Acquia releases Drupal Commons open source social software suite

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Acquia released a new social software suite this week they are calling Drupal Commons. It's an open-source alternative to the proprietary Enterprise 2.0 suites we've written about quite often here. Acquia's Jay Batson was full of optimism about it when he wrote: "Time--once again--for open source to go blow the doors off another proprietary software cathedral." In this case, the cathedral is social software suites.

Not about to pull any punches here, Matson continued, "A finished product. Drupal Commons is a fully-functional social business software solution that frees your community to assemble and grow. It full-on rivals any proprietary alternative." It's all well and good for Batson to be proud of his product, but is it all he says it is? Larry Hawes, an analyst at the Gilbane Group who covers Enterprise 2.0 suites thinks it could be. What's more, he thinks it gives Drupal an in into large enterprise settings.

"The Drupal Commons application will cut into sales by proprietary pure-play social networking vendors like Jive, Telligent, NewsGator, etc. Large platform players like IBM (NYSE: IBM), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT), Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL), etc. will be most affected, as Drupal Commons is a 'Trojan Horse' that may get the entire Drupal platform into large organizations that have not yet used it."

Hawes says other open-source Enterprise 2.0 tools have been around, but this one has a better shot because it's been designed as a complete platform to replace the proprietary products currently available. "There have been a few open-source collaboration tools available, but none formulated specifically as a community platform. The availability Drupal Commons should fuel additional growth for social business in general."

At June's Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston, I wrote a piece called "The attack of the huge Enterprise 2.0 vendors." I noticed that for the first time perhaps, the big tech companies were paying attention to this space. Now comes an open-source alternative that could cause even greater disruption.

For more information:
- read the Aquia blog post by Jay Batson

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The attack of the huge Enterprise 2.0 vendors
Redefining Enterprise 2.0
Acquia tries to mainstream Drupal with Drupal Gardens
Drupal gaining acceptance in the enterprise