June 14, 2005 4:00 AM PDT

Open-source LAMP a beacon to developers

A correction was made to this story. Read below for details.
For years, the business-software development world has been split largely between Microsoft's .Net toolset and Java. Get ready for a third option.

The so-called LAMP stack of open-source software--which includes the Linux operating system, Apache Web server, MySQL database and scripting languages PHP, Perl or Python--is pushing its way into mainstream corporate computing.

One of several smaller companies betting on the LAMP stack, start-up ActiveGrid announced on Monday partnerships that, combined with new software, could help expand LAMP's appeal among big companies. Partners include MySQL, Apache management provider Covalent, Linux company Novell and PHP tool maker Zend Technologies.

News.context

What's new:
ActiveGrid, one of several start-up companies centered on the LAMP combination of open-source products, has signed support partnerships with major providers of the Linux operating system, Apache Web server, MySQL database and PHP development language.

Bottom line:
The LAMP "stack" has become a more viable alternative to Microsoft's .Net development software and Java. LAMP's emergence has been fueled by a growing third-party industry and by corporate customers' interest in open source.

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The efforts of companies such as these to make LAMP more industrial strength--combined with growing interest among corporate customers in open source--are making LAMP a more cohesive and competitive offering to Microsoft's .Net and Java products, said Stephen O'Grady, an analyst at RedMonk.

"LAMP is still viewed as a collection of piece parts that aren't really certified to work together. But the various participants in that stack and on top of that stack are doing a good job of driving it forward and making it just another stack," O'Grady said.

The individual components of the LAMP stack have been around for many years. But the combination of components--or similar open-source stacks--is increasingly being viewed by vendors, customers and venture investors as a unified platform for building and running business applications. These "stacks" aren't so much vertical entities, with each element layered on the other, as they are a looser collection of building blocks that can be put together to build various types of Web applications.

Indeed, several companies are staking out businesses around the open-source software rather than aligning with Microsoft's .Net or with Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) server software and tools. In many cases, the plan is to make LAMP more battle-tested and palatable to corporate customers.

Shining a light on LAMP industry
ActiveGrid's Application Server software, set for release in July, is designed to combine several individual servers running LAMP software to tackle demanding computing jobs. The company will give away a low-end product and charge for a more functional server aimed at large corporate customers.

Covalent makes management tools for handling large installations of Apache Web servers. And a handful of services companies, including SourceLabs, Optaros and SpikeSource, are looking to provide support and application-development services to corporations.

"Java is an old-style language--I'm not impressed with it."
--Curt Finch
Founder and CEO, Journyx

Meanwhile, some packaged-application companies are going with LAMP-like open-source options, eschewing Microsoft's .Net and Java.

SugarCRM, which released an open-source sales application this year, built its programs using the LAMP stack, which is included with its offering.

Another independent software vendor, Journyx, decided to build its Web-based time-sheet application with open-source components instead of Java. In this case, company engineers used Python, Linux, Apache and the PostgreSQL open-source database.

That combination of freely available software allows Journyx to let prospective customers use the software for free, which

 

Correction: This article incorrectly described some of the components of the LAMP stack. PHP, Perl and Python are separate scripting languages.

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23 comments

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expense of Java and .NET are myths
Java and .NET with modern frameworks and tools are highly productive environments. To get BEA up and running, you download WebLogic, run the installer, and go. I have rarely seen an environment where one can't set up such a server to hook up with databases, LDAP servers, etc. within a few hours.

Big companies spend a lot of money on developers that don't know the langauge, or the newer frameworks, or on operations support departments that have very high taxes on just getting servers and disks installed. If you switch to LAMP, none of this will change, and it will probably get worse. The technology really isn't the problem.

And let's not get into reliability, scalability, and feature richness of databases, shall we?
Posted by parasubvert (19 comments )
Reply Link Flag
reliability and scalability
Reliability and scalability with LAMP? You'll see no change in these by switching to a LAMP setup. In fact, it opens more options than you would have with .NET or Java.

I've been running my business with a LAMP setup for years and I've never had any problems with development time, reliability, or scalability as the company has grown. And yes, we've grown (approx. 600% since Jan. 2004).

An experienced PHP and MySQL developer can create the exact same applications that .NET and Java can and typically do it in less time. Plus, using PHP's built in ways of incorporating Java into PHP scripts, you get the best of both worlds when the need arises.

Corporations should embrace LAMP, as it is a much more cost-effective technology base than anything else out there.
Posted by (5 comments )
Link Flag
expense of Java and .NET are myths
Java and .NET with modern frameworks and tools are highly productive environments. To get BEA up and running, you download WebLogic, run the installer, and go. I have rarely seen an environment where one can't set up such a server to hook up with databases, LDAP servers, etc. within a few hours.

Big companies spend a lot of money on developers that don't know the langauge, or the newer frameworks, or on operations support departments that have very high taxes on just getting servers and disks installed. If you switch to LAMP, none of this will change, and it will probably get worse. The technology really isn't the problem.

And let's not get into reliability, scalability, and feature richness of databases, shall we?
Posted by parasubvert (19 comments )
Reply Link Flag
reliability and scalability
Reliability and scalability with LAMP? You'll see no change in these by switching to a LAMP setup. In fact, it opens more options than you would have with .NET or Java.

I've been running my business with a LAMP setup for years and I've never had any problems with development time, reliability, or scalability as the company has grown. And yes, we've grown (approx. 600% since Jan. 2004).

