More than one person has moaned aloud at the thought of having to review — or worse yet, update — a Microsoft Project file. Sure, there are online and downloadable Project file viewers, and plenty of competitors in the project management application space. But most of them cost money, have limited features or are otherwise wonky in some way.Until now. Welcome Projity’s OpenProj 1.0, a full-featured cross-platform open source project management application that reads/writes MS-Project .mpp, Project 2003 .XML and Projity’s own .pod files. This is no trial version or crippleware, it’s the real thing, and it comes in Linux, Unix, Mac (PPC/X86) and, yes, Windows versions. As others point out, this could be a welcome addition to the OpenOffice suite of enterprise open source productivity applications.I have just started tinkering with OpenProj — the 1.0 version launched recently — and so far, I’m impressed. According to the OpenProj site, so are the top guns at places like Sourceforge, Ubuntu, Mandriva, Sabayon Linux and Novell.Right now it’s an EOS Directory candidate, but we’re looking to rate it and add it to the directory. If you’ve got comments about OpenProj, add them below. I’ll keep checking to see if SteveB from Redmond posts a thumbs-down comment. Then we’ll know for sure it’s the real thing!
Here are some of the open source-related headlines this week — so far:
- Sun shines on open source database MySQL — Sun Micro Acquires MySQL for $1B (Blogging Stocks)
- MySQL deal could stave off darkness at Sun — Buying MySQL Could Save Sun (Seeking Alpha)
- Oracle raises the app server ante for open source solutions — Oracle Acquires BEA for $8.5B (Blogging Stocks)
- Matt Asay thinks Oracle’s BEA bid is a win for JBoss/RedHat (CNet Open Road)
- Drupal offers security fixes — Drupal verion 4.7.x and 5.6 upgrades available (Drupal.org)
- Open source community opens source. Is this recursion? – Ohloh Goes Open Source (PR Newswire)
EOS Directory sponsor Optaros has launched a completely re-designed site with lots of Web 2.0 capabilities to showcase their Next Generation Internet (NGI) expertise.
- Multimedia case studies with audio/video screencasts — make sure you’ve got your ears turned on.
- Assembly methodology — no, they’re NOT all the same.
- Open source policies and partnerships — thanks to a number of open source partners, the EOS Directory is open to help you locate the right enterprise open source solution.
- Expertise galore — check out the Optaros blogging team on topics like Social Networking Inside Out and an inside look of the new Optaros site.
Jeff Potts at ecmarchitect.com also has some comments about the new Optaros site. As always, special thanks to Optaros for their support of the EOS Directory.
Talk about a provocative headline! But suddenly, recession talk is all the rage amid rising U.S. credit woes and sinking earnings in the financial sector – at least for now. And what about tech? Well, if IBM’s unexpectedly strong 24% increase in Q4 earnings is any indication, things may look especially good for open source.ZDNet’s Open Sources blog asks if IBM’s results are due to open source?
“Should this count as an open source win, a validation of the open source concept?I think it should. But there’s more to it than that.IBM long-ago unified its product lines under Linux and open source. Through projects like Eclipse it has learned how to share basic costs and add value for its customers.
Sounds to me like IBM has learned to leverage both the developer and customer communities for the benefit of all — including Big Blue. It’s worth noting that IBM’s results have a sizable foreign currency component, which means non-US customers made a significant contribution to the bottom line.On the other hand, ZDNet’s Hardware 2.0 blogger Adrian Kingsley-Hughes post — “Is open source recession-proof?” — offers a different take.
“Well, first off, I think that any business model that relies on volunteers could certainly see interest decline if times get tough. … The flip-side of this though is that being an active part of an open source project is a lot different to spending all day on YouTube or Flickr …”
One reader, Slashdot’s SatanicPuppy, responded this way:
“Far from being bad for OSS, recessions are GOOD for OSS. You lose your job, and freelance while looking for another one…What are you going to use? Companies have a need, and no budget to fill it with commercial software…What are they going to use? Sure, if you specialize in zillion dollar OSS deployments, you’ve got problems (problem #1: You’re mythical), but the true strength of OSS isn’t in giant deployments, but in filling in the gaps…When the gaps get bigger, there we are.”
Last week’s post on open source CEO forecasts for 2008 didn’t spend much time worrying about a recession. But what about you? How will an economic slowdown affect enterprise open source companies? Will they fare better, worse or the same as closed source firms? Post your comments below.
Product news and other items from the past week:
- KDE 4.0 official release. KDE Project Ships Fourth Major Version of Cutting Edge Free Software Desktop (KDE.org)
- Liferay Portal gets Optaros rating upgrade to 3 stars. Check out how Liferay Portal was used in the Endeca case study. (PDF)
- Can Jimmy Wales break Google’s stranglehold on search? First Public Alpha of Wikia Open Source Search Project
And while it’s not strictly-speaking enterprise open source, here’s a wonderful item from the Wall Street Journal’s BoomTown quip-tress Kara Swisher on the ongoing Microsoft-Yahoo merger rumors:
“Here’s what is going on and has long been going on: Microsoft continues to cast about for a viable Internet strategy, as it always does, and Yahoo is probably the numero-uno solution on its business development fix-it list.Why? Well, the software behemoth just can’t catch Google in the lucrative search-ad market no matter how hard it tries and how much money it spends.If it presumably put together it and No. 2 Yahoo, then presto chango, a real horse race.But that’s kind of like stitching together Bill Richardson and Dennis Kucinich and getting a potential front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination.”
