What's the Use of Free Software?

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Yet another survey, this time from Forrester, and one that seems to paint a slight depressing picture of the state of enterprise open source. But what struck me was the three areas where open source is being used:

Enterprise collaboration. Open source collaboration tools include Open-Xchange and Zimbra for email, Openfire and Jabber for instant messaging, WordPress for blogging, and TWiki and MediaWiki for wikis.

Web 2.0. Dynamic languages, such as PHP, Python, and Ruby play an important role in Web 2.0, along with open source Ajax frameworks and open source tools from suppliers such as Adobe and Laszlo Systems.

Service-oriented architecture. In addition to several open source ESBs, such as Mule, OpenESB, and JBoss ESB, there are many other SOA-enabling technologies from Apache Software Foundation, including ServiceMix, Synapse, and Axis.

Notice anything there? How about the fact that collaboration, Web 2.0 and SOA are three of the hottest areas in computing today? In other words, open source use is intimately bound up with precisely the most forward-looking and dynamic applications being deployed – a pretty good place to be.

Maybe not such a depressing picture after all.

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