75 pc developers employ open source in APAC

CIOL Bureau
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BANGALORE, INDIA: There was a time when Open Source software was considered as poor man's software. Now, with the economy slowdown in all the industries, adoption of Open source software has increased dramatically and its common to hear from all the big entrepreneurs to adopt Open Source software.


Open Source development continues to evolve, and developers who create Open Source applications and Open Source operating systems continue to emphasize involvement in an open programmable Web, open mobile and distributed or cloud computing.

In an exclusive interview with CIOL, John Andrews, president and CEO of Evans Data Corp., discusses about the adoption of open source software in India and world wide.

Andrews also talks about the developer community involved with the Linux operating system as against Windows based operating system, and the fields where the usage of open source applications is the most. Excerpts:


CIOL: Can you throw light on Evan's Data Corporation and what EDC doing in the field of Developer community?

John F. Andrews: Evans Data Corporation (EDC) was created in 1998 to fill the demand for market research, market intelligence, insight, and strategic planning for the IT and software development communities. 

EDC’s research focus and 70,000 plus global (80 countries) developer panel has placed us in a unique position, unlike that of any other market research company, to truly understand emerging areas of development, technology plans and adoption, platform and device targets and the impacts of these on product plans and developer relation programs, partners and ecosystems. 


EDC’s services include syndicated bi-annual and tactical primary research based reports, and custom research that includes surveys, focus groups, inquiry, competitive/benchmarking analysis, and overall developer relations program consultation

CIOL: How do you see open source market worldwide and in India?

JFA: A clear majority of organizations worldwide (56 percent) use open source applications. This number is highest in APAC where 75 percent of developers employ open source.


Within APAC, 73 percent of developers in India say their organizations use open source in their applications.

Worldwide, four in 10 developers report that less than half of their organization’s applications are open source and, 4 percent of developers claim to use OSS for all company applications. 

CIOL: How do see the developer community involved with the Linux OS as against Windows based OS?


JFA: The developer community's involvement with Linux versus Windows often has to do with issues related to OS migration. 

The primary reasons to migrate to Linux from Microsoft OSs are cost savings in licensing (26 percent), security (18 percent), and reliability (18 percent). 

The primary obstacle to those migrations are a lack of Linux skills (25 percent), lack of corporate buy-in (16 percent), and the complexity of extending legacy software to other OSs (15 percent).


CIOL: What do you think is missing in the open source community?

JFA: Open source software has a reputation for quality, but not necessarily for breadth of toolset. The tools used least often by open source developers are primarily in the realm of quality assurance.

The key examples are load-based testing tools (30 percent don't use one), regression-testing tools (28 percent), and modeling tools (23 percent). 


While open source development methodologies have their strengths, a formalized testing infrastructure, with dedicated tools to do the heavy lifting, is not among them.

In addition, there are general barriers to open source/open source community involvement. These include licensing (18 percent), the lack of or quality of device drivers (16 percent), and corporate restrictions on sharing data and code (15 percent). 

CIOL: A recent study by EDC says, developers prefer LINUX compared to other operating system? What's your view?

JFA: Like other open source software, Linux has moved from niche into an integral mainstream business practice for many organizations.  

Worldwide, EDC research shows that nearly one-third of developers indicate their use of Linux will increase next year, while just 3 percent anticipate a decrease.

The segments that show a greater preference for Linux are developers who create custom applications for clients outside of their companies including System Integrators (SIs) and VARs.

Today, nearly eight in 10 developers (79 percent) say they absolutely or probably have enough confidence in Linux to use it for mission-critical applications. Linux is also most preferred as a secondary development or host OS.

CIOL: According to you, what's the best way to motivate open source developer community?

JFA: The best way to motivate developers is understand and support their OSS development needs. Developers are motivated to develop OSS because it gives them freedom from vendor control (18 percent), it lets them save money (18 percent), and because of the access to source code (17 percent). Successful open source developer communities support and cultivate these key tenants. 

CIOL: What are the benefits that a developer gets after contributing his code for the Open Source community?

JFA: Two thirds of open source developers, contribute back to the open source community.

According to developers, the primary reasons to contribute to the community are their belief in open source principles. Gaining respect from their peers and employment by a company committed to open source are relatively minor issues.

CIOL: In which field do you see the usage of open source applications the most?

JFA: The most popular open source applications used by developers' companies are general applications (68 percent), Web browsers (68 percent), and development tools (62 percent). 

The most often used techie-centric software includes Web servers (64 percent), databases (63 percent), and development frameworks (47 percent). 

CIOL: How do you propose to deal with the common security issues found in Open Source applications?

JFA: Every company, no matter what size, is concerned about the security of its data and infrastructure and, according to EDC research, the majority of companies prefer use either a proprietary solution developed in-house or a solution based solely on security features of the software being used.

It is also notable that, in the world of open source, 47 percent of companies are currently using open source security software, and 30 percent expect to adopt it. 

CIOL: How do you see open source evolving and what's the response from India?

JFA: Open source development continues to evolve and developers who create open source applications and open source operating systems continue to emphasize involvement in an open programmable Web, open mobile and distributed or cloud computing.

In terms of new technologies, they’re being used by open source developers at about the same rate we see in other communities. Four in 10, (39 percent), use Ajax, and 20 percent expect to adopt it in the next six months.

Half, 55 percent, have no plans for Silverlight; just 5 percent are using it now. And, 9 percent use Flex today, and a quarter, 26 percent, plan to adopt it in the next year.