Open source is fast becoming the new normal in the enterprise software realm

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With the rise of the cloud economy, open source adoption is set for a meteoric rise in 2018 and beyond. Various analyst and industry reports corroborate the growth prospects. For instance, Gartner predicts, 70% of new applications will run on open source stack in 2018. According to a research by MarketsandMarkets, the Open Source Services market will be worth more than $30 billion by 2022. Ravi Pinto, Director – Product Management, Oracle Cloud Platform informed that the government’s own push towards open source adoption has provided a greater fillip to businesses. He told Syeda Beenish, Consulting Editor, OSFY that Open source offers significant flexibility and choice, without vendor lock-in. When open source is clearly where all the developer action is going to be, Oracle is all in with various initiatives to support the developer community. Below are the excerpts…

What are your views on open source adoption in India?

Indian developers continue to adopt open source technologies at an incredible pace. The strong focus on open source by enterprise software companies like Oracle is adding to this momentum.

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The country’s burgeoning SMB and start-up ecosystem, a young and vibrant developer ecosystem community, and the Government’s push towards digital transformation – largely driven by open source adoption – are some of the key drivers for increasing open source adoption in India.

How is Oracle empowering the developer community? 

Oracle is committed to developing, supporting, and promoting open source. We contribute to many different open source projects and communities. Hundreds of Oracle engineers are part of open source communities and develop code that is freely available in open source. This stems from our core philosophy of always being committed to offering choice, flexibility, and a lower cost of computing for end users. Today, many customers are using Oracle and supported open source technologies in mission-critical environments and are reaping the benefits of easier manageability, higher availability, and reliability along with performance and scalability advantages as well as realizing significant cost savings.

By investing significant resources in developing, testing, optimizing and supporting a variety of open source technologies such as Linux, Eclipse, Berkeley DB, MySQL, Kubernetes, Docker, Hyperledger Fabric etc., Oracle is clearly embracing and offering open source solutions as a viable choice for development and deployment.

Can you share significant contributions from the Indian market for Oracle?

As a corporate policy, we don’t break up our development work by region/country. Though every country is important in some way or the other just to give you an idea about significance of the Indian market, I can share that Oracle has the largest employee base in India outside of the USA. The bulk of our employees are engineers. This clearly indicates how important India is in the global scheme of things for Oracle.

 Indian developers are leaning more towards open source based, community driven technology stack to avoid cloud lock-in.

Besides Oracle Code, what are some of your other recent initiatives to engage with developers globally? Any specific initiative for the Indian developers/ market?  

As part of our commitment and contribution to container native technology, we have recently launched a new open source, cloud agnostic, serverless platform: Fn (https://fnproject.io). Fn is an open-source container-native serverless platform that you can run anywhere, on any cloud or on-premise. It’s easy to use and support every programming language. Oracle is demonstrating its commitment to the developer community by bringing such latest advancements.

We’ve recently joined the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) and have adopted Docker and Kubernetes as the foundation for our container native strategy. Oracleis also contributing to both these important projects. Last month, infact Oracle has added new support for Open Serverless Standards to Fn Project and added new Kubernetes features to the Oracle Container Engine.

Oracle Code – our global, flagship developer event series, which is run “by developers and for developers”, with a lot of non-Oracle speakers – has been very successful in India. Additionally, we have an ongoing outreach program with the Indian developer community, where we frequently engage with them via meetups, user groups and social media. We will continue to strengthen our engagement with the developer community here and contribute to creating a vibrant technical ecosystem in India.

Tell us about the key trends in the Indian developer ecosystem.

From a technology perspective, we see Indian developers typically preferring open, container native technologies for rapid application development and deployment. As developers understand the need to move fast, build for the cloud, but retain the flexibility to run where the business or workloads require, they’re leaning more towards open source based, community driven technology stack to avoid cloud lock-in.

There are five key trends I want to highlight:

Blockchain: Blockchain has opened up several new growth avenues, especially in industries that were more prone to fraud. Developers are creating innovative solutions in finance, logistics, and other verticals by leveraging permissioned blockchain technology.

Serverless computing: Fast gaining mainstream acceptance, it provides fantastic benefits to developers as they focus on the functionality of their code. Additionally, it is elastic, executes complex transactions and provides maximum portability.

Containers and Microservices: With the potential to revolutionise, both containers and micro services have become highly popular. Developers can push a new crop of cloud-native apps using micro services and containers. It also gives them flexibility to adopt polyglot approach to application development viz. choosing the right language and/or framework to solve domain specific problems.

Conversational User Interfaces: As per IDC, 90% of consumers will interact with chatbots by 2025. Embedding AI into apps with chatbots is a key priority for the developer community across the globe. Not only are chatbots a tool that business partners will value but are the building blocks for machine learning systems that use natural language conversations, image analytics, augmented reality, and enterprise data.

Java continues to hold fort: There has never been a better time to upgrade your Java skills as a developer. The recent advances and updates to Java such as GraalVM, six monthly releases etc, means that Java remains the top choice for companies capable of handling traditional and new styles of programming. This in turn implies that as enterprises inevitably migrate more workloads to the cloud, Java will continue to be a great foundation for those projects.

Do you think extra efforts are put in to convince business (customers) towards adopting open source technology? 

Businesses are always searching for innovative ways to accelerate digital transformation to get ahead of competition and remain relevant in the marketplace. The cloud economy has made open source software a business imperative, given the speed-to-market advantage it offers. I think it’s safe to say that open source is fast becoming the new normal in the enterprise software realm. The Government’s own push towards open source adoption has provided a greater fillip to businesses. 

Is it a good time for the Indian developer community?

Most progressive organizations acknowledge open source as the future of software. This is because open source is enabling organisations to accelerate innovation and business transformation with greater efficiency, scalability and reliability, offering easy interoperability. In short, with open source, IT teams are now looking beyond just cost savings and are empowering businesses to accelerate their ideas to market. Enhanced security embedded with open source software in recent times is one more key factor for its rising popularity.

In my view, this is probably the best ever time to be a developer! Open source offers so much more flexibility and choice, without vendor lock-in. Suffice to say that open source has become an integral piece of every developer’s arsenal.

We will continue to strengthen our engagement with the developer community here and contribute to creating a vibrant technical ecosystem in India.

Do you see India as a contributor or consumer of open source? And, why? 

I’d say both. India is one of the biggest users and contributors to open source technology.

From a consumption perspective, the reasons are manifold, starting with easy availability of high quality software to solve a variety of problems, encouragement from the Government via various forums and initiatives, as well as adoption by start-ups.

I am now seeing a lot of contribution from India, and not just that but I am seeing new projects being initiated and incubated by Indians.     

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