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Alfresco Finds Enterprises Prefer Mixed Technology Environments

alfresco, survey, open source

It's back again. Alfresco has released its 2008 Open Source Barometer and the results really should not surprise many. Enterprises like mixed technology environments that leverage Windows, Java, rich internet applications with AJAX and integrated Web 2.0 tools.

We ran through the results with Alfresco CMO Ian Howells to get the scoop on the key findings and what they mean to Alfresco going forward.

What is the Open Source Barometer

The Open Source Barometer is the largest open source enterprise stack survey. Conducted by Alfresco, the survey reaches out to their 74,000 content community members to find out the preferences of open source technologies in the enterprise.

This is the third edition of the survey (view the second edition). It ran from April to September 2008 and of the possible 74,000 responses, 25,163 community members gave their input. Not a bad turn out — maybe better percentages than the US election.

What did Alfresco want to know?

  • How and where is Open Source used in the stack in the enterprise?
  • Is the stack pure or a hybrid?
  • Is there a leader in each layer of the stack?
  • Is there a difference in usage from evaluation to deployment?
  • Are there differences based on geography?
  • What are the trends over time?
  • New to this edition of the survey: SharePoint and Enterprise 2.0 technology impacts

And the Open Source Barometer Survey Says…

We'll highlight the key findings in each layer of the stack:

  • Operating System: MS Windows garners 64% (XP having 58% and Windows 2003 — 29%), with Linux picking up 27%
  • Operating System, Eval vs Deploy: Users prefer to evaluation on Windows and deploy on Linux. In terms of Linux, the breakdown for choice is Ubuntu (31%), Red Hat (31%), Debian and Linux Other (14%) and Suse (11%)
  • Application Server: Tomcat (71%) is top gun, with JBoss in not so close pursuit (15%)
  • Architecture: Java rules with 71%, followed by Web Services with 14%
  • Rich Internet Applications: AJAX rules the roost with 58%, while Adobe Flex follows with 21%
  • Portal: The clear winner here is the browser with 66%. No one solution had stronger numbers (SharePoint, JBoss and Liferay all with 9%)
  • Blog: When available use the one integrated into the ECM (63%), otherwise go with WordPress (16%), SharePoint (9%), b2evolution (7%)
  • Wiki: What's good for the Blog is good for the wiki: when available use the one integrated (60%), otherwise go with MediaWiki (15%), DekiWiki (8%)
  • Business Process Management: Again we find the preference is to the integrated BPM solution (62%), with JBoss following with 12%
  • Business Intelligence: There is no dominant choice (59%), but when there is a preference, Business Objects leads the way (14%)

The geographic breakdown of open source usage was interesting. The US leads the way as a country with 20%. France and Germany come next with 8% each. Howell noted that India (6%) is a new up and comer.

Key Findings for Open Source

There were lots of key findings coming from this survey, particularly in regards to Windows users. Overall, users want a mixed stack. It's not pure open source and it's not pure Windows.

Windows and Open Source

Despite the fact that Windows is a primary operating system for evaluation and is used in production, users don't seem to want a .net / Silverlight environment. They want Java and AJAX. And nobody wants Vista.

Why is Windows popular in an open source environment? Howell says it's because people are testing on their laptops and Windows is the operating system used.

The Impact of Enterprise 2.0

Open source users like the browser and use it to access content. AJAX interfaces are particularly inviting. This reflect the influence of Web 2.0 which is a browser driven experience.

Decisions on blog, wiki and business process solutions are driven by the ECM itself. Users lean towards using the software included with the ECM platform. When they want something different, they are leaning towards solutions like MediaWiki, WordPress or JBoss.

 

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