Is Open-Source Software Business Ready?

Carnegie Mellon West Center for Open Source Investigation, O'Reilly CodeZoo, SpikeSource and Intel have proposed a rating system they say will enable developers and enterprise IT to evaluate the business readiness of open-source software.

The plan’s sponsors say BRR, short for Business Readiness Ratings, will give companies a trusted, unbiased source for determining whether the open-source software they are considering is mature enough to adopt.

There are more than 100,000 open-source projects listed on SourceForge, CodeHaus, Tigris, and Open Symphony. Some widely adopted projects have become high-quality software suitable for mission-critical production environments, the group says. Many others are less mature and pose potential risks, according to the plan’s advocates.

Today, companies evaluate open-source suitability using homegrown assessment methods rather than useful assessment data or methods, they say.

The proposed ratings plan will help adopters assess which open-source software is best suited to their needs and enable them to share findings with the community. It promotes use and adoption of open-source software and may assist developers in creating and delivering software geared to enterprise use.

BRR benefits developers because it is a tool that can assist them in creating and delivering software geared toward enterprise use, the group says.

In phase one, the group is asking for public comment on the proposed standard and has published a white paper that details the ratings system at BRR.