Introducing the 2007 InfoWorld Bossies
InfoWorld editors and reviewers award the Best Open Source Software for the enterpriseFollow @infoworld
All of this intermarrying and intermingling among commercial, open, open source, free, and free for commercial use makes a mess of our understanding of the definition of “open.” We’d love to be purists and declare that a product isn’t open source unless every last line of the code is downloadable in a form that tracks a corresponding commercial release, is freely modifiable, and is open to unrestricted redistribution. That strategy can work: Ubuntu Linux is a “free forever,” enterprise-class Linux distribution that derives its funding from DVD sales and logo merchandise.
Enterprise open source needs commercial support to thrive because developers, technical writers, instructors, help desk staff, trade show booths, and airfare cost money. That Utopia where an enterprise can run a datacenter with zero investment in software is a mirage. But enterprises should write investment in open source into their planning. Although the catalog of software that you can own and control shrinks daily, open source and open source-based commercial software pushes back with trustworthy and well-supported alternatives that don’t lash you to opaque solutions and vendors who assert a license to pick your pockets at will.
In this first edition of our Best of Open Source Software awards, we celebrate these alternatives across the IT landscape -- in applications, operating platforms, middleware, software development, networking, security, and, yes, even storage. Open source is pouring into every corner of the enterprise. Welcome to the Bossies.