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June 25, 2009

Open Source Data Warehouses: the Benefits

Filed under: Data Warehousing, Database Integration, Open Source — Tags: , — Olga Belokurskaya @ 1:21 am

Open source data warehouses possess the same options as any other types of open source software: the same model of licensing, community development processes, and same degree of openness. They may be offered as free downloads, or for a nominal flat fee, as fully supported systems. Or there may be no limit to the number of licenses and implementations a company may make with the software.

Acording to BeyeNetwork article, the benefits of the open source data warehouses are following:

  • Up front and maintenance costs are less than those of proprietary software. Besides, there is a possibility to customize the products companies use to improve their operations, for the original source code is open and may be downloaded.
  • Skill sets that are widely available in the market are employed.  As a result, an organization with existing database or data warehouse expertise will not have to look further when a new open source data warehouse project is put into place.
  • Improved standardization. Transparent and community supported open source code considers important standards to be consistently supported across all versions and implementations. Something that proprietary formats cannot and will not offer.
  • Flexibility which enables enterprises to expand the solutions to an unlimited number of users, with no per-user or per-processor charges of proprietary software packages.
  • Community effect. Open source solutions leverage communities of developers and innovators to advance development. New code and features are contributed back to the community, constantly increasing the range of new options available to end users.  Moreover, companies may address the community in order to fix any bugs or security flaws, which takes, normally, only days, instead of waiting weeks and months for the next security patch or service pack from a vendor.
  • Incremental implementation.  There is no need to a mega project at once. Projects can start small and build upon the success of implementations. This dumps the tendency to “overpromise,” which is often a necessary evil for acquiring optimal levels of funding for data warehouse projects.

March 24, 2009

Open Source CRM Pros and Cons

Filed under: Open Source — Tags: , — Olga Belokurskaya @ 7:13 am

Choosing CRM software is an important step for many companies. The variety of options as well as variable pricing makes the decision-making difficult, especially in today’s economy. The uncertain economic situation made many companies delay or even abandon their implementation of a CRM software platform which could provide a benefit tomorrow for the sake of survival today. As companies tighten their budgets, the need for an inexpensive CRM software solution becomes even more important.

Open source CRM can be the answer to many companies’ needs in today’s trying economy. A question arises then, whether open source CRM software a viable and effective alternative to proprietary solutions?

A lot of the fundamentals about implementing CRM technology hold true regardless of whether you are implementing open source CRM or conventional commercial CRM software. However there are some areas asking for more attention when installing open source CRM. Let’s have a look at some open source CRM pros and cons.

It goes without saying that implementing open source CRM requires minimal investments because of many free options available. In other words, for little or no money you get functionality and features that allow companies to improve upon inefficient operations.

However, the range of functions open source CRM may provide is not as extensive as the one available through commercial packages, and some of the features may simply be not included. Moreover limited support is available to open source CRM software which can be a problem for some companies.

That means that a company should be careful defining its needs and choose open source CRM software that meets those needs. But, if a company can adjust to these limitations, the return for its business can be significant.

July 31, 2008

Open Source DBMS move forward

Filed under: Database Integration — Tags: , , — Alena Semeshko @ 4:31 am

Forrester reports open source database market at the point $850 million and predicts it a 40% growth (to $1.2 billion) by 2010.

Doesn’t compare to a $16 billion commercial database market, of course, but considering the absence of licensing costs, it’s still quite an number.

“More enterprises are deploying open source databases than ever before,” the report states. “Enterprises are mainly looking to open source databases to support new applications such as Web 2.0, Web-based applications, small portal applications, radio frequency identification (RFID), and other new workloads.”

The report continues: “Every enterprise should now consider open source databases as part of its overall DBMS strategy, as doing this will deliver cost savings, especially when supporting small to midsized applications.”

Forrester also estimates open source databases to be quite capable of supporting 80% of business applications market. The factors backing up this estimation include:

1) Price. Obviously, open source is more cost-effective that commercial. Forrester estimates cost savings ranging from 20% to 55%.

“IT costs themselves have gone up quite significantly over the years, and database management costs have also grown over the years,” said Noel Yuhanna, a Forrester analyst and the report’s author. “[Companies] are looking to contain these costs, and they’re looking for alternative database options, including open source.”

2) Flexibility in use and deployment, which again substracts from the general cost.

3) The large number of independent software vendors and partners, providing a 24/7 support.

That doesn’t mean, however, that companies currently using comercial databases should switch to open source momentarily. The migration process can get complicated, so much thought should be given to a decision like that.

“Migrations are complex, and no one actually has a solution where you can do a 100% migration from an Oracle database or DB2 to an open source database so easily,” Yuhanna said. “It takes a lot of effort, and basically no one wants to spend a million dollars to save a million dollars.”

For more info and to get open source DBMS deployment advice, see this article.