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Report Sees Cloud Trend for OSS Developers

A survey of more than 300 open source software (OSS) developers found that many plan to distribute their solutions as services over the Internet cloud. The survey, conducted by Evans Data Corp. in November, found that 40 percent of respondents planned to go the services route in releasing software.

Developers preferred to use Google's App Engine as their cloud provider, with more than 28 percent of respondents favoring it. The second choice was Amazon's cloud platform, favored by 15 percent of respondents. Nine percent of developers surveyed said they used Microsoft's or IBM's clouds. Just four percent said they used Salesforce.com's cloud platform.

The kinds of OSS solutions being developed by the respondents included "enterprise business application" (30.7 percent), "developer tool" (20.7 percent), "software infrastructure" (15.8 percent), "enterprise systems management" (6.3 percent) and "other" (26.4 percent).

Interest in the cloud seems mutual. Companies, too, appear to be looking toward OSS and cloud platforms as possible cost-saving measures.

"Open source is a fully matured market and as costs increase for multiple resources, more companies are choosing third-party cloud providers as a platform for infrastructure and applications," said John Andrews, president and CEO of Evans Data Corp., in a telephone interview.

The Santa Cruz, Calif.-based research firm found a few other trends among OSS developers. On the virtualization front, more than half (52 percent) of developers are using the Linux operating system in a virtualized environment.

The database of choice for these developers is either an open source or commercial version of SQL, according to the survey. More than half of the SQL users in the survey used Sun's open source MySQL software.

Mobile app stores represent an important distribution point for OSS solutions, the survey found.

"More than 67 percent of developers we surveyed said they were going to increase revenues in the mobile apps market in the next 12 months," Andrews said. "Interestingly, more than 51 percent also admitted to us that they spend time on nonwork-related open source projects while at work."

To get a summary and some sample chapters of the report, "Open Source/Linux Development 2008, v2," go here.

About the Author

Herb Torrens is an award-winning freelance writer based in Southern California. He managed the MCSP program for a leading computer telephony integrator for more than five years and has worked with numerous solution providers including HP/Compaq, Nortel, and Microsoft in all forms of media.

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