23 July 2007

Alfresco: Open Source Barometer

The enterprise content management company Alfesco has cropped up a few times on these pages. It's increasingly clear to me that it is one of the leaders of the second-generation open source companies that are starting to make their mark in the wider world of business software - not least because it employs the one-man open source powerhouse that is Matt Asay.

A further sign of Alfresco's importance in this sector is the appearance of its Open Source Barometer:

The Alfresco open source barometer is a survey, conducted April through June 2007, using opt-in data provided by 10,000 of the 15,000 Alfresco community members with the aim of providing a global survey of trends in the use of open source software in the enterprise.

Users were asked about their preferences in operating systems, application servers, databases, browsers, and portals to capture the latest information in how companies today evaluate and deploy open source and legacy proprietary software stacks in the enterprise.

The report is valuable, because it's based on a serious, if necessarily skewed, sample size. Two results stand out: that people increasingly are developing on Windows, and then deploying on GNU/Linux (something I'd noticed too), and that the UK lags behinds other countries as far as Alfresco's products are concerned:

The survey found that the U.S. is leading open source adoption globally. We believe the Global 2000 is seeking innovation and better value for their technology investments whereas in Europe open source adoption is often driven by governments seeking better value for their citizens. The research also showed that the U.K. lags behind in the adoption of open source suggesting less government emphasis compared with other European countries such as France, Germany, Spain and Italy.

Apparently the survey will appear every six months, which is good news: tracking changes in its results should prove fascinating.

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