(Via Iweek) No blinkers with only technology focus but sensitivity to IP issues and relationships with the open source community are the key shifts needed ,says the head of R&D for systems integrator ADP,based on experience of recent opensource migration/deployments.ADP Dealer Services provides line-of-business computing systems to car and truck dealership focusing on transactional applications, running on a myriad of unix platforms with some development using proprietary technologies. Some key learning from opensource deployments/migrations:.
- Developers need to be careful about origin of open source components, to be sure the code doesn't have licensing provisions that can cost their employers money in the future.
- Developers need to ensure mechanisms/relationships to get some-but not all-of their tech support from the open-source community & have a good contribution framework in place to give back to the opensource community.
- Intellectual property and open-source licensing were big concerns, requiring the developers to involve ADP's legal department closely in the development process.
- ADP prefers BSD to GPL as administration of IP is easier.
- Developers need to be educated not to download code from the Internet without informing managers, and to be sure the code is properly open-source licensed before incorporating it into proprietary software.
- Another mitigation strategy to avoid IP issue hassles is to use components from vendors like IBM that indemnify customers- The catch is that those companies' indemnification is voided if the user modifies the code, which eliminates one of the main benefits of open source.
- Another reason why companies need to think carefully about whether they want to modify, or "fork," open-source code for internal use, is that it entails the risk of losing support of the open-source community, as upon forking if the community doesn't like it, maintenance becomes a lifetime burden.
- The open-source community can be counted on for support in some areas. But other projects are uninteresting to the open-source community, and companies will have to either do those projects themselves or hire vendors to do the work.