Aras is the latest company to announce that they are going open source in an attempt to lower their costs and increase their appeal to corporate customers. The interesting twist is that Aras is not some obscure project dreamed up by a bunch of Linux heads; it's corporate software for product life cycle management, project collaboration, workflows, change management and the like. Aras' customers include folks like Rolls Royce, Tellabs, Ingersoll-Rand and L3 Communications. In other words, serious corporate users. Interestingly enough Aras' suite was all built using the Microsoft's SOA platform, which, as readers may know, is not open source. Or perhaps I should say is not yet open source.
I believe that open source and hosted applications (software as a service) will become much more common in the next five and the dominant form for corporate software within ten years. The economics of it are just too compelling, both for customers and for vendors.