Hot Open-Source Projects for Enterprise Use

A Palamida survey lists the top 25 open-source projects for enterprises. The survey indicates that organizations view security as a key factor to consider when adopting open-source technology. The 25 top projects represent secure, stable open-source implementations. In addition, Ingres' CEO offers his predictions for open source in 2009.

With the economy in a recession, enterprises are increasingly looking for ways to cut costs without giving up functionality. And with that in mind, many companies are looking at open-source software as a way to possibly save money.

Palamida, which makes software for analyzing open-source code, has released the results of a recent survey the company sponsored showing that 75 percent of organizations expect their IT budgets to decrease either moderately or significantly in 2009, and 45 percent view open source as a likely solution to the upcoming budget gap.

At the same time, 50 percent of respondents said they view security as the No. 1 concern around additional open-source adoption. Support costs and intellectual property risks were the other two top concerns.

However, the poll also found a very positive perception of open-source software functionality and quality, with nearly 63 percent of respondents believing that open-source software is either equal or almost equal to its commercial counterparts.

Palamida also has compiled a list of the top 25 open-source projects that organizations should be using today to help trim their engineering budgets. Palamida CEO Mark Tolliver said the company has audited billions of lines of code for many of the largest companies in the world and has seen some of the most productive and cost-saving uses of open source. Thus, the 25 open-source projects reviewed by Palamida have proven to be among the most reliable, innovative and enterprise-ready open-source projects, he said. The list includes Web 2.0 enablers Prototype,, Direct Web Remoting, Yahoo User Interface and jQuery, which can save organizations substantial time and money in development.

The entire list of 25 consists of: NetBeans, Eclipse, JUnit, httpunit, PMD, Valgrind, FindBugs, Hibernate, SQLite, Apache Derby, PostgreSQL, MySQL, zlib, libpng, FFmpeg, Freetype, JFreeChart, Velocity, Pentaho Reporting, JasperReports, Prototype,, DWR (Direct Web Remoting), YUI (Yahoo User Interface) and jQuery.

The Palamida Web poll was conducted between Nov. 13 and Nov. 21, with 177 respondents in senior IT, engineering and security positions. The company surveyed people across a variety of industries, including financial services, insurance, technology, consumer goods and services, biotech and pharmaceutical, manufacturing, health care, energy, and government.

"In challenging economic times, internal application development teams absolutely should be turning to open source to deliver higher-quality software and Web applications with fewer resources," Tolliver said. "Open-source use is flourishing inside of organizations, with applications built in the last five years typically composed of 50 percent or more open-source content. Our experience is that open-source communities are typically very responsive to finding and fixing reported security problems-and that, coupled with a proactive process for open-source management via composition analysis, should reduce security concerns."

Meanwhile, Roger Burkhardt, president and CEO at Ingres, the second-largest independent open-source company, offered his insight into the leading open-source events of 2008 and provided his predictions for what will be the top open-source issues of 2009.

For 2008, Burkhardt listed as the top five events Sun Microsystems' $1 billion acquisition of MySQL; Red Hat's appointment of a new CEO and momentum with JBoss; recent open-source company funding of companies including JasperSoft and Infobright, both managing to raise $10 million; Oracle's price increases even in the midst of current tough economic conditions; and the proliferation of open source on mobile and other consumer devices (Google, and Nokia using Symbian).

For 2009, Burkhardt predicted, "Open-source adoption will increase at a steady pace as the recession continues; SAAS [software as a service] will grow and pull open source with it; open-source software stacks will emerge via strong open-source company partnerships; mergers and acquisitions of open-source vendors by proprietary vendors will continue; and proprietary vendors will take first steps in trying to become more open and flexible with business and license models."