If open source did not exist, it would be necessary to invent it, if only to deal with the ragbag collection of data formats out there.
For open source has a unique flexibility and extensibility not generally available to proprietary programs, which allows it to cope with most applications and situations. This makes it ideal as a kind of software “glue” for stitching together pre-existing computer systems, which were created in an ad-hoc way with little thought of any eventual need to make them talk efficiently to each other.
This powerful feature of open source was pretty much the driving force behind the creation of the data integration company Talend. Here its cofounder and CEO, Bertrand Diard, talks eloquently about the genesis of his company, open source's unique advantages in this sphere, the state of free software in his native France, and just why Talend decided to snuggle up to Microsoft last year...
On Open Enterprise blog.