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This past March, the Apache Software Foundation celebrated a significant milestone in its history: 20 years as a preeminent organization in the world of open source software.

Back in San Francisco in 1999, the original 21 founders, including members of the Apache Group (creators of the Apache HTTP Server) formed The Apache Software Foundation. The Apache HTTP Server project continues to be one of the best known of the ASF's 350 projects, with 80 million Websites being served by this platform.

This week in Las Vegas was the ApacheCon North America event, where over 600 attendees, including quite a few of those original founders, gathered together to participate in scores of technical talks and hackathons, as well as reflect on the last two decades.

ASF Founder Brian Behlendorf cuts the ceremonial 20-year birthday cake at this year ASF Founder Brian Behlendorf cuts the ceremonial 20-year birthday cake at this year's ApacheCon North America.

Red Hat's involvement in the ASF has been a long and storied one. A proud sponsor of the ASF, Red Hat has also has many people involved in the organization over the years. Currently in the Open Source Program Office, Rich Bowen, the Community Liaison for the CentOS Project, serves as the VP of Conferences for the ASF.

Among the many free and open source software projects Red Hat is involved with, are several ASF projects. These include:

  • Apache ActiveMQ A popular multi-protocol, Java-based messaging server. It supports industry-standard protocols so users get the benefits of client choices across a broad range of languages and platforms.
  • Apache ActiveMQ Artemis A tool to build a multi-protocol, embeddable, clustered, asynchronous messaging system.
  • Apache Camel A framework for message-oriented middleware with a rule-based routing and mediation engine that provides a Java object-based implementation of the Enterprise Integration Patterns using an application programming interface to configure routing and mediation rules.
  • Apache CXF A fully featured Web services framework.
  • Apache Kafka A stream-processing software platform written in Scala and Java. The project aims to provide a unified, high-throughput, low-latency platform for handling real-time data feeds.
  • Apache Karaf A small Open Services Gateway initiative-based runtime that provides a lightweight container onto which various components and applications can be deployed.
  • Apache ServiceMix An enterprise-class open-source distributed enterprise service bus, which implements a communication system between mutually interacting software applications in a service-oriented architecture.
  • Apache Tomcat A Java application server that is lightweight and compatible with applications developed in a number of frameworks including Spring. Tomcat has both lightweight application server functionality and web connectivity, allowing it to handle website requests and run applications within a single environment.

The ASF has always distinguished itself by maintaining a consistent mode of project governance and evolution, known as "The Apache Way." This process is something that I have been admittedly skeptical about in the past, because I felt it was too much overhead and bureaucracy. But, having been a community manager for quite some time myself, I have readily changed my mind. Consistency within community projects is very important to the overall health of any community, and the ASF through the Apache Way provides a shining example of that.

For more ASF celebrations, consider attending the upcoming ApacheCon Europe event on October 22-24, 2019 in Berlin, Germany.


About the author

Brian Proffitt is a Manager within Red Hat's Open Source Program Office, focusing on content generation, community metrics, and special projects. Brian's experience with community management includes knowledge of community onboarding, community health, and business alignment. Prior to joining Red Hat in 2014, he was a technology journalist with a focus on Linux and open source, and the author of 22 consumer technology books.