6 Replies Latest reply on Jan 2, 2017 8:46 PM by Robert van Mölken

    Open up about Open Source

    Bob Rhubart-Oracle

      code-on-screen-350.jpgIt's that time again...


      I need to write a new column for Oracle Magazine, and this time I want to explore the role open source software plays in your professional life.


      1. What open source development tools or technologies do you use on a regular basis?
      2. Why? What is the advantage?
      3. Has your use of open source changed in the past year? Do you expect it to change in the next year
      4. Do you contribute to any open source projects?


      Your response to any or all of these questions may be quoted in an upcoming edition of Oracle Magazine.


      Responses posted no later than Wednesday January 4, 2017 will be greatly appreciated.

        • 1. Re: Open up about Open Source

          My relationship with open source has ebbed and flowed; very much influenced by an organisations predisposition to open source, but it has never gone away - who doesn't encounter or work with Tomcat or Jetty regularly?. Often the relationship with Open Source hasn't been cut and dried - where if an open source framework such as Apache Camel or ActiveMQ has been adopted the company has elected to still pay for support - this sort of thing has been historically the core of Red Hat's business.  Not because open source software can be shaky, but as a means to be able offload the work to ensure assurance for compatibility of different library versions and so on, have the means to pull on expertise on short notice, not need to employee SMEs, although this last point I have to admit to not entirely agreeing with.  But being part of an Oracle focused ecosystem now we're seeing more open source again in the form of Node.js, Kafka but this is a reflection that polyglot and microservices has meant Oracle have had to embrace open source more openly than ever before.


          The interestingly the question about Open Source potentially is becoming irrelevant or atleast very gray. We're seeing more and more free for entry cloud tools, and you'll never see the source for them unless you have an escrow agreement, and how often do people honestly route through open source product code?


          These days my most heavily used tool is the open source edition of SoapUI, but I also make use of free Apiary account, Mockable as a reflection I have been working largely with iPaaS solutions such as ICS of late.   Some use of Node.js and Javascript frameworks as well.


          The question as to why, is more about is it good enough for my needs, and is my cost of entry sufficient.  Which is ultimately the core of a commercial decision as well, the difference is the definition of 'good enough'  Take Node.js for example - there is sufficient inertia out there and a body of knowledge that i can work through and achieve what I need from it. The same for SoapUI, although the difference is that good enough is more about pure ease of use + functionality than the body of knowledge.


          Personally I've not been involved with an open source project in the sense of an regular active committer - just not got the time. But i have been in a position where my team as developed improvements, and where that work is not representative of commercial business interlectual properties or been perceived as possibly revealing security risks then I have pushed for putting code into the community. Not sadly just for purely altrustic reasons, but it spreads the work of maintaining the code and if you're lucky someone will come along and make it even better.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Open up about Open Source
            1. What open source development tools or technologies do you use on a regular basis?

            A well known opensource platform I often use is Apache and in special Apache HTTP Servers which many companies use as their reverse proxy platform for operational live environments

            Linux, where amongst all the commercial platforms ( Oracle, RedHat ) the kernel is still OpenSource

            Mozilla Firefox

            Various text editors : gedit notepad++

            Curl loader


            2. Why? What is the advantage?

            In basic, they provide pretty much the same functionalities as their commercial variants, nevertheless there are no license restrictions and can be altered to provide individual needs.

            Also they have a pretty low level entry to start using and implementing it into existing solutions.

            Has your use of open source changed in the past year? Do you expect it to change in the next year

            Yes started to use the OpenLDAP Server


            3. Do you contribute to any open source projects?

            No not at this moment



            kind regards and good luck with your article


            Happy Season greetings from Michel Schildmeijer

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Open up about Open Source
              Luc Bors

              Great initiative. I did a presentation at DOAG17 and UKOUG17 talking about a project we did with only Oracle's open source products: Netbeans, Oracle JET, Oracle Glassfish, Oracle Eclipselink and Oracle Mysql :-) Here are my shorts answers to your four questions.


              1. What open source development tools or technologies do you use on a regular basis?
                1. I regularly work with Netbeans and Oracle JET. In a recent project I also used Oracle Glassfish, Oracle Eclipselink and Oracle Mysql.
              2. Why? What is the advantage?
                1. In this particular case it was mainly due to financial reasons as there were no licenses involved in using these open source products as opposite to using Weblogic and Oracle 12c DB.
              3. Has your use of open source changed in the past year? Do you expect it to change in the next year
                1. This year not really. I didn't use any of the tools/technologies mentioned above in the past. However, I will start/continue using Oracle JET and Netbeans for UI Development as much as possible. Regarding the backend technologies, I don't know, and actually I don't care ;-) Let's say it depends on what the projects / customers' requirements are.
              4. Do you contribute to any open source projects?
                1. No, I do not contribute in any active way.


