Ernst Publishing Company, a provider of technology and closing cost data for the real estate and home finance industries for the past 20 years, has announced that the company’s technology development team has begun leveraging the power and capabilities presented by the communities of Open-Source software.
Per the Open Source Initiative (OSI), “Open source is a development method for software that harnesses the power of distributed peer review and transparency of process. The promise of open source is better quality, higher reliability, more flexibility, lower cost, and an end to predatory vendor lock-in.”
“The pursuit of constant innovation requires us to develop technology faster and more economically than ever before,” said Gregory E. Teal, president and chief executive officer of Ernst Publishing. “OSI has emerged as the most effective way to meet that mandate. Our new technologies will make it to market faster, our tools will be more affordable and our engineers will have the opportunity to give something back to their communities. Everybody wins.”
Ernst is already using open-source software such as Linux in some of its servers, Mercurial, MediaWiki, and MariaDB (MySQL). Now the company is giving back to some of the projects that have provided past benefits. Specifically, the company has contributed code to the Chef project (a configuration-management tool). Ernst has also contributed documentation improvements, an improvement to the cookbook that installs the Perl programming language (adding compatibility to the Windows platform), and a completely new cookbook that installs the Zabbix monitoring agent for Windows computers. In addition, Ernst has contributed to the RhodeCode Source Control Management System, both in the forms of code and documentation improvements, as well as code for serving and interacting with Windows in both the Ruby and Perl programming languages.
But it’s not just code the company is giving back; it’s also time and experience. Harold “Waldo” Grunenwald, Ernst Publishing’s principal systems engineer, has contributed time to assisting with the Hurricane Sandy cleanup and recovery efforts as a member of Team Rubicon. Team Rubicon’s mission is to unite the skills and experience of military veterans with medical professionals to rapidly deploy emergency response teams into crisis situations.