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Succeeding with Open Source

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“Open source requires a fundamentally different operating model in order for IT organizations to succeed. Succeeding with Open Source is the first how-to book about selecting open source software based on a product’s characteristics such as quality, support, and longevity. Open source software is here to stay. Golden provides an essential tool for evaluating its usefulness/readiness for the corporation.”

Martin Fink, Vice-President—Linux, Hewlett-Packard, and author of The Business and Economics of Linux and Open Source

“Open source software is transforming the way companies acquire and manage software at every level, from operating systems to applications. Today, IT managers who don’t evaluate open source alternatives to proprietary software are doing their companies a profound disservice. If you are involved in any aspect of software acquisition and you aren’t intimately familiar with how open source systems are created, documented, and supported, you need this book. It provides you with a new framework for assessing the maturity of open source solutions, walks you through every step of the evaluation process, and provides vital insights into the risks and benefits of making the open source decision.”

David A. Taylor, Ph.D., author of Object Technology: A Manager’s Guide and Supply Chains: A Manager’s Guide

“Novell, its customers, and its partners have been waiting for something like this: a quantitative and qualitative way to assess the strength of open source projects we hope to support or build into our products. Golden provides a clear, concise methodology for determining whether an open source project is enterprise-ready and what it would take to make it so.”

Chris Stone, Vice Chairman, Novell

“Open source software addresses many of the needs of IT organizations. While more and more organizations are using open source software, few understand how to evaluate it in the absence of a parent organization. Golden provides an effective mechanism to quickly evaluate open source software based on standard software measures—such as quality, support, and documentation—and to share those evaluations with other organizations. Using Golden’s model, IT organizations can efficiently compare proprietary solutions to open source software solutions.”

Stormy Peters, Open Source Program Office, Hewlett-Packard Company

“This book contains some of the most valuable, practical advice I have seen on how to transform the use of open source software from an accidental process into a powerful strategy for gaining an edge on the competition. By providing measurable engineering and process criteria for selecting open source products and processes, it brings open source software and methods squarely within the fold of traditional software engineering and business practices. I believe this book will be looked back on as an important transition point for recognizing how open source software can be used to promote business innovation and control costs.”

Terry Bollinger, IT Analyst, The MITRE Corporation, author of “Use of Free and Open Source Software in the U.S. Department of Defense,” and former editor of IEEE Software magazine

“An outstanding look at how open source software can provide both a competitive edge and significant cost savings for any company. Required reading for any technical professional or manager.”

Kevin Bedell, Editor in Chief, LinuxWorld Magazine

“This book describes a thorough and pragmatic process to determine if/when an organization should employ open source software in mission-critical systems. Golden’s Open Source Maturity Model is a vital tool for planning open source successes.”

Craig Murphy, Chief Technology Officer, Sabre

Much like Odysseus—who had to negotiate perils between Scylla and Charybdis—IT managers face daunting challenges. On one side, there is relentless pressure to cut costs. On the other lies an unending demand for innovative solutions. However, unlike Odysseus, IT managers must not simply avoid either fate: Instead, they must fulfill both quests.

To meet these seemingly disparate goals, IT organizations are increasingly investigating the use of open source software for its cost-effectiveness and flexibility. However, myths about open source software persist—for example, that it runs only on Linux or that it is not stable enough for demanding production environments. Dispelling those myths, leading companies such as Amazon.com and Google rely on open source software, and many more companies will make the switch in the years ahead.

Succeeding with Open Source is the first book written specifically for IT managers who need to evaluate, select, and use open source software. The author begins with the fundamentals of open source solutions and how they differ greatly from commercial software. He then introduces the Open Source Maturity Model (OSMM), an invaluable resource for assessing open source products for their production readiness.

Highlights include:

  • Assessing open source business models

  • Managing risk, including licensing issues

  • Evaluating and selecting open source software

  • Locating and assessing technical support, training, and documentation resources

  • With the book’s fast-track summary format, readers can quickly and easily navigate the text and its real-world examples. Open source OSMM evaluation templates, as well as additional case studies, are available at www.navicasoft.com.

