OmniTI Labs

So, as many of you may already know, open source is "good stuff." It has a foothold in almost every industry, from manufacturing to accounting to retail to portable electronics to "the dot com."

OmniTI services a wide variety of clients that use both open source and closed source technology and if you've ever heard me speak on the subject I usually go on a rant about "open source as a religion sucks."

<rant>
Open source is great; it has benefits; it has costs; more often than not those benefits outweigh the costs by a significant amount. However, if you are religious about using open source you start focusing on the solution set before you define the problem set. Technology is a tool to help solve non-technology problems and make businesses grow and consumers happy. Sometimes closed sourced solutions have more benefit than cost when compared to open source technologies, sometimes not -- let the problem decide.

Have faith that the critical analysis of a problem will most often lead you to an open source solution anyway.
</rant>

Despite the fact that we embrace closed source and open source alike, it remains a truth that we see well over 99% of client architectures solidly in the open source realm (up from about 95% five years ago). Suffice it to say, open source enables OmniTI to build better solutions for clients. Period.

OmniTI, for a long time now, has boasted a staff that participates heavily in the open source communities such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, PHP, Apache, Linux, and now even OpenSolaris (just to name a few). And, since inception, OmniTI has always encouraged contributing changes back to improve the code that we use, etc. etc.

Many source communities shun corporate identities from participating and rely on individual meritocracy alone. I don't believe this is bad or good, but I think it can (sometimes) be a bit short sighted. Some companies (particularly consultancies like ours) really do live and breathe open source code. This leads me to believe that the company itself (as a super-entity) has something to contribute in addition to the contributions of spectacular individuals -- it can contribute OmniTI Labs.

"The success of our company is based on supporting businesses that run on Open Source software, so it is exciting for us to have a tangible way to contribute back to the community," said Theo Schlossnagle, principal of OmniTI. "OmniTI Labs provides a central repository for our developers to share the code they’ve written in the course of our work with the Open Source community. We look forward to seeing the content grow substantially over the coming months to become a go-to site for software developers as they look for ways to streamline their Open Source projects."

I'm very excited about making OmniTI Labs available and for all of us here at OmniTI to have an avenue to release tools they develop that has an absolute minimum amount of red tape. I expect this resource to flourish into an invaluable set of tools.

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