ASF booming

Apache Foundation breaks all records with ‘unprecedented’ first quarter 2012 growth

Chris Mayer

The Apache Software Foundation have had a busy 2012 so far. All indications show the first few months were their best yet,

It’s been a very productive year so far for the Apache Software Foundation, giving many fledgling projects Top-Level Project status and today, the vastly successful open source group proclaimed that the first quarter of 2012 was ‘record setting’ and has seen them achieve ‘key milestones’.

 ”The Apache Way” is still at the heart of what the ASF do and fostering huge open source projects is still what they are best at. Since the turn of the year alone, we’ve seen Apache Hadoop v1.0 really push the envelope for Big Data after 6 years of heavy crafting, Apache Cassandra v1.1 become a Big Data NoSQL powerhouse and several other projects emerge from the Apache Incubator, primed to join them. These include the following projects - Apache Accumulo, Apache BVal, Apache Empire-db, Apache Gora, Apache Lucy, Apache OpenNLP, Apache Rave, and Apache Sqoop.

The last two are especially relevant – Rave could become an important lightweight Java framework for social media standards whilst Sqoop could be an integral Hadoop catalytic converter tool to transfer Hadoop data to databases. This brings the total number of TLPs to 104 – the first time the ASF has broken the century barrier. It’s an exceptional amount which shows you how big the foundation has become. There’s been a total of 87 new software releases since the turn of the year, with 20 projects now retired to the Apache Attic after becoming defunct technologies.

“Our landmark success can be attributed to Apache’s longstanding commitment to providing exceptional Open Source products, each with a stable codebase and an active community,” said ASF President Jim Jagielski. “The ASF makes it easy for all contributors, regardless of any affiliations, to collaborate.”

But rather than boast about past glories (which they rightly should) the ASF are keen to promote some of those projects in utero. Apache Cordova is one such project getting many plaudits, forming the basis for this year’s in vogue project PhoneGap. Other projects include Apache Giraph, Apache Wave and Apache CloudStack – the latter could hold the cards for IaaS.

What’s most encouraging about the ASF at the moment is the fact they don’t necessarily want to put all their eggs in one basket. Cloud, Big Data, application frameworks and build tools are part of the wider community. We’ve not even touched upon Apache HTTP Server, the holy grail for them as the world’s No.1 Web server

Another interesting release was the Apache TomEE 1.0 signally its maturity as the top dog Java EE 6 Web Profile stack.

In terms of corporate backing, things aren’t too shabby there. Citrix joined as a Platinum sponsor with the CloudStack move, whilst Twitter’s increasing open source fondness gave them Bronze in the open source olympics. The community itself, like business, is booming with 391 members active and 2,967 Apache Committers in the three-tiered ‘Contributions-Committers-Members’ structure 

“There’s no stopping the interest in Apache-led projects — from the number of innovations in the Incubator, to best-in-breed solutions powering mission-critical applications, to the widespread popularity of the Apache License,” added Jagielski. “The Apache community at-large is driving this momentum by providing code, documentation, bug reports, design feedback, testing, evangelizing, mentoring, and more. There’s always a way to contribute!”

All in all, we’ll chalk 2012 down as an unprecedented success story for the ASF. The great thing is, the year’s not even close to ending – what will they be pushing next?

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