Getting a complete picture of open-source usage
April 29, 2009 —
OpenLogic, which has provided packages of open-source software for use in enterprises, has extended today its platform to provide a complete picture of open-source use within an organization.
OpenLogic Exchange Enterprise Edition (OLEX EE) has been designed to let managers handle the search, provisioning and auditing of open source, according to Kim Weins, senior vice president of products and marketing for OpenLogic. OLEX EE’s provisioning platform gives customers access to OpenLogic’s library of more than 130,000 packages, more than 500 of which have been certified and indemnified for users by OpenLogic, she said. OLEX EE offers access via REST or SOAP to OpenLogic’s certified library, which gives users the ability to create customized mashups and interfaces.
“We’re focused on helping [organizations] find open-source alternatives to proprietary software,” Weins added. “Companies are looking to use open source proactively. In many organizations, management and the legal team didn’t even know what was in use. Now, they’re looking for opportunities to use open source.”
One of the new features of OLEX EE is a scanner called OSS Discovery, which Weins said can be used to search and target proprietary software for replacement, and then to identify alternatives to that software. If the source code is not available, Weins said the scanner can read executables and binaries.
OLEX EE, which starts at US$400 per year per user, now also has expanded governance capabilities, Weins explained. While it always offered capabilities for auditing and policy approval, the newest version introduces the concept of declarations.
“At the time of download, companies can ask users to declare their planned usage,” she said, giving the companies the ability to track where open-source code is being used and to head off any legal entanglements over licensing before they become a real issue.
The audit capability also has been enhanced, as OSS Discovery now can read “fingerprints” that identify open-source software pulled from OpenLogic’s packages, Weins said. All of this, she said, is designed to help development managers track open-source activity and trends, including who’s downloading packages from the library, the license or licenses associated with that package, and more.
Finally, companies using the new version of OLEX EE now have the ability to customize the approval processes within the platform to match already established policies and workflows. Multi-step processes also can be defined and set up to include the use of notifications and alerts, so approval occurs at the right time in the development life cycle, Weins explained.
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