Succeeding with Open Source

Bernard Golden

Publisher: Addison-Wesley, 2005, 242 pages

ISBN: 0-321-26853-9

Keywords: Open Source

Last modified: April 23, 2010, 10:33 a.m.

Succeeding with Open Source presents a practical methodology for organizations using open source software. The book describes all aspects of open source products and the significant difference between open source and commercial software: while commercial software vendors deliver a mature product that includes software, training, documentation, support, and even professional services, open source software focuses on only software — users are expected to arrange for all other necessary product elements.

Succeeding with Open Source describes in detail how organizations can locate, assess, and select those elements. When selecting a software product, every pragmatic IT organization wants to know how mature the product is — how ready is it for the intended use? To help them answer that question about open source products, Succeeding with Open Source presents the Open Source Maturity Model (OSMM), a formal methodology to determine the maturity level of any given open source product. A sample OSMM assessment is included with the book to help readers see how the process may be easily applied and how it can help identify product strengths and weaknesses.

  • Introduction
  • Part I: Overview of Open Source
    1. The Source of Open Source
      • Executive Summary
      • What Is Open Source
        • Source Code Availability
        • Zero Price Software
        • Open Source: A Different Licensing Model
      • Who Creates Open Source?
        • Why Do Developers Work on Open Source?
        • What Are Open Source Developers Like?
        • How Do Open Source Developers Support Themselves?
        • Implications of the BCG Survey
      • Who Uses Open Source?
        • Created by Volunteers, Not Employees
        • Development Practices
        • A Philosophy of Community
        • Can Community Work?
      • Where Do I Get Open Source Software?
        • Individual Open Source Product Web Sites
        • Open Source Portals
        • Commercial Distributions
        • The Challenge of Anonymous Distribution
      • When and How Do I Use Open Source?
    2. Open Source Business Models
      • Executive Summary
      • Early Open Source Business Models: By Enthusiasts for Enthusiasts
      • The Next Model: Installation, Technical Support, and Consulting
      • The New Models: Open Source as a Competitive Advantage
        • Open Source Add-On Products
        • Extended Open Source Products
        • Hybrid Commercial/Open Source Products
      • Business Models: The Bottom Line
    3. Open Source Risks
      • Executive Summary
      • Licensing Risk
        • What Went Before: Commercial Software Licenses
        • Open Source Licenses
        • Redistribution Responsibilities of Open Source Licenses
        • Asymmetrical License Risk
        • Addressing Open Source License Risk
      • Security and Quality Risk
        • What Problems Can Result from Security and Quality Risk?
        • How Likely Are These Risks?
      • Premature Commitment Risk
        • Reducing Open Source Proliferation
      • Unchanging Process Risk
  • Part II: Selecting, Assessing, and Evaluating Open Source Software
    1. The Open Source Maturity Model
      • Executive Summary
      • The Challenge of the Whole Product
        • The Two Types of Technology Users
        • What Technology Users Want from Their Vendors
        • The Mature Product Dilemma: Pragmatists and Open Source
      • What Is Product Maturity?
      • Why Is Product Maturity Important?
      • How Does Maturity Impact Open Source?
      • The OSMM: An Overview
        • Phase 1: Assess Element Maturity
        • Phase 2: Assign Weighting Factors
        • Phase 3: Calculate the Product's Overall Maturity Score
      • The Purpose of the OSMM
      • The OSMM Template
      • JBoss: A Real-World OSMM Assessment
      • How to Use the OSMM
      • Recommended OSMM Scores
    2. The Open Source Product
      • Executive Summary
      • Assessing Product Maturity: The Process
      • Defining Organizational Requirements
        • Put Together a Requirements Task Force
        • Identify the Functional Requirements for the Product
        • Document the Functional Requirements
      • Locating Resources
        • Search Open Source Project Portals
        • Search the Web
        • Ask Open Source Developers
        • Post to Mailing Lists
        • Ask Vendors
        • Put Together a Candidate List
      • Assessing the Functionality of the Product
        • Assess the Product Based on Its Description
        • Query the Developers
        • Query the User Community
      • Assessing Product Longevity
        • Determining the Level of the Product's Longevity
      • Assessing Product Quality
        • Examine the Source Code
