The studies agree: open source solutions are used by a majority of companies, both large and small, whether or not it is a conscious decision. This comes as no surprise given the rich and varied range of open source solutions available today.

Since 2004, Smile has regularly published white papers presenting the extraordinary depth of these solutions: content management in 2004, portals in 2005, business intelligence in 2006, virtualisation in 2007, electronic document management and ERPs in 2008, open source VPNs and firewalls in 2009, e-commerce and corporate social networks in 2010, NoSQL in 2011, mobile and open source census/compliance tools in 2012, and so on.

A total of 27 documents have thus been produced and are available to download for free. Each text presents a selection of the best open source solutions for the domain in question, outlining their respective strengths and providing feedback on real life experiences in using these tools.

Yet one thing was missing: a central repository containing the best open source solutions on the market, which could be used to guide and orientate decision makers toward benchmark solutions. We have received many requests for such a guide, particularly from IT Departments. For this reason, we published the first edition of this Open Source Solutions Guide in late 2011 and more than 150 open source solutions were presented and analysed.

In the space of one year, there were more than 12,000 open source downloads and thus it was only natural to offer an updated web version (http://www.open-source-guide.com) reflecting the extraordinarily dynamic nature of the world of open source software. The gap has now been filled with this portal, which presents nearly 200 products in 40 enterprise software domains. All product types are included, or nearly all – this paper does not look at “office automation” applications like Firefox, Gimp and LibreOffice – with a summary presentation and an assessment of each based on six standard criteria. 

Before launching into the following 300 pages, we recommend you read through the next section, which describes our analytical methodology and lists our suggestions for deriving maximum value from the guide. We hope that this white paper, the fruit of the labour of 40 of our top experts, will be of use to you.


Grégory BECUE, Pre Sales Director, Smile