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Mark Madsen

Open source is becoming a required option for consideration in many enterprise software evaluations, and business intelligence (BI) isn't exempt. This blog is the interactive part of my Open Source expert channel for the Business Intelligence Network where you can suggest and discuss news and events. The focus is on open source as it relates to analytics, business intelligence, data integration and data warehousing. If you would like to suggest an article or link, send an e-mail to me at open_source_links@ThirdNature.net.

About the author >

Mark, President of Third Nature, is a former CTO and CIO with experience working in both IT and vendors, including a stint at a company used as a Harvard Business School case study. Over the past decade, Mark has received awards for his work in data warehousing, business intelligence and data integration from the American Productivity & Quality Center, the Smithsonian Institute and TDWI. He is co-author of Clickstream Data Warehousing and lectures and writes about data integration, business intelligence and emerging technology.

 

I was going to write something about negative effects on open source of Microsoft buying Yahoo (I briefly mentioned this in the Intelligent Enterprise article) but I see no need to repeat what Blankenhorn and Rooney wrote at ZDNet:

"Microsoft’s proposed $45 billion buy of Yahoo would give the Redmond, Wash company control over a top open source e-mail company, open source projects and an open source infrastructure. On September 17 of 2007, Yahoo bought Zimbra for $350 million. Yahoo’s infrastructure is built on BSD. Yahoo has released a myriad of software to the open source community and even sponsors some open source projects."

I'm not sure if the risks of big vendors stepping on open source are over-emphasized or not. Given the nature of the GPL, it's always possible for people to jump ship and fork projects as happened with Joomla-Mambo. The question is whether key developers for projects have the means to do so, particularly when so many newer open source startups are VC funded and this is their day job.
What I find more worrisome is the potential to lose more IP (copyright or patents) to big vendors who see no problem using IP as a weapon to stifle innovation.


Posted February 4, 2008 12:48 PM
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