An experienced PHP and MySQL developer can create the exact same applications that .NET and Java can and typically do it in less time. Plus, using PHP's built in ways of incorporating Java into PHP scripts, you get the best of both worlds when the need arises.

Corporations should embrace LAMP, as it is a much more cost-effective technology base than anything else out there.
Posted by (5 comments )
Link Flag
Best of both worlds...
So what's the, dilemma between java and lamp, I use Lamp because of Mysql and PHP integration so i could deploy calendar system on. All my local network clients run on 100 % java code built on Netbeans. On the server side java RMI & EJB's all connected to lamp to use mysql. Lamp publishes my java jnlp apps with Apache web server. If anything Java and Lamp complement each other very nicely. I downloaded all Java tools & Lamp tools and no cost for free. I do not use any of the vendors that were mentioned. So where is the large cost overhead in part on java system? I run one linux server with lamp, and one on MSserver2003, I have users that are 80 % windows users, and the rest linux, becasue i forced to :).
Posted by Martin_Jozef (21 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Best of both worlds...
So what's the, dilemma between java and lamp, I use Lamp because of Mysql and PHP integration so i could deploy calendar system on. All my local network clients run on 100 % java code built on Netbeans. On the server side java RMI & EJB's all connected to lamp to use mysql. Lamp publishes my java jnlp apps with Apache web server. If anything Java and Lamp complement each other very nicely. I downloaded all Java tools & Lamp tools and no cost for free. I do not use any of the vendors that were mentioned. So where is the large cost overhead in part on java system? I run one linux server with lamp, and one on MSserver2003, I have users that are 80 % windows users, and the rest linux, becasue i forced to :).
Posted by Martin_Jozef (21 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Python is miles ahead of Java and .Net (and PHP or Perl)
I have more than 5 years of development experience in Java, PHP and Perl, around 3 in C# and around 1 year in Python.

My resume is that Python wins. Is miles ahead of any other development software/platform. Available software for Python ( twisted, Zope/Plone, pySim, ...) ussually makes the most advanced commercial java or .net software look like an inmature prototype.
What's more important and decisive to me, once I changed to Python I have been able to complete more projects in less time, which means more money, more profits, more quality of live.
Final projects are always much less buggy, because I use around 25% of Java/C# code to do the same task and final code is much easier to read and refactor.
For example, a personalized Document Management system using Plone and Python archetypes takes around 200 lines of codes (two weeks summing up analysis, development, testing and final deployment). That same project with Java or Net could take a minimun of 3 months.

That internet monster called Google uses Python as core development platform. I don't think is a casuality that they have such a great success.
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Python is miles ahead of Java and .Net (and PHP or Perl)
I have more than 5 years of development experience in Java, PHP and Perl, around 3 in C# and around 1 year in Python.

My resume is that Python wins. Is miles ahead of any other development software/platform. Available software for Python ( twisted, Zope/Plone, pySim, ...) ussually makes the most advanced commercial java or .net software look like an inmature prototype.
What's more important and decisive to me, once I changed to Python I have been able to complete more projects in less time, which means more money, more profits, more quality of live.
Final projects are always much less buggy, because I use around 25% of Java/C# code to do the same task and final code is much easier to read and refactor.
For example, a personalized Document Management system using Plone and Python archetypes takes around 200 lines of codes (two weeks summing up analysis, development, testing and final deployment). That same project with Java or Net could take a minimun of 3 months.

That internet monster called Google uses Python as core development platform. I don't think is a casuality that they have such a great success.
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Use WIMP instead
Windows Server 2003/IIS/mySQL/PHP.

It is much easier to install/maintain than LAMP, and the coding for mySQL/PHP is the same.
Posted by johnqh (236 comments )
Reply Link Flag
And be locked in forever and suffer security flaws?
No thanks.
Posted by Bill Dautrive (1179 comments )
Link Flag
Use WIMP instead
Windows Server 2003/IIS/mySQL/PHP.

It is much easier to install/maintain than LAMP, and the coding for mySQL/PHP is the same.
Posted by johnqh (236 comments )
Reply Link Flag
And be locked in forever and suffer security flaws?
No thanks.
Posted by Bill Dautrive (1179 comments )
Link Flag
CPAN
Ever hear of it? Check it out:

www.cpan.org

This is Perl's killer app. I have found no equal.
Posted by Johnny Mnemonic (374 comments )
Reply Link Flag
CPAN
Ever hear of it? Check it out:

www.cpan.org

This is Perl's killer app. I have found no equal.
Posted by Johnny Mnemonic (374 comments )
Reply Link Flag
python and agile programming
python has given our companies man years of advantage versus our competitors who toil with armies of java and ASP .NET programmers. For web publishing you dont need a strongly typed language and a complile and test cycle whih takes too damn long.
Posted by (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
python and agile programming
python has given our companies man years of advantage versus our competitors who toil with armies of java and ASP .NET programmers. For web publishing you dont need a strongly typed language and a complile and test cycle whih takes too damn long.
Posted by (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Open Source Talent
LAMP is the perfect combination for startup companies.

www.ostalent.com
Posted by mentalbarcode (11 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Open Source Talent
LAMP is the perfect combination for startup companies.

www.ostalent.com
Posted by mentalbarcode (11 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Lamp have linux server, security wise it is a quite best server as compare to windows based server on other hand php and mysql provides every thing which developer requires , one major thing these are open source ,so as a developer i can say Lamp is reliable for me.
David Brown http://www.daniweb.com/forums/post858019.html
Posted by DavidBrown1 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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