Best of Open Source Software Awards 2009
InfoWorld's 2009 Bossies spotlight today's Top 40 open source products for business and IT prosFollow @infoworld
Finally, a Bossie also to OpenStreetMap, an open source version of popular mapping services like Google Maps and MapQuest. OpenStreetMap holds mapping parties for areas where it doesn't have good mapping data. Because all the geolocation data comes from volunteers, it can be shared and reused in ways that Google and other commercial mappers don't allow. It's an ambitious and well-organized project that you don't have to be a developer to help out.
Platforms and middleware
There's a big new buzzword in town, so service-oriented architecture and enterprise integration aren't on as many tongues these days. But even if obscured by clouds, application and data integration needs never go away, and these are needs that the open source world is especially well equipped to meet.
Two leading lights of open source SOA are MuleSource and WSO2. The Mule ESB takes our prize for the finest enterprise service bus in the open source pantheon, while WSO2 receives a Bossie for its Carbon framework, the basis of a completely componentized SOA platform.
We award a pair of data integration solutions as well. Talend Open Studio has everything one would look for in a traditional enterprise data integration platform: batch delivery, transforms, ETL (extract, transform, and load), data governance, and a strong set of connectivity adapters. At the same time it keeps pace with important trends with such features as change data capture, metadata support, federated views, and SOA-based access to data services.
Jitterbit is a lighter-weight and extensible point solution that is just the ticket for one-off data migration projects. Able to shortcut such projects by weeks, Jitterbit makes simple work of configuring source and target specifications with its form-based wizards. It may be the most uncomplicated tool available to get data from one place to another.
Powering nearly 4 percent of the world's Web sites and growing, the Nginx Web server argues that lighter, smaller, and faster -- than Apache -- is better, and there are several reasons to agree. Lighter, smaller, faster, and easier is the formula behind Turnkey Linux, which preconfigures popular server stacks (LAMP, Tomcat, Ruby) and applications (Drupal, Joomla, WordPress) with a core configuration of Ubuntu to produce ready-to-run software appliances that can be easily installed on bare metal or in a virtual machine.
Bossies also go to three virtualization solutions. You may know Xen as the hypervisor in the free (as in beer) Citrix XenServer and enterprise Linux distributions, or OpenVZ as the kernel of Virtuozzo, the not-free (as in beer or speech) container-based virtualization solution from Parallels. Both can be used and useful without the elaborate management consoles these vendors provide with the commercial products.
The third virtualization tool is VirtualBox, backed by Sun Microsystems. It too is available in both the open source and an enterprise edition. The free version lacks a few features found in the commercial product, the worst omission being USB support. Nevertheless, VirtualBox is probably the best way to test out a Linux distribution before installing it, certainly if you want to install software on that distribution beyond what you'll find on a LiveCD version. In addition, if you want to develop and test a multimachine client-server system, you can run multiple VMs on a single system and wire them all together through VirtualBox's virtual LAN.