Web development. I'm sure there were a couple others. Though, I somehow don't think these types of software are counted in the OP survey or I'd think it would be a higher number.
        • Desktops have them, too. While the most commonly used programs, like Office, and, of course, Windows itself, remain closed source, many business desktops in a lot of places I've been have programs have OSS programs like PDFCreator and PuTTY.

          Where I am now, I've even got Gimp.
        • More likely 99.999%. There are so many Linux devices out there, I think it is impossible for anyone in the first world to avoid using free software for something. If you go to linuxdevices.com, you'll see that the embedded market is responsible for about 300 million Linux devices per year. That is 100 times more than Linux server sales.
      • by Aadomm ( 609333 )
        Clemens actually
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          If there's one thing that infuriates me here, its Prescriptivist Slashdot Orthography Nazis telling us how we must spell people's names.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by TheRaven64 ( 641858 )
        I suspect their numbers for BSD and MIT licenses are far too low too. Did they check the about boxes on all of the closed-source software to see if it included any BSDL code?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by jonbryce ( 703250 )
          It probably isn't open source software if you can't get hold of the source because someone has taken some BSD code and closed it.
    • 26% of 44.5%. Duh!
    • even 50% of a small number meens nothing.. so 26% ..hmm ok wow lots ! Not that i do not push open sorce myself.. old military background ,, linux for life.. but 26% of 1 is still nothing compared to Redmond stong hold..but .. Its still moving forwards.. thats all we hoped for !
  • (since packages may be released under two or more licenses, percentages total to more than 100%)

    Ah! Statistics!

    http://vancouvercondo.info [vancouvercondo.info]
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      That has nothing to do with `statistics'. It is a simple fact of life that if you look at non-disjoint subsets, the sum of their sizes may very well be larger that the size of their union. This does not make knowing the sizes of the different subsets useless...
  • Licence use (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jonbryce ( 703250 ) on Friday February 01, 2008 @04:27PM (#22266140) Homepage
    Surely if most people use Apache, they also use something like php along with it? So why doesn't the php licence appear near the top of the list?
    • Re:Licence use (Score:5, Informative)

      by abigor ( 540274 ) on Friday February 01, 2008 @04:36PM (#22266254)
      Apache license != Apache web server
    • Probably because many projects use the Apache license.
      Also, it's sure that not all Apache installations have PHP (there's still a lot of static content).
    • I thought for business purposes a lot of people use those two open source ASP pieces of software on their servers. You ever try writing...ANYTHING in php that's remotely complicated or God help us all...object oriented! I was just through that nightmare a couple weeks ago. It's like you've got to trick php into doing what you want it to cuz it sure as hell wasn't designed for it.
      • by dgatwood ( 11270 )

        What specifically is giving you fits? I've never had too much trouble with correctness when doing OO in PHP, though I have found PHP to be particularly bad at performance when doing anything involving manipulating large trees of objects. In such cases, I've seen as much as two orders of magnitude speedup by trivial translation of PHP code into C....

        • using an object instantiated on one page on the next page is a huge pain. If you serialize it, there can't be any object used in the class that makes the object you want to serialize.
    • Re:Licence use (Score:4, Informative)

      by Cecil ( 37810 ) on Friday February 01, 2008 @04:45PM (#22266356) Homepage
      Surely not. Apache can do a lot more than merely serve PHP apps.

      Obviously, it can serve any static files all on its own, and it can serve any other type of CGI as well (C, shell, Perl, Python, Ruby, the list goes on). Apache Tomcat is a enterprise-level Java server, and I suspect this is where a large amount of the corporate usage falls under. Apache can also be used as a WebDAV server, it can be used as a Subversion server too.

