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InformationWeek: Open-Source Tools Gain Credibility

Mar 20, 1999, 10:26 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jeff Ubois)

"Open-source application development tools are taking an increasingly prominent role alongside commercial products in a growing number of information system departments."

"Just as Linux has made inroads into territory once claimed by commercial vendors, open-source tools are gaining wide adoption in a market dominated by Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, and others. Once again, a movement of independent coders operating without funds, marketing machinery, or paid programmers is taking market share from some of the most sophisticated companies in the computer industry."

"Shinozuka finds it easier to support multiple operating systems and hardware platforms with open source. With commercial software, supporting multiple hardware platforms means administering multiple compiler licenses. "Setting up these license managers, transferring them from host to host, adding new licenses, and setting up redundancy has sometimes taken our system administrators days to get right," he says."

"Eliminating the internal paperwork associated with purchases and acquisitions has been another benefit of adopting open-source tools. Because open source does not need formal evaluations, purchase orders, or licensing agreements, using it is something any developer can initiate. While that kind of freewheeling adoption of tools on an ad hoc basis may not be allowed in every IT organization, Shinozuka, for example, is free to use what he deems the best tool for the job."

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