Synopses & Reviews
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 andwhere to choose to use Open Source now have a major impact on theoverall direction of IT abilities to support the business both withcapabilities and by controlling costs. This is a new game and onegenerally not covered in existing books on Open Source which continue toassume that the readers are 'deep dive' technologists, Open Source for the Enterprise provides everyone from business managers to technologistswith the balanced view that has been missing. Well worth the time toread, 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 workingwith or looking to adopt open source technologies in a corporateenvironment. Its practical, no-BS approach will make sure you're armedwith the information you need to deploy applications successfully (aswell as helping you know when to say "no"). If you're trying to sell opensource to management, this book will give you the ammunition you need.If you're a manager trying to drive down cost using open source, thisbook will tell you what questions to ask your staff. In short, it's aclear, concise explanation of how to successfully leverage open sourcewithout making the big mistakes that can get you fired." ----Kevin Bedell - founding editor of LinuxWorld Magazine
About the Author
Dan Woods is a seasoned CTO, author, speaker, and entrepreneur with experience in business, computer science, journalism, and publishing. He is CTO and Editor of CITO Research, a firm dedicated to creating content to improve the performance of CIO and CTOs. As an author, Dan has written or coauthored more than 20 books about business and technology, ranging from books about service-oriented architecture, open source, manufacturing, RFID, and wikis to the ideas driving the latest generation of enterprise applications, particularly in the face of Web 2.0's impact on the enterprise. Dan has written hundreds of white papers and conducted more than 1,000 interviews with experts in a variety of fields. He is also an invited speaker and moderator at international conferences.
As a CTO, Dan 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 websites and software products designed for the publishing and financial services industries. At TheStreet.com, his systems supported the company's successful IPO and handled millions of daily page views while the number of subscribers tripled and new lines of business were launched. At CapitalThinking, Dan's software was purchased by the IT departments of large financial institutions including General Electric, JPMorgan Chase, and Citigroup.
Dan holds an M.S. from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and a B.A. in Computer Science from the University of Michigan. Since July 2008, Dan has been writing a column for Forbes.com.
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.
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;