2 Years with Free Software(OSS)

After 12 years working primarily with Microsoft Technologies, I restarted on LAMP stack at MobiSir. It is fact that  craze of  VC++ and MFC moved me from Unix to Microsoft technologies.  The movement has not been easy and still grasping the cross over.  We have a good team of developers, good with Open Source and Free Software with Balaji Kutty in lead and I compliment the team to deliver better.  Being a company that is starved for money, I am able to see the benefit companies gain by developing using Open Source solutions.

  • Open Source model provides access to code and hence the time to quality and time to security are faster than proprietary alternatives. In addition when there are issues or vulnerabilities, we are able to leverage the open source community model which is more mature, still being free.
  • Developing for the cloud, provides more reasons to develop using open source software and conservative enterprises  are ready to look at  quality and robustness of OSS to reduce costs. Business mantra to reduce costs seems to make difference. Microsoft Azure supports LAMP stack proves this outlook.
  •  Open API. I see new generation companies like Bing, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google expose  data and content via open APIs.  They  have abstracted the technology and ensure interoperability through APIs.  This makes consumption of these services from any platform seamless. SaaS platforms drive the adoption of Open Source.
  • I have seen adoption of Subversion. today it amazes me to see the adoption of GitHub in developer community across all platforms.  Effectively open source supports a mechanism to reach market and helps in adoption of new means of using technology.

Going to enterprise, the following are still open challenges.

  • Have  right set of technical person expertise in LAMP stack to lead software development using Open Source. Should business focus on training and building a team of open source developers which might not be their core focus?
  • Will the business be ready to take risk of Open Source Software without an expert in developing and implementing solutions with Open Source initiative?
  • Though Open Source Software is free, the cost of technical resources is costlier in open-source software  than commercial software.  This makes OSS  ideal for companies building products with open-source business model(offers fully supported and tested version of the software) or solution companies that consult and serve these product companies.
  • In enterprise, there is no clear architecture paradigm that can handle internal and external services  How to handle interactions between mobile Clients and Enterprise Business Application Server across fire wall, How will the Enterprise Business Application Services and Third party cloud serviced operate together.

As I post this blog, we are consulting  companies who want to reduce costs and decide to migrate  non-core application from proprietary stack to open source stack by providing the training and technical leadership to their development team.  We are happy with the billing we get and the clients are happy with the visibility in the reduction of cost.