        • Evaluate the QA Effort
        • Assess the Activity Level of the Product
      • Assessing the Product Team
        • Examine the Size of the Project Team
        • Examine the Skills and Experience of the Project Team Members
        • Don't Be Afraid to Address This Issue
      • Assigning a Product Maturity Score
      • Assessing JBoss: Product Maturity
    3. Open Source Technical Support
      • Executive Summary
      • The Two Types of Technical Support
      • Doesn't Source Availability Mean Technical Support Doesn't Matter?
      • Defining Technical Support Requirements
        • Assess How Familiar the Organization Is with the Product or a Product Like It
        • Assess How the Product Will Be Used
        • Assess the Skill Levels and Attitude of the Individuals Using the Product
        • Documenting Requirements
      • Locating Resources
      • Community Support
        • Mailing List Protocol
        • The Best Use of Mailing Lists
        • Mailing List Benefits
        • Mailing List Concerns
        • How to Use Mailing Lists
        • Mailing List Summary
      • Paid Support
        • Who Offers Paid Support?
        • How Much Does Paid Support Cost?
        • Who Uses Paid Support?
      • Self-Support
      • Assessing Technical Support Maturity
        • Assessing Community Support
        • Assessing Paid Support
        • Assessing Self-Support
      • Assesing a Technical Support Maturity Score
      • Assessing JBoss: Technical Support
    4. Open Source Documentation
      • Executive Summary
      • Defining Documentation Requirements
      • Locating Resources
        • Developer-Created Documentation
        • Web Postings
        • Commercially Published Documentation
      • Assessing Documentation Maturity
        • Assessing Reference Documentation
        • Assessing Tutorial Documentation
        • Assessing Usage Documentation
        • Taking Advantage of the Community's Experience
      • Assigning a Documentation Maturity Score
      • Assessing JBoss: Documentation
    5. Open Source Training
      • Executive Summary
      • Defining Training Requirements
      • Locating Resources
        • Option 1: Informal Web-Based How-To Examples Posted by Product Users
        • Option 2: Developer-Created Online Tutorials
        • Option 3: Commercially Published Tutorials
        • Option 4: Classroom Training Developed and Delivered by the Open Source Development Team
        • Option 5: Training Developed and Delivered by Commercial Entities
        • Summary of Training Types
      • Assessing Training Maturity
      • Assigning a Training Maturity Score
      • Assessing JBoss: Training
    6. Open Source Integration with Other Products
      • Executive Summary
      • Integration: The Hidden Achilles Heel
        • Challenges of Integration
        • Challenges of Open Source Integration
      • New Standards in Integration
        • How Integration Standards Help Open Source
      • Defining Integration Requirements
        • Identify the Needed Integrations
      • Locating Resources
        • Identify Existing Integrations
        • Create an Integration Plan for Missing Integration Mechanisms
        • Identify Any Integrations That Cannot Be Created
      • Assessing Source Integration Maturity
      • Assigning an Integration Maturity Score
      • Assessing JBoss: Integration
    7. Open Source Professional Services
      • Executive Summary
      • Open Source Professional Services Overview
        • Open Source and Professional Services
      • Defining Professional Service Requirements
      • Locating Resources
      • Assessing Professional Services Maturity
      • Assigning a Professional Services Maturity Score
      • Assessing JBoss: Professional Services
    8. JBoss Open Source Maturity Model Assessment
      • Executive Summary
      • Review of the JBoss OSMM Assessment
      • JBoss Software
      • JBoss Technical Support
      • JBoss Documentation
      • JBoss Training
      • JBoss Integration with Other Products
      • JBoss Professional Services
      • Assessing the JBoss OSMM Score
      • Comments on the OSMM Process
  • Conclusions


Succeeding with Open Source

Reviewed by Roland Buresund

Excellent ********** (10 out of 10)

Last modified: May 21, 2007, 3:23 a.m.

An extremely well-written book, that manages to teach you something new (OSMM), as well as educate you in OSS and give a well-written and researched response to Carr's opinions as given in HBR.

What also make it stand out is that it is both well-researched and practical (and to top it of, very well-written). The only thing missing is a thorough review of the different OSS licenses and their implications.

Anyone that has to work in IT (both at a Management or a more hands-on level) has to consider this mandatory reading. In short, excellent reading.


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