The Apache Foundation and the World of Open Source Software

There’s no denying the continuing influence of open source software on the modern business world. Many of the most important innovations in software technology happened because of open source. Some notable examples include the ubiquitous HTTP server, Apache, the distributed computing framework, Hadoop, as well as modern NoSQL databases like Cassandra and CouchDB.

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) remains one of the most important incubators of these kinds of applications, including the four examples mentioned above. Let’s take a closer look at its history and relevant accomplishments to inspire your own team’s development work. Maybe you will find a useful application to make your software engineering process easier?

A Rich History of supporting Software Development

The Apache Foundation grew from the team responsible for the Apache HTTP server. Development first began on that project in 1993, with many of the initial team agreeing to incorporate as a non-profit entity in 1999. As a US 501(c)(3) charitable organization, the ASF receives support and funding from a variety of individual contributors and corporate supporters.

The Foundation’s framework protects the intellectual property involved with its own development work. It also helps to limit any legal exposure for those involved in contributing to the various applications managed by the ASF. The foundation currently includes 500 members and 4,500 contributors working on a variety of projects.

ASF members are individuals who have shown a history of supporting open source principles. They get nominated and are subsequently voted upon by the existing membership. Earning ASF membership status is a feather in the cap of anyone involved in software development.

This organizational structure allows applications to be developed and supported by the ASF once they enter the public domain. In addition to the software built in-house, thousands of enterprise-level programs are distributed freely under the Apache license. The benefits the ASF provides to modern business world are essentially incalculable.

Interesting Apache Projects for Developers

Apache doesn’t only incubate and support full applications; included among the Foundation’s projects are a whole host of libraries suitable for use in a wide array of applications. Java developers looking for an ORM tool when working with relational databases need to check out Apache Cayenne. It provides a user-friendly environment for creating data models and defining business requirements with easy portability to any JDBC-compliant database.

Writing logging code is a time-consuming necessity for many software developers. Apache provides a logging framework, usable at no charge, supporting many popular languages, including Java, PHP, C++, C#, and Visual Basic. This saves software shops valuable time, allowing them to concentrate on the core parts of their applications.

Apache Subversion is used by many software development organizations for source code management and version control. It is an example of a project first developed outside Apache that entered the incubator program, and is now a top-level project at the Foundation. It is the source code program of choice for ASF projects.

Chances are excellent you use at least one application either developed at the ASF or released to the public under the open source Apache license. The Foundation and its work is a true example of what can be accomplished by the open source software community.

Keep coming back to the Betica Blog for additional insights from the world of software development. As always, thanks for reading!