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A Guide to Open Source Technologies for Project Managers Cameron Barrett.

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1 A Guide to Open Source Technologies for Project Managers Cameron Barrett

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

3 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

4 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

5 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 A Guide to Open Source Technologies for Project Managers Closed Source code is closed must pay for a license must wait for the vendor to release patches

6 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

7 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

8 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

9 An Example: Web Servers: Cost 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 A Guide to Open Source Technologies for Project Managers 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 ($199-$2499

10 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

11 An Example: Web Servers: Security “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

12 An Example: Web Servers: Scripting Apache PHP, JSP, ASP, Perl, Python Free modules, supported by the Apache Software Foundation A Guide to Open Source Technologies for Project Managers Microsoft IIS ASP, Cold Fusion, Perl (ActiveState) Dependent on Microsoft or third- party frameworks and technologies

13 Short-term Considerations Strong developer community 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

14 Long-term Considerations If you choose to go with a closed (proprietary) 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

15 Long-term Considerations Does the solution you’ve chosen have an 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

16 Long-term Considerations 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

17 Finding an Open Source Technology Search across SourceForge, Freshmeat, and 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

18 Finding an Open Source Technology Chances are that you will not have to allocate 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

19 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

20 Review Evaluate your technology needs 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

21 Thanks!! Questions and Answers Open Discussion A Guide to Open Source Technologies for Project Managers


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