The year open source search got serious

It’s been an interesting and busy twelve months here at Flax – we’ve worked on some fantastic customer projects, spoken at conferences at home and abroad and made some great alliances and partnerships. We are talking to more people than ever before about the advantages of open source search and we’ve even started a local Meetup group.

This has been the year when open source search moved out of the shadows and became a force to reckon with – whether handling billions of queries or millions of customers, powering innovative new APIs for open content from forward-looking media companies or simply making it easier for search applications to be developed. Commercial support is now available to rival anything offered by the closed source world and there are now fully packaged solutions built on open source. In some sectors open source may even become the default choice (see what IDC said about the embedded/OEM market).

There’s still significant change to come in the search sector – I expect a few vendors will be in trouble by this time next year as they realise their business models (often built on per-document charges) are out-of-date, and we might also see further acquisitions by the usual behemoths. All this leads to reduced choice and increased costs for customers, and this is where open source can help – you can build your search solution in-house, or engage companies like ours to help, but you’re no longer locked in to a vendor’s roadmap and shackled to their business plan (or the consequences of its failure!).

I’ll leave the final word to Matt Asay of Canonical, who says: “Open source is how we do business 10 years into this new millennium.”

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