EOF - Open-Source Use Accelerates Software Development
Many software developers share some common traits. Besides copious caffeine and creative work schedules, developers like working on interesting, new problems. They like to be as efficient and productive in their work as possible. They never want to start from scratch either; they prefer to cut, paste, modify and extend.
The best developers today are the ones that can most effectively find, assemble and then optimize re-usable software components—whether those components are open source or were developed within their own organization. A developer's skill with Google and SourceForge is now as important as his or her knowledge of software architecture and implementation.
This new “assembly” model is fundamentally changing the way software is designed and developed. It accelerates development, improves software quality and reduces costs. In short, it's changing everything.
Software now consists of a mix of company-owned code, open-source and commercial libraries, and code provided by outsourcers. By combining external components with their proprietary technology, companies create a set of mixed intellectual property, or mixed-IP assets. Best practices for managing software licensing in this new mixed-IP environment are now emerging.
All software—whether commercial or open source—carries licensing obligations that companies must comply with. This new, mixed-IP environment adds complexity to the process by mixing together licenses of all kinds. Managing these licenses and their restrictions needs to be done correctly in order to keep companies—and individual developers—out of trouble.
Following is a set of software compliance management “best practices” that were developed through discussions I've had with companies that are best in the world at leveraging this new environment:
Re-use existing components—to lower development costs, accelerate time to market, improve quality and reduce business risk, use existing internal and external components wherever appropriate. Explicitly consider functionality, performance, reliability, maturity, risk, sensitivity and license obligations.
Track and control changes to internal components—to establish and maintain the provenance of all internal components, to identify and protect critical IP and to avoid inadvertent violations of licenses, trademarks, patents, copyrights and trade secrets. Track internal component creation and modification and control the modification of those that are sensitive.
Control re-use of sensitive or external components—to avoid last-minute surprises, guesswork, compromises and risk-taking, and to prevent the loss of intellectual property and facilitate timely and effective remediation. Review and approve the use of any external or sensitive internal components or fragments in a project.
Verify every build and release—to assure prompt discovery of materials inadvertently included in a project and unapproved or precluded modifications to components. Identify and remediate all unapproved components or fragments and changes made to any of those components. Record the metadata for all external components in the associated bill of materials.
Review compliance at project phase transitions—to prevent loss of intellectual property and to assure prompt discovery of new components inadvertently included in the project. At major development milestones, verify that no unapproved components are used in the project or were changed and then used. Review the license obligations of all external components used in the project and ensure compliance with them.
Control component contribution and disposition—to avoid license violations and the attendant disruptions and to constrain the propagation of risky software. Before contributing any component or fragment to an open-source project or transferring ownership to another party, assess the sensitivity of that material. Verify your rights to make that contribution or transfer.
Assess software components before acquisition—to prevent negative post-acquisition surprises. Before buying a software component, identify all internal and external components used in that asset. Identify all external components used in any active project and assess their license obligations with respect to compliance, business objectives and legal policies. Assess the impact of any required rework or change on cost, revenue, quality and so forth.
These best practices encourage the use of open source and re-use of software components, while assuring compliance with license obligations. They also protect an organization's intellectual property assets. In addition to adopting these best practices, many organizations are using commercially available automated solutions as platforms on which to establish and manage these processes.
Open-source software and component re-use are here to stay. Now is the time for companies to begin thinking about how they will alter their management of software IP so they can capitalize on this new development model. By doing so, they will get ahead of the issue and put the power of open source to work for their organizations.
Palle Pedersen is CTO of Black Duck Software, the leading provider of software compliance management solutions (www.blackducksoftware.com).
|Designing Electronics with Linux||May 22, 2013|
|Dynamic DNS—an Object Lesson in Problem Solving||May 21, 2013|
|Using Salt Stack and Vagrant for Drupal Development||May 20, 2013|
|Making Linux and Android Get Along (It's Not as Hard as It Sounds)||May 16, 2013|
|Drupal Is a Framework: Why Everyone Needs to Understand This||May 15, 2013|
|Home, My Backup Data Center||May 13, 2013|
- Designing Electronics with Linux
- Making Linux and Android Get Along (It's Not as Hard as It Sounds)
- Dynamic DNS—an Object Lesson in Problem Solving
- Validate an E-Mail Address with PHP, the Right Way
- What's the tweeting protocol?
- Mediated Reality: University of Toronto RWM Project
- New Products
- Using Salt Stack and Vagrant for Drupal Development
- Dart: a New Web Programming Experience
- OpenOffice.org Off-the-Wall: ToCs, Indexes and Bibliographies in OOo Writer
1 hour 1 min ago
- Kernel Problem
11 hours 4 min ago
- BASH script to log IPs on public web server
15 hours 31 min ago
19 hours 7 min ago
- Reply to comment | Linux Journal
19 hours 39 min ago
- All the articles you talked
22 hours 3 min ago
- All the articles you talked
22 hours 6 min ago
- All the articles you talked
22 hours 8 min ago
1 day 2 hours ago
- Keeping track of IP address
1 day 4 hours ago
Enter to Win an Adafruit Pi Cobbler Breakout Kit for Raspberry Pi
It's Raspberry Pi month at Linux Journal. Each week in May, Adafruit will be giving away a Pi-related prize to a lucky, randomly drawn LJ reader. Winners will be announced weekly.
Fill out the fields below to enter to win this week's prize-- a Pi Cobbler Breakout Kit for Raspberry Pi.
Congratulations to our winners so far:
- 5-8-13, Pi Starter Pack: Jack Davis
- 5-15-13, Pi Model B 512MB RAM: Patrick Dunn
- 5-21-13, Prototyping Pi Plate Kit: Philip Kirby
- Next winner announced on 5-27-13!
Free Webinar: Hadoop
How to Build an Optimal Hadoop Cluster to Store and Maintain Unlimited Amounts of Data Using Microservers
Realizing the promise of Apache® Hadoop® requires the effective deployment of compute, memory, storage and networking to achieve optimal results. With its flexibility and multitude of options, it is easy to over or under provision the server infrastructure, resulting in poor performance and high TCO. Join us for an in depth, technical discussion with industry experts from leading Hadoop and server companies who will provide insights into the key considerations for designing and deploying an optimal Hadoop cluster.
Some of key questions to be discussed are:
- What is the “typical” Hadoop cluster and what should be installed on the different machine types?
- Why should you consider the typical workload patterns when making your hardware decisions?
- Are all microservers created equal for Hadoop deployments?
- How do I plan for expansion if I require more compute, memory, storage or networking?