Proponents of open source software use in the government were elated when Assistant Secretary of Defense Networks & Information Integration (ASD(NII)) DoD CIO David Wennergren issued the “Clarifying Guidance Regarding Open Source Software (OSS)” memorandum in 2009. In this memorandum, open source was classified as “commercial computer software”, putting it on par with commercial off the shelf software (COTS) from software vendors such as Microsoft and Oracle.
In addition, the memorandum also provided clarification on DoD Instruction 8500.2,
“Information Assurance (IA) Implementation” (reference (g)) includes an Information Assurance Control, “DCPD-1 Public Domain Software Controls,” which limits the use of “binary or machine-executable public domain software or other software products with limited or no warranty,” on the grounds that these items are Continue reading
Published a new article on Government and Open Source Software.
Government and Open Source Software
— For the past several years, US Government agencies have shown an increased interest in open source software. Most people will be surprised to learn that the reason for so much interest by the government in open source software is really based on the government acquisition process and how the open source business model relates to this process.
Several of my customers continue to wrestle with the COTS vs. Open Source question and continually ask for guidance on how to select one vs. the other. More often than not, they tend to focus on the capital investment metric (thinking Open Source is ‘free’) and neglect other key elements of the decision. In helping customers evaluate which direction they should go, we focus on three key areas to help provide a holistic foundation for the decision. These areas are: Continue reading