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Open Your Eyes: Open Architecture, Open Source, Open Projects Mid-Atlantic Educause January 12, 2005 Copyright Patricia Gertz 2005. This work is the intellectual property of the author. Permission is granted for this material to be shared for non-commercial, educational purposes, provided that this copyright statement appears on the reproduced materials and notice is given that the copying is by permission of the author. To disseminate otherwise or to republish requires written permission from the author.
Agenda ¬ Definitions ¬ Discussion of value and common concerns ¬ Examples – past success stories and current projects ¬ What’s in it for you. ¬ Q&A
What Does “Open” Mean? Open Architecture: An enterprise architecture based on open standards, enabling interoperability and extension by others. Non-proprietary. Open Source Software: Any computer software distributed under an open-source license or available under terms meeting the open source definition. Open Projects: Collaborative Open Source efforts that often result in open source.
Open Source Licensing ¬ GNU GPL Licensing ¬ Copyleft ¬ Variations: http: //www. gnu. org/licenses/licenselist. html#GPLCompatible. Licenses ¬ Open Source Developers’ Network ¬ www. opensource. org
Why would I consider a new model? ¬ In-house development is expensive, and we don’t all have the skilled resources. ¬ Commercial software that is proprietary costs us in point-to-point interfaces. ¬ Closed architectures force us to take on all components, instead of choosing the pieces we need. ¬ Vendors make us vulnerable - Licensing and maintenance costs - Timetables for features - Vendor lock-in - Not focused on Higher Ed needs - Mergers
Should I be considering it? You’re probably already using it: Products like Apache, Linux, u. Portal, Mozilla Tools like eclipse, tomcat, jmeter Evolution points to business applications next Collaborative efforts like Sakai, Kuali may result in a product that extends across some institutions, but will they be as general as an ERP? Do they need to be? Pool resources to share expertise, effort. Builds Community, increases peer review and collaboration. Nurtures communication of best practices. Higher Ed culture removes lots of obstacles – we’re used to sharing.
Open Source Fear Factors
What makes people nervous? It’s not really free. There’s no support or documentation. I can’t depend on it. With an ambiguous support structure in place, I don’t know how long it will take for something to get fixed. I need to solve internal problems and apply my limited resources to our own work. I’m already being asked to do more with less – there’s nothing extra to offer to general higher ed community. We buy everything now – we’re not in the building business anymore.
Some Myths ¬ It’s a passing phase ¬ It’s designed to put commercial products out of business ¬ There’s no support ¬ When the lead developer leaves, it’s done ¬ No one is managing the efforts
What does it need to make it work? ¬ Community support ¬ Governance ¬ Proper evaluation on your part – use it when and where it’s appropriate. Establish criteria for evaluating Open Source products alongside commercial ones. ¬ Have in-house technical skills that can reduce implementation and maintenance costs and risks.
Examples: Past/Current success stories Apache: Web Server Linux: Operating System Eclipse: The most used IDE in the world (not just in higher ed. ) Tomcat: Java Servlet Engine JBoss: Application Server Struts: Development framework for java servlets Lucene: A robust search engine that’s free
Examples: More success stories u. Portal – The most used portal framework in higher ed today. Some helpful tools: Jira – Bug tracking that’s not always free, but it’s free to non-profits. Confluence – Discussion groups, same licensing arrangement as Jira.
Examples: Works in Progress Sakai: Collaboration and Learning Environment Kuali: Financial Information System E-portfolio: Electronic Portfolio Chandler: Personal Information Mgr Fedora: Digital Object Repository d. Space: Digital Library Storage Lion. Share: Peer-to-peer File Sharing
What’s in it for you? ¬ Robust, quality products that are suited to your needs. ¬ The support of a strong, diverse, talented community. ¬ Free licensing fees, and sometimes the opportunity to handle your own maintenance.
What’s in it for your staff? ¬ Staff development without expensive training budgets ¬ A sense of community and contribution to higher ed ¬ The intellectual challenge of your staff that will help retain them ¬ A set of tools and products that enable your staff to do its job more effectively.
Helpful Links ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ www. ja-sig. org www. sakaiproject. org www. kualiproject. org www. theospi. org www. theosafoundation. org www. fedora. info www. dspace. org lionshare. its. psu. edu www. apache. org www. gnu. org