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5 Open Source Small Business Cloud Computing Applications

Interest from business users in cloud computing has brought a surge of opportunity to the open source developer world.

Cloud Computing Applications: Cloud computing expands the open source world and opens up new applications for small business users. Key ways that open source application developers and end users are taking advantage of these opportunities include the following:

In this Datamation article, author Cynthia Harvey provides details on 50 open source cloud computing applications (including enterprise applications) that are considered to be a hosted or on-demand cloud application. We look at 5 top open source cloud computing apps for the small business.

Editor's Recommendation: Cloud Computing White Papers and Resources for Small Businesses

1. Accounting: Phreebooks

This Web-based accounting and enterprise resource planning (ERP) package for small businesses compares favorably with Sage and QuickBooks. It's available on a SaaS basis from Phreebooks hosting partner UniMatrix. Operating System: OS Independent.

2. Business Intelligence: Palo BI Suite

The first open source, software as a service, business intelligence solution, Palo's SaaS edition can help companies reduce their hardware, maintenance and installation costs. It offers planning, analysis and reporting capabilities that are a step up from using a spreadsheet application. Operating System: OS Independent.

3. Cloud Infrastructure: OpenStack

Backed by Nasa, Rackspace and many other notable technology companies, OpenStack is building two separate cloud technologies: Compute, which provides the technology necessary to set up a cloud environment, and Object Storage for cloud-based storage. The goal is to develop standards that will promote interoperability among cloud offerings. Operating System: N/A

4. Customer Relationship Management (CRM): SugarCRM

An alternative to Salesforce.com, Sugar CRM, has an impressive client list, which includes Coca-Cola, Avis, H&R Block and Go Daddy. Both the professional and enterprise editions are available on-site or on-demand. Operating System: Windows, Linux, OS X.  

5. Email/Collaboration/Groupware: Zimbra

Positioning itself as an alternative to Microsoft Exchange, Zimbra offers cloud-based email and groupware functionality. It offers a wide array of editions and deployment options, including an SaaS edition and a VMware appliance for easy deployment on a private cloud. Operating System: Linux, Unix, OS X.

Read the complete article: 50 Open Source Apps You Can Use in the Cloud

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