      PHP is a hobbyist thing, not a corporate thing.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by LordLucless ( 582312 )
        You've got to be joking. I see more jobs for PHP developers/maintainers than for any other web technologies (with the possible exception of .NET). I also know tonnes of businesses, universities, government departments, etc that run their sites using PHP. It is definitely a corporate thing. It might not be suitable for "enterprise level" (whatever that is) projects - it's easy to get REALLY messy PHP code when you start building something big/complex. But a big, important business does not necessarily necess
    • Re:Licence use (Score:5, Informative)

      by snuf23 ( 182335 ) on Friday February 01, 2008 @04:51PM (#22266444)
      Just because you use Apache HTTP server doesn't mean you are running PHP. Apache can be used to serve all kinds of dynamic content. For example:

      Apache -> Tomcat (Java)
      Apache -> Mongrel (ruby on rails)
      Apache -> CGI (whatever)

      I would guess that Apache/Tomcat/Jboss installs are more common than PHP in commercial enterprises.
      As others have mentioned there are tons of projects using the Apache license. Spamassassin is a good example.
    • I would imagine things like Ant, Log4J and Commons alone count for the majority of the APL code.
      • And also Struts, Velocity, Axis, Xerces/Xalan, etc. Most of the APL code business use is going to be library and component code, not end products like Httpd and Tomcat.
  • With the new PC's from Dell and other PC manufactures, not to mention wall mart selling out of cheap Linux PCs could we be seeing a tipping point here. Microsoft has countered (temporally), Linux in the developing world. But what would there response to the $199 PC be, can they afford to put some sort of operating system and office application on it! Can they afford not to.
    • by flyingfsck ( 986395 ) on Friday February 01, 2008 @05:20PM (#22266838)
      Well, Asus alone plans to sell about 50% more Eee PCs (5 million) than Apple sells Macs (3 million) in 2008. So this is the year when Linux desktop sales may equal or exceed Linux server sales. If you count all Linux devices, then Linux is actually the most popular OS ever, with about 300 million Linux devices sold each year. If we assume a typical life of 5 years for embedded devices routers and cell phones, then there should be at least 1.5 billion Linux devices out there, compared to about 600 million Windows devices.
      • by Le Sale ( 944792 )
        Obviously, we don't live in the same world. I don't recall seeing a 2002-2003 cell phone lately as most people surprisingly manage to live through their 1-2-3 years contracts and then suddenly change their cellphones for the new one (althought they won't use one single feature from the new phone). As for routers .. well .. the 3+ years one you have are usually the ones you give to a friend/parent so they stop annoying you with their fun NetGear crap still running that they bought for 350$ in 2001.
      • by Hadlock ( 143607 )
        Well, Asus alone plans to sell about 50% more Eee PCs (5 million)
        Does Asus also plan on dropping the price of the Eee to acceptable levels? It's a neat gadget, and I'd buy one, if models were available in the US that cost less than $400
      • "Well, Asus alone plans to sell about 50% more Eee PCs (5 million) than Apple sells Macs (3 million) in 2008"

        Where did you get the "3 million" figure for Mac sales from? Apple sold 2.32 million of the things in the fourth quarter of 2007 alone, and 7.83 million of them during the entire year, compared to 5.66 million sold in 2006. It would therefore be a notably disastrous year for Apple if their Mac sales suddenly drop to 3 million in 2008.

        Ars tecnica has sales figures taken from Apple's quarterly reports
  • by uuxququex ( 1175981 ) on Friday February 01, 2008 @04:37PM (#22266262)
    After a lot of testing and benchmarking we moved our Oracle databases (OLTP and DWH) to Postgresql. We also looked at MySQL, by the way. Our production servers were migrated in August 2007 and so far everything has been very stable. It's too soon to really tell, but there is a feeling it is more stable than our previous Oracle setup.
    • We also use PostgreSQL in our system at my current workplace. I've found it to be very robust and solid, moreso than MySQL.
      • MySQL is excellent for read-only database applications, i.e. database backed websites. The non-ACID compliant table types are very, very fast and when you take care not to over use joins your web site will be very fast.

        Using it with the more full-featured table types it is not all that scalable, and you will be better off with Postgresql.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by stoolpigeon ( 454276 ) *
      Nice. Are you doing any kind of replication? How about partitioning? If so did you do it in house or hire somebody to help out with that. I haven't worked with Postgres in about 4 years - so I've lost touch just a bit with what's been happening there.
      And are the apps using that back-end all custom or is there commercial stuff that can use Postgres? I'm especially interested in that on the warehouse side.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by uuxququex ( 1175981 )
        I don't have exact details (I'm a Pointy Haired Boss) but we have some sort of replication going on. A few developers are looking in to the code for that, as it is one of the areas that we might be able to improve upon. It's only just started so there are no results yet.

