Open Source for the Enterprise

Overview

Open source software is changing the world of Information Technology. But making it work for your company is far more complicated than simply installing a copy of Linux. If you are serious about using open source to cut costs, accelerate development, and reduce vendor lock-in, you must institutionalize skills and create new ways of working. You must understand how open source is different from commercial software and what responsibilities and risks it brings. Open Source for the Enterprise is a sober guide to ...

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Overview

Open source software is changing the world of Information Technology. But making it work for your company is far more complicated than simply installing a copy of Linux. If you are serious about using open source to cut costs, accelerate development, and reduce vendor lock-in, you must institutionalize skills and create new ways of working. You must understand how open source is different from commercial software and what responsibilities and risks it brings. Open Source for the Enterprise is a sober guide to putting open source to work in the modern IT department.

Open source software is software whose code is freely available to anyone who wants to change and redistribute it. New commercial support services, smaller licensing fees, increased collaboration, and a friendlier platform to sell products and services are just a few of the reasons open source is so attractive to IT departments. Some of the open source projects that are in current, widespread use in businesses large and small include Linux, FreeBSD, Apache, MySQL, PostgreSQL, JBOSS, and Perl. These have been used to such great effect by Google, Amazon, Yahoo!, and major commercial and financial firms, that a wave of publicity has resulted in recent years, bordering on hype. Large vendors such as IBM, Novell, and Hewlett Packard have made open source a lynchpin of their offerings. Open source has entered a new area where it is being used as a marketing device, a collaborative software development methodology, and a business model.

This book provides something far more valuable than either the cheerleading or the fear-mongering one hears about open source. The authors are Dan Woods, former CTO of TheStreet.com and a consultant and author of several books about IT, and Gautam Guliani, Director of Software Architecture at Kaplan Test Prep & Admissions. Each has used open source software for some 15 years at IT departments large and small. They have collected the wisdom of a host of experts from IT departments, open source communities, and software companies.

Open Source for the Enterprise provides a top to bottom view not only of the technology, but of the skills required to manage it and the organizational issues that must be addressed. Here are the sorts of questions answered in the book:

  • Why is there a "productization gap" in most open source projects?
  • How can the maturity of open source be evaluated?
  • How can the ROI of open source be calculated?
  • What skills are needed to use open source?
  • What sorts of open source projects are appropriate for IT departments at the beginner, intermediate, advanced, and expert levels?
  • What questions need to be answered by an open source strategy?
  • What policies for governance can be instituted to control the adoption of open source?
  • What new commercial services can help manage the risks of open source?
  • Do differences in open source licenses matter?
  • How will using open source transform an IT department?

Praise for Open Source for the Enterprise:

"Open Source has become a strategic business issue; decisions on how and where to choose to use Open Source now have a major impact on the overall direction of IT abilities to support the business both with capabilities and by controlling costs. This is a new game and one generally not covered in existing books on Open Source which continue to assume that the readers are 'deep dive' technologists, Open Source for the Enterprise provides everyone from business managers to technologists with the balanced view that has been missing. Well worth the time to read, and also worth encouraging others in your enterprise to read as well." ——Andy Mulholland - Global CTO Capgemini

"Open Source for the Enterprise is required reading for anyone working with or looking to adopt open source technologies in a corporate environment. Its practical, no-BS approach will make sure you're armed with the information you need to deploy applications successfully (as well as helping you know when to say "no"). If you're trying to sell open source to management, this book will give you the ammunition you need.
If you're a manager trying to drive down cost using open source, this book will tell you what questions to ask your staff. In short, it's a clear, concise explanation of how to successfully leverage open source without making the big mistakes that can get you fired." ——Kevin Bedell - founding editor of LinuxWorld Magazine

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780596101190
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/10/2005
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 7.06 (w) x 8.96 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Dan Woods, a seasoned CTO, has built technology for companies ranging from Time Inc. New Media to TheStreet.com. He has managed the product development cycle from initial requirements through sales for web sites and software products designed for the publishing and financial services industries. Dan has also navigated all phases of the business cycle: crafting strategy and budgets, building and managing large development teams, writing patent applications, negotiating large vendor agreements, operating data centers, communicating with board members, raising money, and selling and marketing a product. Dan is the author of two books and a frequent contributor to InfoWorld and other publications.

Gautam Guliani is a software architect and developer with over 10 years of experience in designing and developing enterprise grade to business problems in publishing, finance and education areas. He currently works as Director of Software Architecture at Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions, a Washington Post company.

