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Apache Software Foundation (ASF)

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore
This definition is part of our Essential Guide: Using big data and Hadoop 2: New version enables new applications

The Apache Software Foundation (ASF) is a non-profit corporation that oversees development of Apache software. The organization was founded in 1999 is based in Forest Hill, Maryland.

Membership is based on contribution to the foundation's open source projects; individual candidates must be nominated and approved by a majority of members. Corporations are not eligible for membership.

The ASF currently oversees more than 100 top-level projects (TLPs), many of which also have subprojects. Top-level projects include:

Apache HTTP server, a freely available Web server that runs on most operating systems including UNIX, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS/X and Netware.

Cassandra, an open source distributed database system designed for storing and managing large amounts of data across commodity servers.

CloudStack, a cloud management platform for delivering Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) in cloud computing environments.

Hive, an open-source data warehouse system for querying and analyzing large datasets stored in Hadoop files.

Hadoop, a free, Java-based programming framework that supports the processing of large data sets in a distributed computing environment.

Although there is some speculation that the name Apache was created as a play on words (a patchy Web server), the foundation says that the pun is coincidental. According to the ASF, the name was chosen in tribute to "the various Native American nations collectively referred to as Apache, well-known for their superior skills in warfare strategy and their inexhaustible endurance."

The ASF was formerly known as the Apache Group.

This was last updated in August 2013

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