Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Pitfalls In An Open-Source World

Filed under

Developers working on open-source projects for business need to think beyond the technology and develop new ways of approaching the business issues of software development. They need to be careful where they get code that they believe to be open source and be sure the code doesn't have licensing provisions that could cost their employers money in the future, cautions Mark Rankin, director of research and development and a research fellow at ADP Dealer Services.

Developers need to get used to the idea that they can get some--but not all--of their tech support from the open-source community, Rankin said last week at the Burton Group Catalyst North America conference, which was co-sponsored by InformationWeek and sister publication Network Computing. Developers also need to give back to the open-source community by donating code so that other organizations can use it, he said.

ADP Dealer Services, which started its migration to open source six year ago, provides line-of-business computing systems to car and truck dealerships. Its parent company, Automatic Data Processing Inc., provides technology including servers and IP telephony; ADP Dealer Services focuses on applications, offering modules for accounting, reporting, finances, insurance, human resources, parts inventory and forecasting, and scheduling. Revenue for the business unit is about $1 billion, and for the parent, about $8 billion, Rankin said. The company's customers range from mom-and-pop car dealerships with 15 to 30 employees up to multibillion-dollar corporations.

ADP's legacy software runs on Unix platforms--60% Linux and the remainder Digital Equipment Tru64 Unix running on Alpha processors. It's a green-screen application written in an antique programming language, Pick/Basic, with SNA and X.25 networking. The company's main competitor runs on the same technology.

ADP has been replacing the applications gradually, using mostly open-source components. It chose the PHP scripting language, in part because of IBM's and Oracle's support for it. ADP used PostgreSQL, with a front end consisting mostly of HTML and JavaScript. "Where we needed a little more oomph, we used managed controls and .Net framework on the side," Rankin said.

The migration has been successful, but it required developers to learn some new habits, he said.

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

ARTIK is the Tizen’s Trojan Horse to dominate the IoT ecosystem

As part of the Forum “Tizen for the Internet of Things” held on September 22 in Moscow, Samsung Electronics has presented a new family of maker boards and modules named ARTIK, in addition to the infrastructure of the operating system Tizen 3.0. Samsung ARTIK’s value proposition, as declared by Samsung, is to reinvent the prototyping process by leveraging world-class data security granted by the company as well as a wide array of tools, both hardware and software, such as the ARTIK Modules and Cloud, formerly known as SmartThings Open Cloud. Read more

today's leftovers

today's howtos

Android Leftovers

  • Google Pixel review: The best Android phone, even if it is a little pricey
    Welcome to the age of Google Hardware. Apparently tired of letting third-party Android OEMs serve as the stewards of Android handsets, Google has become a hardware company. (Again). Earlier this year Google, launched a hardware division with former Motorola President Rick Osterloh at the helm. With the high-ranking title of "Senior Vice President," Osterloh doesn't oversee a side project—his group is on even footing with Android, Search, YouTube, and Ads. The hardware group is so powerful inside Google that it was able to merge Nexus, Pixel, Chromecast, OnHub, ATAP, and Glass into a single business unit. The group's coming out party was October 4, 2016, where it announced Google Home, Google Wifi, a 4K Chromecast, the Daydream VR headset, and the pair of phones we're looking at today: the Google Pixel and Google Pixel XL. The arrival of the Pixel phones marks the apparent death of the Nexus line; Google says that it has "no plans" for future Nexus devices. With the new branding comes a change in strategy, too. The Pixel brand is about making devices that are 100 percent Google, so despite Google's position as the developer of Android, get ready for Google-designed hardware combined with exclusive Google software.
  • Hands-on with the LeEco Le Pro3: services first, Android second
    LeEco’s flagship Le Pro3 smartphone isn’t trying to compete with the Google Pixel, which puts modern Google services in front of a stock Android backdrop. After playing with the Le Pro3 at the company’s U.S. launch event in San Francisco today, I’m left feeling that it’s an easy, low-cost way to get the full experience of LeEco’s applications. There are proprietary LeEco utility tools like the browser, email, calendar, messages, notes, and phone apps, along with bloatware like Yahoo Weather, but mostly the Pro3 is a means of distribution for the LeEco apps, like Live, LeVidi, and Le. There is also a standard-issue My LeEco app for managing services like EcoPass membership. Under it all is the EUI custom user interface. If you swipe left from the home screen, you see videos that LeEco recommends you watch — not Google Now.
  • Report: Google reaches agreement with CBS for 'Unplugged' web TV service - Fox and Disney may follow