Month: July 2006

FiveRuns an Interesting Company Using Ruby and Rails

I heard about FiveRuns on the Web 2.0 Show Podcast. From the FiveRuns website:

FiveRuns has developed a new breed of systems management software — a simple, straightforward, open-source answer for your monitoring, analyzing, reporting and predicting needs. Monitor and maintain your systems wherever you are and whenever you want with little more than a web browser and an Internet connection

Their platform is built on Ruby and Rails. They are also planning to provide a Rails application monitoring service. I think the idea that mundane services and applications need an excellent experience is a a very insightful approach for a systems management company to take. With complex system management tools there can be at times too much information, which can confuse the mission of a systems management tool. I think that it is funny that some of the large systems management tools require a team to manage the systems management tool.

FiveRuns gave a presentation on building scalable Rails applications at RailsConf . The presentation is an interesting read if you are into Rails. There seems to be a great deal of opportunity for FiveRuns to win the business of companies that traditionally can’t afford a systems management suite. They are currently in private beta but check them out looks interesting.

Links:

FiveRuns
Monitoring Rails Applications in Production Environments warning PDF

The Web 2. Show RSS Feed
FiveRuns on the Web 2.0 Show Podcast

Finding Content For Sunday Favorite

I spend a bit of time looking for a great piece of non-text for my Sunday Favorite post. The majority of time I look through Flickr. I like posting content of talented photographers, so that others might enjoy their art. Here’s the catch I have vowed to only post Creative Commons licensed photos. I have begun to use the Flickr Creative Commons search to make my quest more efficient. The real bummer is there are some great photos out there, but they are standard copyright (All rights reserved).

Now I don’t have a problem with standard copyright, but it makes putting together my Sunday post more work than I want it to be. I would bet many people don’t even think about the type of licence they use. For those that do think about the license they use, they need to understand that using a Creative Commons License does not mean you are giving away your work. In my case it allows an avid fan to try and spread the word.

So check out a Creative Commons License.

Links Summary:
Creative Commons License
Flickr Creative Commons Page

An estimated 168 million Americans lack broadband access at home!

A Reuters article (via News.com) points out:

An estimated 42 percent of Americans had high-speed Internet access at home in March 2006, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project. That was up from 30 percent of Americans with high-speed access one year earlier, it said.

Wow, 168 million people do not have Broadband at home. The funny thing is many (technologists, the technorati, and the like) refer to the network as being ubiquitous. Its not, and given the cost issues ($49.00 for Comcast) and the political BS around the last mile and now net neutrality, its likely that many may never get Broadband. 168 million, in that number lurks the digital divide, and we as a country don’t seem to be doing much about it. Anybody want to guess how many children are deprived the benefit of the information super highway. Dial-up doesn’t count in my book either. Sad very Sad.

Open Source Enterprise Applications

I was listening to an interview of John Roberts CEO and Co-Founder of SugarCRM. I have thought a lot about an open source approach to Enterprise applications. There are many highly competitive enterprise application markets, like CRM, ERP, Inventory Management just to name a few. Those enterprise markets are dominated by Oracle, Microsoft and SAP all using a proprietary model. John Roberts points out that these companies spend 50% of their budgets on sales and marketing which adds up to a large sum of money.

Now I have heard the various value propositions of the big players and Mr. Roberts makes a case for SugarCRM. Customers pay for that sales and marketing, imagine if these customers funded open source projects to build open versions of the software they need. This is a revolution, croudsource your enterprise applications. A trend that we will see more of, companies (traditional non-tech) supporting open source projects as a means to achieve competitive advantage. Technology companies have always supported open source projects for competitive advantage.

Why should technology companies be the only players in the open source space. There exists in the world today the engineering capacity to create these open source products. There are definitely markets for open source versions of enterprise applications. In my opinion the open sourcing of enterprise applications will drive innovation and agility. No longer will a company have to run their business based on their enterprise software vendor’s release schedule. Companies could use the open source option to leverage more from the big players or just to simply use the open source version.

I expect that we will see more open source enterprise applications, it’s inevitable. The opportunity is to large and the need is to great.

Link Summary:
SugarCRM
John Roberts CEO and Co-Founder of SugarCRM Via IT Conversations