        We did the migration in house, without any major issues. The data warehouse was a bit of a challenge as it contains around 3 terabyte of data, and Oracle took forever to dump. Loading it in Postgresql was a breeze though! ;-)

        All our appl

        • I must say, you're a remarkably well-informed PHB.
          • by paitre ( 32242 )
            And one that I would love to have as a boss. :_)
            • Thanks, it's appreciated. My job is really simple: I'm a buffer between the senior management and the developers. I'm responsible for making shit happen without interfering with the magic that the developers do all by them selves.

              I'm very good in office politics: I completely ignore it (up to a point, I'm actually quite skilled at it). There is a job to be done, and I make sure it gets done. By letting the specialists do what they do best, which is solve problems. The developers are happy because the shit

              • Ok, slashdot seems to have eaten my html. The "the cake is a lie" should have been enclosed by "portal" tags.

                Well, that should teach me not to post while under the influence... ;-)

          • Wouldn't have it any other way. I need to be aware about whats going on on a global level, I'm not one to micro-manage the specialists. Each to his/her own job. My job is to filter the crap from above and only bother the developers with the really necessary disturbance. And to make sure there are no issues for the developers to do their job.

            Yes, I get yelled at by senior management, that's part of the job, I can handle it. The developers like me for not interfering though. And that's the only way to get w

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by StormReaver ( 59959 )
      "It's too soon to really tell, but there is a feeling it is more stable than our previous Oracle setup."

      That's been my experience, too. We've been using PostgreSQL in mission-critical capacities for years (our revenues depend on it), and it hasn't let us down yet. Oracle, on the other hand, has been rather...unpredictable.
      • Oracle, on the other hand, has been rather...unpredictable.

        We got our share of weird stuff. Databases that would come up, telling it was already up (no, it wasn't). Our nightly batch would hang at least once every two weeks. CPU at 0%, no disk activity, but totally unresponsive. Neither we nor Oracle could find out why.

  • Is it possible that Microsoft will come to regret paying a premium for a business position in an industry it has yet to master, despite extraordinary expenditures (on-line revenue generation). Looky at how much ground Microft must make up to catch Google:
    Rank Search Engine Volume
    1. www.google.com 65.98%
    2. search.yahoo.com 20.88%
    3. search.msn.com 5.33%
    4. www.ask.com 4.14%

    http://www.hitwise.com/datacenter/searchengineanalysis.php [hitwise.com]

    Note that msn searches have declined despite significant investment by the borg in pumping up its performance. There is strong reason to believe that Microsoft will not be able to tie its Yahoo properties to its Microosft Windows and Microsoft Office monopolies, and there is not a single one of Microsoft's properties that have succeeded to drive significantly scaled revenue unless it is tied to the Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office monopolies. Halo was a huge seller, but them Microsoft sold off the Bungie, the creator of Halo, on October 1, 2007 after milking the cow dry.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bungie_Studios [wikipedia.org]

    Microsoft took a $1 billion hit on the X-box:

    http://www.news.com/Microsoft-to-extend-Xbox-360-warranty,-take-1-billion-hit/2100-1014_3-6195058.html [news.com]

    The X-box was wildy outsold by Wii. MSNBC is popular but not a huge money maker. There is simply nothing outside the Microsoft Windows / Microsoft Office monopoly that shows signs of supporting Microsoft's stock is down 6.35% at the moment on the day, despite the Yahoo announcement. MSFT's stock is trading at $30.51, meaning that it is right back down in the same dolldrums where it has been since Q3 2003 , with no intervening splits!

    There are lots of analysts talking about a glut of Vista machines, and wondering if CompUSA's bk might be the canary in Microsoft's coal mine. Microsoft's recent report of a 67% increase on its net reflects ADVANCE SALES of Vista licenses which Microsoft imposes on its vendors. If its vendors are overstocked with Vista machines, you wonder how much more Microsoft can cram down the pipeline in coming quarters.

    In the meantime, Linux and Unix boxes have been selling very well on Amazon.com and swept all the categories for Amazon for 2007. From a recent story on /.'s fp:

    http://linux.slashdot.org/linux/07/12/29/1959244.shtml [slashdot.org]
    "Computers and handheld devices running default GNU Linux or Unix OSes have swept Amazon's 'best of' list for 2007, according BusinessWire.com for 28 December 2007. Best selling computer? The Nokia Internet Tablet PC, running Linux. Best reviewed computer? The Apple MacBook Pro notebook PC. Most wished for computer? Asus Eee 4G-Galaxy 7-inch PC mobile Internet device, which comes with Xandros Linux pre-installed. And last, but not least, the most frequently gifted computer: The Apple MacBook notebook PC."