    Whether you are an IT manager or a consultant responsible for advising clients, this book will help you steer a clear course through the open source sea.



    Table of Contents

    1. Copyright
    2. Praise for Succeeding with Open Source
    3. Preface
    4. Acknowledgments
    5. Introduction
    6. Overview of Open Source
      1. The Source of Open Source
        1. Executive Summary
        2. What Is Open Source?
        3. Who Creates Open Source?
        4. Who Uses Open Source?
        5. Where Do I Get Open Source Software?
        6. When and How Do I Use Open Source?
      2. Open Source Business Models
        1. Executive Summary
        2. Early Open Source Business Models: By Enthusiasts for Enthusiasts
        3. The Next Model: Installation, Technical Support, and Consulting
        4. The New Models: Open Source as a Competitive Advantage
        5. Business Models: The Bottom Line
      3. Open Source Risks
        1. Executive Summary
        2. Licensing Risk
        3. Security and Quality Risk
        4. Premature Commitment Risk
        5. Unchanging Process Risk
    7. Selecting, Assessing, and Evaluating Open Source Software
      1. The Open Source Maturity Model
        1. Executive Summary
        2. The Challenge of the Whole Product
        3. What Is Product Maturity?
        4. Why Is Maturity Important?
        5. How Does Maturity Impact Open Source?
        6. The OSMM: An Overview
        7. The Purpose of the OSMM
        8. The OSMM Template
        9. JBoss: A Real-World OSMM Assessment
        10. How to Use the OSMM
        11. Recommended OSMM Scores
      2. The Open Source Product
        1. Executive Summary
        2. Assessing Product Maturity: The Process
        3. Defining Organizational Requirements
        4. Locating Resources
        5. Assessing the Functionality of the Product
        6. Assessing Product Longevity
        7. Assessing Product Quality
        8. Assessing the Product Team
        9. Assigning a Product Maturity Score
        10. Assessing JBoss: Product Maturity
      3. Open Source Technical Support
        1. Executive Summary
        2. The Two Types of Technical Support
        3. Doesn't Source Availability Mean Technical Support Doesn't Matter?
        4. Defining Technical Support Requirements
        5. Locating Resources
        6. Community Support
        7. Paid Support
        8. Self-Support
        9. Assessing Technical Support Maturity
        10. Assigning a Technical Support Maturity Score
        11. Assessing JBoss: Technical Support
      4. Open Source Documentation
        1. Executive Summary
        2. Defining Documentation Requirements
        3. Locating Resources
        4. Assessing Documentation Maturity
        5. Assigning a Documentation Maturity Score
        6. Assessing JBoss: Documentation
      5. Open Source Training
        1. Executive Summary
        2. Defining Training Requirements
        3. Locating Resources
        4. Assessing Training Maturity
        5. Assigning a Training Maturity Score
        6. Assessing JBoss: Training
      6. Open Source Integration with Other Products
        1. Executive Summary
        2. Integration: The Hidden Achilles Heel
        3. New Standards in Integration
        4. Defining Integration Requirements
        5. Locating Resources
        6. Assessing Source Integration Maturity
        7. Assigning an Integration Maturity Score
        8. Assessing JBoss: Integration
      7. Open Source Professional Services
        1. Executive Summary
        2. Open Source Professional Services Overview
        3. Defining Professional Services Requirements
        4. Locating Resources
        5. Assessing Professional Services Maturity
        6. Assigning a Professional Services Maturity Score
        7. Assessing JBoss: Professional Services
      8. JBoss Open Source Maturity Model Assessment
        1. Executive Summary
        2. Review of the JBoss OSMM Assessment
        3. JBoss Software
        4. JBoss Technical Support
        5. JBoss Documentation
        6. JBoss Training
        7. JBoss Integration with Other Products
        8. JBoss Professional Services
        9. Assessing the JBoss OSMM Score
        10. Comments on the OSMM Process
    8. Conclusion
    9. Bibliography
    10. Index