Four Considerations When Using Open Source in Production

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OSS

Most IT staff and developers have no problem technically evaluating open source software. However, they often overlook other considerations that could mean success or failure of a production system.

Here are some of the top non-technical issues you should consider for any open source that will be running in your production environment.

1. Understand ALL the licenses

Most people realize that they need to understand "the license" associated with a piece of open source software, but most people don't realize there's often more than one license associated with individual open source packages.

Open source packages often bundle other open source components, which may have different licenses. There are also many cases where a package includes specific files or pieces of code under different licenses. You need to find, review, and follow ALL of those bundled licenses. For example, if a project is licensed under the Apache License but includes other open source code provided under a GPL license, you must comply with each of those licenses for the relevant portion of the software.

2. Vet the project and community