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Taming knowledge with open source

In the enterprise, it is possible to develop a full suite of enterprise solutions using open source software. Content management options range from Drupal and Joomla to the dozens of others listed in the Wikipedia article about content management systems (CMS). For data management, there are Hadoop and MySQL. For e-commerce, more than 15 systems are available. One of the higher-profile open source options is Magento, which has been acquired by eBay. Datamation offers an even longer list: 54 open source replacements for e-commerce tools.

Has open source achieved the momentum necessary to further alter the enterprise software landscape? I have not yet mentioned Oracle, the company that "owns" Java and MySQL.  My view is that a large, revenue-driven firm like Oracle will work to monetize some open source solutions. I have been watching Microsoft's success in signing license deals with manufacturers of Android mobile devices. My hunch is that Oracle may be attentive to this approach with regard to open source software. Oracle's data management system competes to some degree with MySQL. Oracle will want to protect its revenue streams and its intellectual property.

Microsoft has joined IBM and Oracle in the open source swimming pool. Talented developers of open source software might find it enticing to take a high-paying job watching the open source pool on behalf of IBM, Microsoft or Oracle. For me, embracing open source today delivers some compelling benefits. Tomorrow, there may be some additional, unanticipated costs.   

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