              • 4. Re: Open up about Open Source

                As a Middleware specialist, I can say that even aside from the usual suspects like Apache, Soap UI, Tomcat, etc., open source has taken a much more relevant role for me in the latest year. I attribute this in some measure to the influence cloud computing & digital transformation are having on the way we do things, even while still on the premises. In my case, one of the biggest examples is with Continuous Integration / Automated Provisioning tools, such as Jenkins, Puppet, Ansible, Chef, Vagrant, etc. This kind of technology lets you keep the "infrastructure as code" as well as automate and streamline the development & release lifecycle, improving time to market and reducing both overhead and possibility of human error without losing a lot of flexibility. Also, it stirs organizations closer to a true DevOps approach, which has become even more attractive and necessary with all the hybrid integration going on.


                I'm expecting to keep working a lot with open source and look into practical ways to leverage disruptive technologies such as Docker, Kubernetes, Elasticsearch, Kafka, Blockstack, etc.


                Regarding contribution, when you use these tools with a purpose, it becomes quite natural and assertive to help improve them, extend the available public resources, provide your own and give as much feedback as possible; that's what open source and collaboration is all about and it's also a lot of fun to do so. Personally, I have been working closer to the puppet, jenkins, docker and blockstack communities.

                • 5. Re: Open up about Open Source
                  Frank Munz

                  Open source is used at every startup and at the majority of enterprises nowadays. According to w3techs over 50% of all web servers are Apache as of December 2016. Linux is the de-facto operating system for any server side project. Netbeans is one of the most popular IDE amongst Java developers. Netflix OSS provides standard frameworks for clouds and finally made patterns such as the often quoted circuit-breaker common knowledge.


                  I use open source on a daily basis in projects. Based on this experience several chapters of my WebLogic Distinctive Recipes book are dedicated to open source tools and frameworks such as Netbeans, jmeter, Jolokia, or Maven. Promoting open source in books or at Oracle conferences helps to advance these often small projects driven typically by volunteers, it supports the developers by showing them that big companies care, and broadens its usage.


                  Whereas in most areas users carefully evaluate the enterprise features of software such as Oracle Fusion Middleware, this is surprisingly different in other areas - e.g. big data. Not a single enterprise software vendor is competing with open source Hadoop, Spark or Kafka. Here the challenge for enterprise software is to integrate with the open source world (using e.g. Oracle ODI) or provide a cloud service around it (e.g. with Oracle Event Hub for Apache Kafka).

                  Another great example is Docker. Every major public cloud supports running of open source Docker containers these days. Customers simply demand it. It would be foolish for clouds not to support it.

                  • 6. Re: Open up about Open Source
                    Robert van Mölken

                    Because my involvement on creating a pluggable IoT solution I tend to use open source tools and technologies more often the past months, but looking back everybody uses open source tools. One major advantage is the costs, another advantage is the active community supporting the tool or technology.   


                    What open source development tools or technologies do you use on a regular basis?


                    For years I use SoapUI for testing SOAP and REST services and create unit and integration test suites. My favorite IDE currently is NetBeans which I use to create Angular and Javascript based web applications, but also for Java development. Lately i'm heavily using Node.js, Python, MQTT for mentioned IoT Solution and experimenting with disruptive technologies as Docker, Kafka and Blockchain. 


                    Why? What is the advantage?


                    The why usually is because of several reason the main one is that it often has an active community and quickly a proven solution. Because of the active community you have 24h per day support via forums for free. Open source is mostly free for both personal and business use. The main advantage of open source is freedom of a vendor, that it can quickly adapt based on requested functionality and issues raised are often fixed within days or even hours.    


                    Has your use of open source changed in the past year? Do you expect it to change in the next year


                    In the past months I use more open source then before, because I'm interested in disruptive technologies which tend to start as open source projects. 


                    Do you contribute to any open source projects?


                    Currently I don't contribute to any open source project, but I have contributed to an open source tool called MockServer (mock-server.com). With this tool you can easily setup SOAP / REST mock endpoints that serve as backend services when not available. When it was version 1.x and 2.x I contributed on pushen fixes that we found when using it. If I have the time I would do it again, but now for some Node.js modules I use.