    Sure, MSFT is powerful, but with this Yahoo acquisition, they are taking on premium-weighted debt, and it really raises a question as to whether that asset will justify the premium. Yahoo has been declining, and it is not clear that the mere acquisition of Yahoo by Microsoft will succeed where Microsoft has failed in all of their other non-Windows-Office monopoly. That is the $44 billion dollar question, IMHO.
    • Don't forget that MS is hoping to add Yahoo's 20.88% to it's own for $44.6 billion.
    • with this Yahoo acquisition, they are taking on premium-weighted debt

      Microsoftr has $20 billion in cash. Microsoft saw a 79% rise in its quarterly profit. Microsoft is coining money.

      • by jedidiah ( 1196 )
        Hey! Whataminute. I thought Microsoft had $40 billion cash.

        Time to pull up those couch cushions...
        • They started paying dividends a few years back, something they never did before. That will reduce their cash pile as it is now in the hands of shareholders.
      • Dude this is slashdot, facts that go against the 'MS IS DYING THIS IS THE YEAR OF THE LINUX DESKTOP' will not get modded up and will be ignored.

    • And last, but not least, the most frequently gifted computer: The Apple MacBook notebook PC.
      Where are all of these people who gift[1] MacBooks, and why don't I know any of them?

      [1] Verbing weirds language.

    • Sure, MSFT is powerful, but with this Yahoo acquisition, they are taking on premium-weighted debt, and it really raises a question as to whether that asset will justify the premium. Yahoo has been declining, and it is not clear that the mere acquisition of Yahoo by Microsoft will succeed where Microsoft has failed in all of their other non-Windows-Office monopoly. That is the $44 billion dollar question, IMHO.

      Something I find ironic about MS acquiring Yahoo! to compeat with Google is that Yahoo! was one

    • by Le Sale ( 944792 )
      So what I can graps from your comment is that Microsoft is very evil. Quite funny from someone would have complained otherwise if the warranty on the 360 (to name one of your grief) wasn't extended. And you seem to allocate a lot of interest into home computers, which are the most pirated/less-earning machines, especially compared to corporate. What's the mail server if I run a *nix environnement or an Apple one ? Oh right, no leads. Exchange. Maybe GroupWise (haha) or Notes (bleah). Do I see any fan
      • Do I see any fancy GPL software implemented in a corporation ? Nah .. why ? Support, hotfixes, no "let's try this to see if it works" stuff, just plain .. "it works" stuff and if there's a bug, they get it fixed (as in .. SOMEONE is reponsible .. not like the funny RedHat/SuSe support you can try to get, and immediatly fall into the "Ohh you installed BLABLA rpm .. then we can't help you unless you uninstall it".

        I don't know about anybody else, but the only time I was told to wipe and reinstall was when

  • 26% is good but not "astonishing". In the technology world it's not uncommon for products to be adopted at the rate of hundreds of percent. 26% could be a fluke for all we know considering the small market share currently.
  • Recession? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Average ( 648 ) on Friday February 01, 2008 @04:52PM (#22266452)
    Perhaps the start of a recession (or recession talk) is leading to a second and third look at the question "could we get away with using FOSS software in this task?". Training costs are one thing. But, in a deep enough recession, people are looking to save their jobs. They'll learn whatever they are told to learn, and they'll do it on their own time (go read the FOSS community pages/wiki if need be). Those that can't, well, will be the first to be furloughed.
    • Vista (Score:4, Insightful)

      by MillionthMonkey ( 240664 ) on Friday February 01, 2008 @05:09PM (#22266686)
      This may be a stretch, but after Microsoft Vista, I think the business community could be losing confidence in Microsoft's future. They might fear that if they use MS products, they could lose support and there would be no one left to assume liability.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by masdog ( 794316 )
        I think it will take more than Vista to cause the business community to start to lose confidence in Microsoft. They have several other strong product lines that many businesses rely upon for their operations, and one bad desktop operating system isn't going to make a Sys Admin or DBA reconsider Windows Server, Exchange, or SQL Server.

