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01 September 2009, 14:52

Awards for the forty best open source business applications

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InfoWorld has awarded the 2009 Bossies (Best of Open Source Software Awards). The award is presented to the forty best free business applications. In addition, the US news site also lists the thirty-six best open source applications of all time in its Open Source Hall of Fame. According to the reviewers, these include the Linux kernel, the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC) including the rest of the GNU tool chain, the editor rivals Vi and Emacs, the Samba CIFS server, the CentOS, Debian and Ubuntu Linux distributions, NetBSD and OpenBSD, the two most popular desktop environments GNOME and KDE, as well as software like Wine, which allows Windows applications to run under Linux (with certain limitations). There is also a winners' gallery for open source Windows programs. It includes the usual suspects like Firefox, OpenOffice, GIMP, VLC media player and the VirtualBox virtualisation software.

Bossies logo

As in previous years, InfoWorld awarded Bossies in various categories. In the Software Development area, prizes were awarded to the PhoneGap framework, the WebKit browser engine, Sun's NetBeans development environment, the Web Service Explorer debugging plug-in for Eclipse, the Hadoop tool as well as the Hadoop-based Hive tool for (simultaneously) handling vast amounts of data, and the JBoss Drools business rules engine. Bossies were also awarded to the jQuery JavaScript library, Novell's free Mono .NET implementation, the OpenStreetMap project and the BrowserShots website inspection site.

Middleware, network management

The winners of the Middleware and Platforms category are MuleSource and WSO2. The InfoWorld reviewers consider the Mule Enterprise Service Bus the best in the open source world. WSO2 received an award for the Carbon SOA framework. Talend Open Studio and the cost-effective Jitterbit won the data integration tools section. In the virtualisation area, InfoWorld honoured Xen, Parallels OpenVZ, and and the now Sun-owned VirtualBox. Prizes were awarded to Nginx, a small and fast Apache alternative, and to Turnkey Linux, which allows developers to create Ubuntu-based software appliances for web applications.

The Networking and Network Management awards went to popular tools like Nagios and Cacti, as well as the all-in-one OpenNMS network management platform. In the Security category, awards were presented to the KeePass password manager, the IPCop firewall, to PacketFence and to the Untangle network gateway. OpenFiler caught the InfoWorld reviewers' special attention. The flexible NAS solution also scooped the best SAN tool award.

Business intelligence, CRM, ERP and BPM

There were no big surprises in terms of open source business intelligence solutions. The top scorers in this category were Pentaho and Jaspersoft, leaving behind specialised solutions like Actuates BIRT or SpagoBI due to their greater range of features. While the Pentaho suite mainly excels in areas like OLAP, multidimensional analysis and ETL (Extract, Transform, Load), Jaspersoft scored with its reporting engine.

The Customer Relationship Management award was presented to SugarCRM, which won this award last year. The Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Bossies went to Compiere and Openbravo, which were also already given top ratings by InfoWorld in 2008. In the area of Business Process Management (BMP), the award went to the relatively unrivalled Intalio BPM, whose commercial enterprise version offers a business rules engine as well as – Alfresco-based – features like BAM (Business Activity Monitoring) and ECM (Enterprise Content Management).


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