You heard it here first. I am coining a new term for hybrid Business software, based on Open Source technology. Because there are so many different approaches to using open source software in business, I am referring to this class of software as “BOSS” or “Business Open Source software”. Many of the open source projects have enterprise versions, which are commercial or premium add-ons to the free/community edition. Since, they are not always free, I think the term FOSS (free and Open Source) can be misleading. Also, I am finding that there is a new breed of business software which is built on an open source stack, but the application layer is compiled or proprietary (for example Nolapro, or the next generation of Accpac/Sage, which are built on the Open source XAMPP stack, but the php code is compiled.) Then, there is Compiere which has a Free and Open application layer, but the underlying data base is proprietary (Oracle or Enterprise DB).
It is hard to know which combination or approach will turn out to be the most successful, but I think that there should be a way to differentiate them from the commercial style of software where the systems were built on a proprietary base, and only ran on one platform. So, I have started using the term “BOSS” to refer to this new generation of hybrid open source technology. (Business Open Source Software) It will be interesting to see if it catches on elsewhere. If it does, you can say you heard it here first.