10 open source companies to watch

10 open source companies to watch

Products range from databases to data integration

Company name: Sonatype

Founded: 2007

Location: California

What does the company offer? Software, support and services centered on making it easier to use Maven, a software tool for Java project management and build automation.

Why is it worth watching? Sonatype wants to give Java developers an environment that rivals Microsoft's Visual Studio and .Net. Maven has been downloaded more than two million times, and Sonatype adds to the mix its Nexus repository manager and m2eclipse plug-in, which ties it to the Eclipse IDE.

How did the company get its start? Sonatype saw a gap and filled it after recognizing Maven's widespread adoption highlighted the need for stout development infrastructure tools along with Maven support and services.

How did the company get its name? Sonatype takes its name from the Hindi word "sona," which means gold, and the Latin word "type," which means model.

CEO and background: Jason van Zyl is also founder and CTO. He has more than 10 years' experience in open source and proprietary enterprise software development. He is the founder of the Apache Maven project. Prior to Sonatype, he founded Periapt, which provides software infrastructure development services to Fortune 500 companies. He has also worked as a technology architect at Compusens. He helped found Codehaus, an incubation facility for open source community projects.

Funding: Privately funded.

Who's using the product? Sonatype's tools and services have been downloaded more than two million times by a wide range of companies and organizations that include many members of the Fortune 2000.

Company name: Untangle

Founded: 2007

Location: California

What does the company offer? It offers a commercial-grade open source gateway to small businesses for blocking spam, spyware, viruses, adware and unwanted content on the network.

Why is it worth watching? The company is aiming at being a leading IT supplier for small and midsized businesses, and is developing other open source IT tools to go along with its network security wares.

How did the company get its start? Dirk Morris and John Irwin spent three years writing code to drastically reduce the cost of proprietary software and the complexity of open source deployments. The pair used dozens of open source technologies and has open sourced 95 percent of the code they created.

How did the company get its name? Company founders say the Untangle name reflects their mission to eliminate IT complexity for small businesses.

CEO and background: Bob Walters used to land F/A-18 Hornet fighter aircraft on aircraft carriers before selling Teros, an application security start-up, to Citrix Systems. He has held executive and/or general management positions with Securant, Linuxcare, Informix Software and Red Brick Systems. He is a graduate of the US Naval Academy in Annapolis and was a Guggenheim Fellow at Princeton University.

Funding: Two rounds totaling US$18.5 million with CMEA Ventures and Rustic Canyon Partners.

Who's using the product? Customer list of 5,000 includes Genesis Physicians Group, Bishop Kelley High School, Franklin Academy, University of Georgia and Maine State Employees Association-SEIU Local 1989.

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