Friday, September 19, 2008

Beware open-source violations lurking in your code

Make sure proprietary, open-source code remain separate

IT organizations that feel safe from open-source licensing violations might be wise to check their code anyway, because open-source components are rapidly seeping into applications by way of offshore and in-house developers taking shortcuts, as well as a growing population of open-source-savvy grads entering the workforce.

"With all of these new aspects, open source is something companies are going to have to get their heads around," says Anthony Armenta, vice president of engineering at Wyse Technology Inc., a maker of thin clients.

It's not just about unearthing open-source code that's in violation of licensing, either. Open source must be managed like any other software component as security vulnerabilities arise and patches become available. Wyse has been using Palamida Inc. to track its open-source usage for the past year. Palamida checks code bases against a 6TB library of known open-source projects, fingerprints and binary files.

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