Open source technologies is set to play a pivotal role in 2016 when it comes to modern computing, particularly in application development and IT infrastructure. As per Gartner Report (2011) Hype cycle for open-source software, “By 2016, open source software will be in mission-critical software portfolios within 99% of all Global 1,000 enterprises.” This makes it all the more important to balance risk and reward.

With open source's rapid rise in prominence, the trends within it remain relatively obscure to the world at large. Although emerging trends has been suggesting MySQL-related open source technologies, it is true that besides the promise of quantum leaps in efficiency, availability, and performance; many questions were raised too, such as – “If the technologies production is ready”, “What the real benefits are, and the consequent operational challenges it will incur”.

Open Source being the ground zero for technology development definitely has become the preferred way of germinating hot new technology, particularly for startups. From Docker and Hadoop including their exploding ecosystems to the NoSQL and NewSQL databases, the open source juggernaut is set to sail in 2016.

Open Source and the Cloud Factor

With most IT departments willing to avoid installing and maintaining applications locally when possible, the Cloud is becoming the chosen platform for open source applications. And the trend is not just limited to small app developers; even Microsoft Office 365 is a semi-cloud offering including its chief rival Google Apps. There is also a growing momentum where Linux is evolving to support an environment in which the 'computer' is increasingly a complex of connected systems rather than a single discrete server.

Tech Giants Backing Open Source

Not only small businesses and application development companies, big Internet companies are in fact emerging as huge open source contributors. Some of the popular examples are MapReduce from Google and Hadoop from Yahoo. Also, worth mentioning is that Google developed the most popular JavaScript framework - AngularJS and contributed groups to the Linux kernel, which eventually became Docker.

Similarly, tech giants across domains like Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, LinkedIn and eBay have each initiated dozens of open source projects. For instance, Facebook is responsible for Cassandra (a leading NoSQL database), and React (a highly popular JavaScript library).

GitHub revolutionizing ‘Why Code’ Concept

GitHub has fast evolved as the center of the universe for coders (and amateurs alike). As the world's leading code repository and versioning system, offered as a cloud service; GitHub now hosts over 27 million projects. Although you will find most of the high-profile open source projects here as you would at Apache, the USP for GitHub is its business model - Why code yourself if someone else does it for you, and is willing to share under a liberal open source license? Go GitHub!

Open Source Security

Open source security is set to become a major concern after the much acclaimed Heartbleed saga - an error in OpenSSL that put up unaddressed for 2 years, and on discovery created panic; besides the Shellshock bug (also infamous as Bashdoor), is found in the widely used Unix Bash shell. What makes open source solutions the big fat targets is their rising popularity and ubiquity, which also makes the industry to take notice and collaboratively fund (once woefully under resourced) projects like OpenSSL.

Mobile-Open Source partnership will continue to transform

As per Forrester Research, companies by 2017 will spend as much as $189 billion a year to shift their business processes to fit the mobile world. But when we say Mobile, it’s not really just about the devices; rather it is about creating a datacenter that is thoroughly secure from many points of entry.

Currently, the mobile application development trends are indicating a growing shift in open source development framework such as PhoneGap, Configure.IT for building cross-platform mobile apps using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. This enables developers to utilize the core features of the iPhone, Android, Palm, and BlackBerry smartphones such as accelerometer, contacts, geo-location, sound and vibration.

In a recent development, Android developers using Visual Studio will now have an open source option. With the introduction of the new Android++, developers writing Android applications mainly in C/C++ using the Android NDK can look to deploy speedy code on Android.

Open Source Technology - The way forward for CMS Development

The open source model has always provided us with the flexibility and customization possibilities to provide the client with a user experience and backend functionality that adapts to their specific needs and business model. Studies suggest that even though enterprise clients would like to go for .Net based solution, for the smaller projects it’s definitely the Open Source. For instance, content management systems such as Drupal, WordPress, Umbraco, Kentico, Joomla, etc. are set to rule in 2016.

Open Source Promote RESTful API-Based Development

As per industry trends of 2016, open source projects are set to promote software development practices based on RESTful APIs. Not only will this become more instrumental in providing app back-end services and other functionality, even other vendors are open sourcing their own homegrown API-based projects - such as working in the back-end for mobile, Web and Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

Speaking of REST (REpresentational State Transfer) it refers to the primary architectural style underlying the Web, that allows communication over the HTTP protocol with verbs such as GET, POST, PUT and DELETE. Moreover, with Open API Initiative (OAI) that is formed to establish standards and guidance for how REST APIs are described under the governance of Linux Foundation, the software quality tools company SmartBear and partners such as Google, IBM and Microsoft will work with other industry players to advance a specification for RESTful APIs called Swagger.

Open Source is everywhere…

Do you know that approximately over 100 million lines of code goes into an average high end car nowadays? Business nowadays have to handle large codebases made up of thousands of developed apps, apart from the different technologies in play - web, mobile, embedded.

Open Source technology is an integral part of application development. So, while you get ready to embrace the usage of open source technologies in 2016, you also require to understand that open source is not as such ‘free’ - it comes with its own risks and rewards.

Is your business open source technology READY to lead the way in 2016?

written by for Open Source section(s).