Some amazing open source web applications

I’ve been thinking about what life would be like without open source software. How could you get through much of your daily life without it? Absent open source, Google would not have been able to easily and cost-effectively build a huge cluster of servers to power its search engine. The reason is Linux would not have been free for the company to modify and adapt to its needs. And Google is only one obvious example here. Yahoo runs its entire site on FreeBSD.

In the span of 10-15 years it  emerged as the best friend for any of the web developer, if you have experience with web development you must feel the freedom and ease of coding with open source web applications.

Here are some of the amazing open source web application :–

1.) phpMyAdmin (1998):

phpMyAdmin is a tool written in PHP intended to handle the administration of MySQL over the Web. Currently it can create and drop databases, create/drop/alter tables, delete/edit/add fields, execute any SQL statement, manage keys on fields, manage privileges, export data into various formats and is available in 50 languages. Development is backed up by the phpMyAdmin team.

2.) squirrelMail (1999):

SquirrelMail is a web-based email application started by Nathan and Luke Ehresman and written in the PHP scripting language. It can be installed on almost all web servers as long as PHP is present and the web server has access to an IMAP and SMTP server.

3.) osCommerce (2000):

osCommerce is an open source e-commerce solution under on going development by the open source community. Its feature packed out-of-the- box installation allows store owners to setup, run, and maintain their online stores with minimum effort and with no costs involved. osCommerce combines open source solutions to provide a free and open development platform, which includes the powerful PHP web scripting language, the stable Apache web server, and the fast MySQL database server.

4.) openX (2000):

OpenX is an open-source advertising server that is licensed under the GNU General Public License. It features an integrated banner management interface and tracking system for gathering statistics. The product enables web site administrators to rotate banners from both in-house advertisement campaigns as well as from paid or third-party sources, such as Google’s AdSense. With over 50,000 publishers serving more than 300 billion ads per month, OpenX is the largest publisher-side ad server in the world. OpenX ad server is used on over 5% of the top 10,000 most traffic websites in the world.

5.) phpBB (2000):

phpBB is a fast, efficient discussion board program built in PHP with a muti-database backend. Features include: posting, replying, private messages, polls, username/ip banning, strong encryption for storing passwords, user rankings, very advanced access control for private forums, full templating, simple yet robust translation system and much more.

6.) Drupal (2001):

Drupal is a modular content management system, forum, blogging and community engine. It is database driven and can be used with MySQL, MySQLi and PostgreSQL. Its features include (but are not limited to) discussion forums, Web-based administration, theme support, a submission queue, content rating, content versioning, taxonomy support, user management with a fine-grained permission system based on user roles (groups), error logging, support for content syndication, locale support, and much more. It is considered to be an excellent platform for developers due to its clean code and extensibility, and it can also be used as a Web application framework.

7.) MediaWiki (2002):

MediaWiki is a web-based wiki software application used by all projects of the Wikimedia Foundation, all wikis hosted by Wikia, and many other wikis, including some of the largest and most popular ones. Originally developed to serve the needs of the free content Wikipedia encyclopedia, today it has also been deployed by companies for internal knowledge management, and as a content management system. Notably, Novell uses it to operate several of its high traffic websites.

8.) WordPress (2003):

WordPress is an open source CMS, often used as a blog publishing application powered by PHP and MySQL. It has many features including a plugin architecture and a templating system. Used by over 300 of the 10,000 biggest websites, WordPress is the most popular blog software in use today.

9.) SugarCRM (2004):

SugarCRM is a complete CRM system for businesses of all sizes. Core CRM functionality includes sales force automation, marketing campaigns, support cases, project mgmt, calendaring and more. Built in PHP, supports MySQL and SQL Server.

10.) Joomla (2005):

Joomla! is a free and open source content management system for publishing content on the World Wide Web and intranets as well as a model–view–controller (MVC) Web application framework. It is written in PHP, stores data in MySQL and includes features such as page caching, RSS feeds, printable versions of pages, news flashes, blogs, polls, search, and support for language internationalization. Within its first year of release, Joomla was downloaded 2.5 million times. Over 5,000 free and commercial plug-ins are available for Joomla.

11.) Pligg (2006):

Pligg is an Open source Social Networking Content Management System (CMS) Combining social bookmarking, blogging, and syndication and a democratic editorial system enables users to collaboratively submit and vote articles. It was influenced by the extremely popular and proprietary software Digg, where when a user submits a news article it is placed in the “upcoming” area until it gains sufficient votes to be promoted to the main page.

12) Magento eCommerce (2007):

Magento is a new professional open-source eCommerce solution offering unprecedented flexibility and control. It was designed with the notion that each eCommerce implementation has to be unique since no two businesses are alike. Magento’s modular architecture puts the control back in the hands of the online merchant and places no constraints on business processes and flow.

13) eyeOS (Cloud Computing OS) (2007):

eyeOS is an open source web desktop following the cloud computing concept that leverages collaboration and communication among users. It is mainly written in PHP, XML, and JavaScript. It acts as a platform for web applications written using the eyeOS Toolkit. It includes a Desktop environment with 67 applications and system utilities. It is accessible by portable devices via its mobile front-end.

14) Elgg (2008):

Elgg is open source social networking software that provides individuals and organizations with the components needed to create an online social environment. It offers blogging, microblogging, file sharing, networking, groups and a number of other features.

15) Open Atrium (2009):

Open Atrium is a platform for building team portals that can be extended to meet highly custom knowledge management needs for large organizations’ intranets and extranets. It starts with “out of the box” features like a blog, a wiki, a calendar, a case tracker, a shoutbox, and a dashboard to manage content. These features can be expanded to meet unique needs for large organizations so that full scale enterprise collaboration sites can be built with Open Atrium as a base. By fully leveraging Drupal, all of the strengths of Drupal can contribute to creating custom features for Open Atrium within a framework that is already tailored for team collaboration.



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  1. Nice information on open source web applications…

    Good work.

    Keep it up.

  2. Palak Sarin says:

    Dear Shardendu,

    Nice pick up. I think you are huge fan of Open source technologies.

    I have a query I want to install WordPress Mu, Can you please suggest me a good hosting which supports wordpress mu hosting for automatic subdomain creation.


    • shardendu says:

      Right Palak..

      i am a huge fan of Open source technologies and WordPress Mu (WordPress Multi-User) is one of them.

      Here listed some of the good hosting which support WordPress Mu installation: Justhost, Host Gator, Go Daddy, Blue Host etc.

      As far as automatic subdomain creation is concern i think Host Gator is one of the good available option.

      Just follow these steps:
      1. Download WordPress Mu
      2. Upload to public html domain you wish to use
      3. Create Mysql database and user w/ full rights
      4. Run the installer script by going to the homepage with your browser
      5. Setup wildcard domains — this is the one that had me stumped.

      • Sanjay Deshmukh says:

        Amazing and very helpful…can you please help me with open source search engine

        • Shardendu says:

          @Sanjay thanks for your appreciation… there are some of open source engine… among them Yahoo Boss, Compass, Oxyus are well known…

  3. Its very useful information which you compiled here. I banged my head and killed my precious time to get this info but all went in vain. But you made it easy by putting all together.

  4. Sanjay Deshmukh says:

    please also let me know which search engine integration is simple and does not need technical knowledge

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