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Open Source for the Enterprise by Gautam Guliani, Dan Woods

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The Open Source Maturity Model

The Open Source Maturity model attempts to quantify the maturity of an open source product. This should help an enterprise decide whether to adopt the product for long-term use.

This model assumes the following:

  • A functional specification of requirements exists

  • A functional specification has been matched to a product functionality list, and a short list of products that match has been created

The IT department uses the results of these two steps to determine which product from the short list is suitable for adoption. It should be noted that this evaluation process might be too resource intensive for the short-term use of an open source product but is a very wise investment for medium to long-term use.

We assess maturity in three major areas:

Product criteria

Product criteria are specifics about the product itself. Since open source software (OSS) products are often under rapid development, with major advances made in a few weeks to a few months, we list momentum as a criterion to offset the age criterion. This helps us spot products that aren’t mature enough today but are worthy of keeping an eye on.

Use criteria

Use criteria are specifics about what it takes to use the product from day to day, from the effort of initial installation and configuration to the work required for daily upkeep and support mechanisms available to help in tailoring the product to an enterprise’s needs and fixing defects encountered.

Integration criteria

Integration criteria are ...

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