Battery Venture ranks top Open-Source projects in new report
|Christian Hargrave in Open Source Wednesday, April 12, 2017|
As Open Source increasingly drives enterprise IT, the new BOSS index offers insights into technology trends, potential IPOs.
The Battery Open-Source Software (BOSS) Index highlights the increasing reliance on freely available, open-source technology by big and small enterprises alike, and also the challenges in building commercially viable companies on top of these projects.
“The rise of open-source software represents a sea change in enterprise IT, and it is increasingly the go-to option when developers need to spin up new applications or infrastructure,” said Dharmesh Thakker, the Battery Ventures general partner who oversaw the months-long research effort behind the BOSS Index. “Most, if not all, of the significant enterprise-tech companies being built today, and several that could go public this year or next--including Cloudera--are reliant on open source. At the same time, some other open-source companies have a ways to go to figure out a real business strategy.”
Two of the top three highest-ranked projects in the index, Linux and MySQL, have spawned successful companies, Thakker pointed out. No. 1-ranked Linux underpins Red Hat and Ubuntu, while database company MySQL, later acquired by Sun Microsystems (now part of Oracle), is powered by MySQL technology, which ranked No. 3. And the popular version-control system Git, which ranked No. 2 on the list, has inspired companies like GitHub and GitLab.
But some high-ranking projects in the index still haven’t been commercialized, despite lots of buzz and developer interest. Other fast-growing projects, such as Artifactory and Bintray by JFrog, have yet to rank on the index. (Artifactory and Bintray are becoming key components of the emerging category of “continuous integration” and software delivery alongside Jenkins, which ranked 14th.) Open-source projects like these will likely be captured in future updates as the projects mature and as new trends emerge over time.
Here is a list of the top-25 ranked projects, along with a sample of companies using the technologies:
The projects were ranked according to four factors reflecting their traction among developers and user interest, then indexed to arrive at a final score.
The four factors included:
- Public interest in the project, as measured by Google search activity
- User activity, gauged by mentions of the projects on the popular tech-discussion board Stack Overflow
- Jobs impact, measured by the number of job postings citing each open-source project listed on the job boards Indeed and Simply Hired
- Impact in the open-source community, tracked by measuring a project’s influence on GitHub
Since some projects may have done extremely well, or poorly, on certain criteria, the index uses a “trimmed mean” - discarding the highest and lowest scores, while taking a geometric average of the remaining scores - to arrive at the final ranking.
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