Jutta joined SAP in 1993 as a software developer. She has worked in various areas of SAP’s technology platform, ranging from R/2 over R/3 to NetWeaver Java. Currently Jutta is working as Development Manager, leading the Java Persistence team. Additionally, she takes care of many Open Source related topics like Eclipse Long-Term Support. Jutta holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the Technical University of Darmstadt.
There are many good reasons to make use of Open Source components in commercial software products: shared development costs, no license fees, easy availability of the source code, normally high code quality, possibility to modify the code, etc. In general, customers will prefer Open Source implementations of standard technologies over proprietary ones because of the wide-spread know-how and the abundance of information readily available in the internet. Many organizations learn that – once usage of Open Source has become something normal – the next natural step is to become actively involved in Open Source projects and in Open Source organizations.
On the other hand, both consumption of and contribution to Open Source bear risks and may generate unexpected costs. These stretch from legal and IP aspects to security issues and the question of how to support your software stack in the long run.
There are the two extreme positions:
– reap the benefits of Open Source and ignore the risks
– avoid the risks by keeping away from Open Source.
SAP has over the past years gone through a typical development regarding adoption of Open Source software. We will describe how over time a governance model has been developed that minimizes the risks while keeping the benefits of Open Source.