The headline “Open Source Code Contains Security Holes” on an InformationWeek article has grabbed a lot of attention. Two more blog posts on the topic:
- Coverity project outing open source flaws (Zero Day Security)
- Yellow Journalism and Software Bugs (Open Source Security)
And today there’s a followup blog post by “Security Holes” author Charles Babcock and a response from Paul Beach, a developer and administrator for one of the open source projects mentioned in Babcock’s original article:
- Oops, Look At That Phoenix, Rising From The Ashes (IW Open Source Weblog)
- Open Source Code Contains Security Holes (Paul Beach’s Blog)
Still missing is an answer to the key question: do open source applications have more security flaws than closed source? The Department of Homeland Security, sponsor of the open source testing, states the estimated error rate at one security flaw for every 1000 lines of code among tested open source software. How does this compare to closed source? Coverity’s announcement makes no mention of closed source error rates.Can someone cite some statistics showing a difference between the two types? Post your stats, sources and comments below.
The tech press and open source blogosphere shifted into overdrive today on the news that software security firm Coverity — at the behest of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security — had released the results of security tests on a number of popular open source applications. You can see some of news and comment here:
- Coverity announcement: Rung 2
- Open Source Code Contains Security Holes (InformationWeek)
- Open Source Security Bugs Uncovered (TechWorld)
- US DHS Testing FOSS Security (Slashdot)
- Coverity work spun backward (ZDNet Open Sources)
In the last item, I give Dana Blankenhorn credit for pointing out the obvious — identifying security flaws is a good thing — and open source projects may be more likely to get fixed quickly than their closed source counterparts. For an in-depth look at the whole issue of government-sponsored software security testing (it’s not just about open source), check out these articles from SDTimes:
So here’s a point to ponder and comment upon: do you worry more about security issues with open source software than you do with proprietary/closed source code? Post your thoughts below.
Everyone says you get more with open source. So here you go — ten CEOs of open source companies offering their views on the enterprise open source outlook for the New Year. Sponsored by the Open Solutions Alliance (OSA), the CEOs of member companies responded to four questions about open source issues for 2008. Some sample prognostications:1. What will trigger increasing adoption of open source in the enterprise in 2008?
“There will be an increasing confluence between the open source and software as a service models. These are the two most powerful trends in software today, and while they’ve traditionally been seen as separate, parallel developments, they are rapidly combining to create the new business model for enterprise software. The combination is not just at the development level – BaaS companies adopting open source technologies to lower the cost of operations and R&D – but more importantly, on the distribution side.” — William A. Soward, CEO, Adaptive Planning
2. What is the biggest challenge for the open source software industry in 2008?
“More lawsuits will be brought against large corporations and technology companies in 2008 as open source advocates step up enforcement of the APL v2, v and other open source licenses.” — Doug Levin, CEO, Black Duck
“Figuring out business models that will produce viable, long term software companies rather than ‘flash in the pan’ ubiquity plays. Merely racing to see who can give the most away to a buyer who will take as much as the can get before paying money will not produce viable software companies.” — Javier Soltero, CEO, Hyperic
3. How big an effect will licensing have on open-source software in 2008?
“Open source licensing will continue to bother enterprise users but the dissemination of best implementation practices including license management will reduce this issue somewhat.” — Michael Grove, CEO, OpenIT Works
“We don’t see much impact here. Customers continue to get educated about the code they use and about open source licensing in general, so FUD will have less of a factor than in the past.” — Kim Polese, CEO, SpikeSource
4. What will be the biggest surprise in open source in 2008?
“During ’08, the pressures CIOs will face to drive greater business innovation with a fixed (or low growth) IT budget will conspire to challenge every possible traditional software license. The 80% of the IT budget used to maintain existing or legacy systems must become more productive in order to satisfy the business goal of improved innovation.” — Brian Gentile, CEO, JasperSoft
“The biggest surprise in 2008 will be to see Open Source players register three-digit growth rates!” — Bertrand Diard, CEO, Talend
Quick roundup of open source items making news over the last week or so:
- Goodbye to all that. Bankrupt UNIX litigation leader delisted. SCO Group gets the boot from Nasdaq. (news.com)
- Official launch of KDE 4 desktop coming next week. Flipping the Linux switch: KDE. (downloadsquad)
- Will fingerprint.us be next? TechRepublic blogger Jack Wallen spots Red Hat Linux new social networking site: Mugshot.
- Enterprise developers could get hooked on Swordfish. Eclipse prepares open source SOA framework. (Techworld.com)
- And for everyone who came back to work after the New Year break to be greeted by: “Welcome back. It’s broken. Can you fix it?”, here’s Rex Baldazo’s plea: My Christmas wish is more open source for programmers. (TechRepublic)
Looking into the crystal ball to forecast the future is difficult on many domains, but specifically also in the fast moving Open Source domain. We tried it anyway.
- Continuous consolidation is going to happen in the commercial software vendor scene. This will create room for successful open source vendors.
- Open Source adoption in the enterprise will continue, in the application infrastructure space the use of Open Source is already common sense, but more and more Open Source solutions will be viable candidates also for typical business solution domains. It has started with Business Intelligence and Enterprise Content Management, it will continue with Customer Relationship Management.
- Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 will continue to be Open Source plays mainly and accelerate adoption of Open Source in the Enterprise even more.
- Open Source vendors will also consolidate, we will see the rise of new Open Source “Ueber” providers, similar to RedHat.
- More commercially available products will be based on Open Source software, this will boost the usage of Open Source components but also the related “assembly methodology”, as applied by Optaros, Alfresco and others.
- Commercial vendors will continue to increase the viability of their offerings by open-sourcing critical components and platforms.
- Open Source companies will continue to look for the holy grail of “how to make money with Open Source” and invent new creative license and subscription models.
- New open standards such as Open Social or Google Android will be the base of many new Open Source project and initiative.
So, to summarize, we don’t expect 2008 to be a year of revolutions but rather of numerous important evolutions.