        If anything, Microsoft has shaken the confidence of the consumer market with Vista, the XBox 360 RRoD, HD-DVD, and the Windows Home Server corruption problems. In the gran
        • by jez9999 ( 618189 )
          If something were to happen that would greatly harm Microsoft to the point that they would be going out of business (like this attempted hostile takeover of Yahoo)

          On what evidence do you base the assertion that Microsoft's takeover of Yahoo will put MS out of business (don't get me wrong, I want it to happen, but it's wishful thinking)?
          • don't get me wrong, I want it to happen, but it's wishful thinking

            I'm no supporter of Microsoft, I don't like how it is run, but I don't want to see MS put out of business. Instead what I want to see is MS operating in a truly free market and not use it's monopoly position to harm competitors. They should instead compeat with better products.

            • by jez9999 ( 618189 )
              Nope, I want em out of business. I'm just bored of their name, their logo, etc. I wanna see some fresh faces. Besides, they bug me.
  • adoption (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rpillala ( 583965 ) on Friday February 01, 2008 @05:00PM (#22266556)

    I am in a "graduate" program where we frequently get projects that require photo manipulation, presentations, etc. They also require us to work in groups. Since not everyone is from my same company we don't always have access to the same software to collaborate. I've been using this as an excuse to introduce people to things like GIMP and OpenOffice. The appeal of a free program that gets the specific tasks done that we need is pretty compelling. I don't know how many of them pass this kind of information on, but I know a few of them have gotten hooked.

  • Bjarne is right (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    I am with Bjarne on this one.
    Bjarne Stroustrup, creator of the C++ programming language, claims that C++ is experiencing a revival and
    that there is a backlash against newer programming languages such as Java and C#. "C++ is bigger than ever.
    There are more than three million C++ programmers. Everywhere I look there has been an uprising
    - more and more projects are using C++. A lot of teaching was going to Java, but more are teaching C++ again.
    There has been a backlash.", said Stroustrup.
    • Who was the ignorant mod-kiddy, who gave this Cato [enotes.com] +1 Insightful? History is repeating itself again. This comment-at-each-article must be stopped before the reign of C++ devours us all!

  • 7-Zip, Firefox, PDFCreator, PuTTY, the list goes on and on.
  • by clang_jangle ( 975789 ) on Friday February 01, 2008 @05:55PM (#22267300) Journal
    According to TFA [ebizq.net] it's the number of free software packages that's "up 26%", not business use of free software.

    Bad submitter, bad!!!.
    Bad editors, bad! Bad!

  • Oh, and everyone else making life rough for paying customers, and treating them like criminals.
  • In the last year or two, I can't tell you how many times people have asked me where they could get a good deal on MS Office, only to have me mention OpenOffice as a free alternative and had it eagerly siezed upon.

    It's strange, really. I'm like "You must need to open that spreadsheet file?" and they're like "It's an *.xls!" "Yess...why don't you try this out?" "It can open this file!?" "Probably" and then so far it's always been fine and they're quite elated not to have had to buy MS
    • All major office suites are kitchen-sink applications that try to be everything to everybody, and Microsoft Office is probably the biggest sink of them all.

      On so many levels.
    • Same here. I've been pleasantly surprised how many of my neighbours are using openoffice rather than ms office.
  • We are very, very reliant on OSS, so much so that the company would fold without them. All our servers are linux if possible (some apps require a MS server, i.e. quickbooks), we use python scripts (on windows WS) for many daily tasks, many of our GUI apps are wxPython, our project mangement/tracking system is a custom-made PHP/MySQL/Apache deal, most of our workstations use OO.o rather than MS Office (the execs have it though), the company website is on apache/PHP, our email system is Scalix on centOS. The
  • This trend is great to see. Our latest generation of collaboration software, http://icecore.org/ [icecore.org] is built on an open source project that takes advantage of other projects, including Hibernate, Liferay, Lucene, MySQL, openSUSE, and Tomcat. Consistent with the CBR report, adoption of the open source project we sponsor is accelerating in small and large enterprises. Educational institutions are helping lead the way.

God made the integers; all else is the work of Man. -- Kronecker