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A Guide to Open Source Technologies for Project Managers. Cameron Barrett. Introduction. Cameron Barrett • 6+ years in the New Media industry • 2 years developing Borders.com • 2 years at CollabNet • Graphic design background http://www.camworld.com. A Guide to Open Source Technologies

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Introduction
Introduction

Cameron Barrett

• 6+ years in the New Media industry

• 2 years developing Borders.com

• 2 years at CollabNet

• Graphic design background

http://www.camworld.com

A Guide to Open Source Technologies

for Project Managers


Introduction1
Introduction

Cameron Barrett

• Tech-editing the Mozilla Applications book for O’Reilly

• Working on a book proposal to write the Web Accessibility book for O’Reilly (Section 508, W3C WAI Guidelines)

A Guide to Open Source Technologies

for Project Managers


Overview
Overview

• How Open Source technologies can help you solve your Web technology problems

• What Open Source means

• Finding an Open Source technology

• Things to look out for

A Guide to Open Source Technologies

for Project Managers


Open source vs closed source

Open Source

• code is open

• code is available at no cost (free)

• bugs are rapidly fixed by the dev community

Closed Source

• code is closed

• must pay for a license

• must wait for the vendor to release patches

A Guide to Open Source Technologies

for Project Managers

Open Source vs. Closed Source


What is open source

“Open source promotes software reliability and quality by supporting independent peer review and rapid evolution of source code. To be OSI certified, the software must be distributed under a license that guarantees the right to read, redistribute, modify, and use the software freely.”

- opensource.org

A Guide to Open Source Technologies

for Project Managers

What is Open Source?


What is closed source

Closed source development is typically any software development done where the source code is not available to anyone but the original authors. Only the compiled binaries are distributed, whereas with the open source, the underlying source code is also available.

A Guide to Open Source Technologies

for Project Managers

What is Closed Source?


An example web servers

As the Project Manager for a start-up e-commerce Web site, you are responsible for choosing what Web server technology to build your site on top of. You have a choice of Microsoft’s IIS solution or the open source Web server, Apache.

A Guide to Open Source Technologies

for Project Managers

An Example: Web Servers


An example web servers cost

Apache site, you are responsible for choosing what Web server technology to build your site on top of. You have a choice of Microsoft’s IIS solution or the open source Web server, Apache.

• cost: free, can install on as many servers as you’d like, no per-user fee

• patches are consistent and free to download

• support: free online developer community

Microsoft IIS

• cost: free, but must have an NT license ($600, plus $30-35 per additional user)

• must wait for the vendor to release patches

• MSDN subscription ($199-$2499), and/or $195 per phone call

A Guide to Open Source Technologies

for Project Managers

An Example: Web Servers: Cost


An example web servers security

“Maintaining IIS servers is a cumbersome, tedious process. Any time you bring a new server online, you have to apply 40 or 50 patches.” - IIS Admin

“Microsoft has issued 21 security bulletins for IIS 5.0 alone, a number that is increasing at the rate of about one every three weeks.” - July 23, 2001

A Guide to Open Source Technologies

for Project Managers

An Example: Web Servers: Security


An example web servers security1

“The last serious security hole in the Apache webserver was reported and fixed in January 1997.” - July 23, 2001

“There is a problem with IIS. We've just had too many vulnerabilities affecting IIS, especially this year. We recognize the need to do a better job of making it secure.” Scott Culp, Security Program Manager, Microsoft

A Guide to Open Source Technologies

for Project Managers

An Example: Web Servers: Security


An example web servers scripting

Apache was reported and fixed in January 1997.” - July 23, 2001

• PHP, JSP, ASP, Perl, Python

• Free modules, supported by the Apache Software Foundation

Microsoft IIS

• ASP, Cold Fusion, Perl (ActiveState)

• Dependent on Microsoft or third-party frameworks and technologies

A Guide to Open Source Technologies

for Project Managers

An Example: Web Servers: Scripting


Short term considerations

Strong developer community was reported and fixed in January 1997.” - July 23, 2001

• Are docs & tutorials available online?

Setup and configuration

• Is the default installation secure?

Maintenance

• In-house or contracted out?

Knowledgeable administrators

• Are security patches being applied on

regular basis?

A Guide to Open Source Technologies

for Project Managers

Short-term Considerations


Long term considerations

If you choose to go with a closed (proprietary) was reported and fixed in January 1997.” - July 23, 2001

solution, what happens if the vendor goes out of

business or its technologies are killed due to

acquisition?

• NetObjects

• Allaire (acquired by Macromedia)

A Guide to Open Source Technologies

for Project Managers

Long-term Considerations


Long term considerations1

Does the solution you’ve chosen have an was reported and fixed in January 1997.” - July 23, 2001

open-ended architecture?

• Does it meet your application architecture needs?

• Can you plug in alternate technology components?

• Are you “locked in” to a third-party or single

company’s pre-determined technology constraints?

• How flexible is the technology you have chosen?

• What kinds of licenses and restrictions may come

with your choice?

A Guide to Open Source Technologies

for Project Managers

Long-term Considerations


Long term considerations2

• Does the Open Source technology you are considering using have a strong Project Leader?

• Are there any Intellectual Property (IP) issues associated with the Open Source technology you want to use?

• Is the Project Lead committed to receiving constructive feedback on the direction the technology needs to go to meet your needs?

A Guide to Open Source Technologies

for Project Managers

Long-term Considerations


Finding an open source technology

Search across SourceForge, Freshmeat, and using have a strong Project Leader?

Advogato for open source projects that may meet

your functional specs and project requirements.

• SourceForge.net: open source project repository,

more than 25,000 projects and over 200,000 users

• Freshmeat.net: open source software directory

• Advogato: open source software developer

community, developer diaries, project hosting

A Guide to Open Source Technologies

for Project Managers

Finding an Open Source Technology


Finding an open source technology1

Chances are that you will not have to allocate using have a strong Project Leader?

developer resources to create a new technology.

Most of your problems have likely already been

solved. It’s just a matter of locating the right OSS

project/technology and tasking your developers to

integrate it within your overall solution.

A Guide to Open Source Technologies

for Project Managers

Finding an Open Source Technology


Restrictions of open source

• Check the Open Source license that comes with whatever technology you are integrating. Some licenses carry restrictions on how you can distribute the technology, modify it, or charge money for it.

• If you are developing an Open Source technology from scratch, be sure to consult with your legal department about what Open Source license you should attach to your software.

• Beware of forks

A Guide to Open Source Technologies

for Project Managers

Restrictions of Open Source


Review

• Evaluate your technology needs technology you are integrating. Some licenses carry restrictions on how you can distribute the technology, modify it, or charge money for it.

• Prepare a competitive analysis for each Open Source (or closed) technology you are considering using

• Map your functional specs and requirements to the technology offerings (is anything missing that may need custom development?)

• Search OSS repositories for existing technology solutions

• Choose your development/implementation path

A Guide to Open Source Technologies

for Project Managers

Review


Thanks

• Questions and Answers technology you are integrating. Some licenses carry restrictions on how you can distribute the technology, modify it, or charge money for it.

• Open Discussion

http://www.camworld.com/

A Guide to Open Source Technologies

for Project Managers

Thanks!!


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