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Table of Contents

Preface;
Comments and Questions;
Safari Enabled;
Acknowledgments;
Dedications;
Chapter 1: The Nature of Open Source;
1.1 The Open Source Debate;
1.2 Understanding Your Open Source Readiness;
1.3 The Nature of Open Source;
1.4 What Is Open Source?;
1.5 Where Does Open Source Come From?;
1.6 How Does Open Source Grow?;
1.7 How Does Open Source Die?;
1.8 Leadership in the Open Source Life Cycle;
1.9 Second-Generation Trends in Open Source;
1.10 The Different Roots of Commercial Software;
1.11 Productization: The Key to Understanding the Challenge of Using Open Source;
1.12 Comparing the Risks of Commercial and Open Source Software;
Chapter 2: Measuring the Maturity of Open Source;
2.1 Open Source Traps;
2.2 The Elements of Open Source Maturity;
2.3 The Open Source Maturity Model;
Chapter 3: The Open Source Skill Set;
3.1 Preventing an Open Source Nightmare;
3.2 Open Source Skill Levels;
3.3 Open Source Skills Inventory;
3.4 How Maturity Affects Required Skills and Resources;
3.5 Skills and Risks;
3.6 Open Source Skill Building;
Chapter 4: Making the ROI Case;
4.1 ROI Fashions;
4.2 How Open Source Costs Differ from Commercial Software Costs;
4.3 Making Your Own ROI Model;
4.4 Skills Versus Money;
Chapter 5: Designing an Open Source Strategy;
5.1 Crafting a Strategy for Open Source Adoption;
5.2 Crafting a Strategy for Applying Open Source;
5.3 Crafting a Strategy for Managing Open Source;
Chapter 6: Support Models for Open Source;
6.1 Open Source Support Offers;
6.2 When Is Commercial Open Source Support the Right Choice?;
6.3 Buy Carefully;
Chapter 7: Making Open Source Projects Easy to Adopt;
7.1 One Program for Productization;
7.2 Basic Information and Community Support;
7.3 Reducing the Skills Gap for Getting Started;
7.4 Accelerating Learning;
7.5 Integration;
7.6 Benefits of Increased Adoption;
7.7 Opportunities for Skill Building;
Chapter 8: A Comparison of Open Source Licenses;
8.1 Many Flavors of Licenses;
8.2 The Classic Licenses;
8.3 The BSD Licenses: FreeBSD, OpenBSD, and NetBSD;
8.4 The MIT License;
8.5 Second-Generation/Single-Project Licenses;
8.6 Corporate Licenses;
8.7 Why Pick Just One? The Dual Licensing Option;
Chapter 9: Open Source Under Attack;
9.1 SCO Versus IBM and the Legal Quandary of Open Source;
9.2 What You Need to Know About SCO;
9.3 What It All Means: The Implications of the SCO Crisis;
Chapter 10: Open Source Empowerment;
10.1 Two Poles of IT: Buy Versus Build;
10.2 Where to Buy, Where to Build;
10.3 Closing the Requirements Gap;
10.4 Open Source Empowerment;
10.5 The Vision and Challenge of IT;
The Open Source Platform;
What Is a Platform?;
Three Open Source Platforms;
Assembling Your Open Source Platform;
End-User Computing on the Desktop;
Solutions;
Capabilities;
Open Source Desktop Environments: KDE;
Desktop Productivity Suites;
Desktop Database Management: MySQL;
Web Browsing: Firefox;
Open Source and Email;
A Brief History of Email for Enterprise Use;
Opportunities for IT Use of Open Source Email Products;
Open Source Email Server Solutions;
Recommended Email Server Projects;
Open Source Email Client Solutions;
Content Scanners;
Mailing List Managers;
Groupware, Portals, and Collaboration;
Groupware;
Portals;
Wikis;
Messaging Systems;
Web Publishing and Content Management;
Complete Content Management Systems;
Web Publishing and Content Management System Capabilities;
Recommended Open Source Content Management System Projects;
Weblog Publishing Systems;
Content Management System Toolkits and Components;
Application Development;
Capabilities;
Open Source Application Servers;
Colophon;

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2005

    OPEN SESAME

    Using open source is profoundly exciting to everyone involved in the process. That's one of its problems. Authors Dan Woods and Gautam Guliani have done an outstanding job of writing the perfect guide that will make open source work for you. Woods and Guliani begin by explaining the origins, evolution and life cycle of open source and, evaluating its potential benefits for the enterprise. Next, the authors show you how to determine the quality of an open source project and, whether it is right for your company. Then, they present an analysis of the knowledge required to effectively implement open source and, discuss how an enterprise can build skills from within. Woods and Guliani continue by showing you how to calculate the return on investment of open source and, make a compelling case to management. In addition, the authors next explore a low-risk plan for adopting and applying open source. They also examine where to find help in implementing open source projects and, how to evaluate competing offers. The authors next show you how to close the productization gap and, expand the opportunities for open source deployment. Next, the authors discuss the legal underpinnings of open source licensing, with evaluations of GPL, Copyleft, LGPL, BSD and others. Woods and Guliani continue by examining FUD, the legal challenges being mounted against open source, and how an enterprise can manage the risks involved. Finally, they cover build versus buy, the middle road less taken, and how using open source will change your IT department for the better. With the preceding in mind, the authors have done an excellent job of designing an open source book that shows you how to get it right through prudence, patience, and a methodical search for risks and ways to remedy them. At the end of the day, open source should play some role in most IT departments, including yours.

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