Open Source Adoption Low but Growing

An Independent Oracle User's Group (IOUG) survey found that business deployment of open source solutions (OSS) was not extensive relative to proprietary solutions. The survey was based on 226 responses from the IOUG membership.

Just 10 percent of respondents said that OSS was being used. However, interest in OSS remained high. The survey respondents expected that their organizations would increase the use of OSS over the next year, with 52 percent saying so.

The study, "Open Source in the Enterprise: New Software Disrupts the Technology Stack," was sponsored by MySQL and conducted by Unisphere Research in July of this year. It's the second annual IOUG survey on the topic of OSS.

On the question of OSS database management systems, more than one third of those surveyed indicated that their organizations were actively using an open source database. Moreover, of that number, nearly 75 percent favored MySQL.

The availability of "Express Edition" database management systems from Oracle, IBM and Microsoft has not slowed the adoption of open source. Many of the respondents who used Express Edition databases indicated that they also used OSS databases, such as MySQL (56 percent) and PostgreSQL (22 percent).

The decision to use an OSS database depended on whether the application was considered "mission critical" or not, according to Ari Kaplan, IOUG's president.

"While open source databases are cost effective to run some applications, they are typically not used for mission-critical applications due to the lower level of security and lack of support," Kaplan explained in a press release.

Respondents preferring proprietary solutions had the perception that OSS lacked security, which especially reflected the views of those working in larger corporations.

Lack of enterprise support was a big deal breaker for adopting OSS according to 54 percent of respondents. An additional 47 percent perceived the lack of 24x7 support as a limitation to using OSS.

On the other hand, the major reason given for adopting OSS was cost, according to two thirds of those surveyed. Many OSS products lack the recurring license fees of proprietary solutions.

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Will Kraft is a Web designer, technical consultant and freelance writer. He can be reached at [email protected]. Also, check out his blog at