Open Source Assessment Methodologies

Open Source Assessment Methodologies

Barbara Russo (Free University of Bozen-Balzano, Italy), Marco Scotto (Free University of Bozen-Balzano, Italy), Alberto Sillitti (Free University of Bozen-Balzano, Italy) and Giancarlo Succi (Free University of Bozen-Balzano, Italy)
Copyright: © 2010 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-681-5.ch017
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Abstract

The evaluation of software is a critical task for corporations that are planning to use OSS components. The amount of OSS available is vast and often its quality is not appropriate to adoption for real business processes. Therefore, companies have to analyze the available solutions and chose the software that meets their functional needs and quality standards. Different Capability Maturity Models (CMM) for software assessment exist, however OSS is characterized by specific features that are not appropriately handled in standard software assessment methodologies.
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17.1 Introduction

The evaluation of software is a critical task for corporations that are planning to use OSS components. The amount of OSS available is vast and often its quality is not appropriate to adoption for real business processes. Therefore, companies have to analyze the available solutions and chose the software that meets their functional needs and quality standards. Different Capability Maturity Models (CMM) for software assessment exist, however OSS is characterized by specific features that are not appropriately handled in standard software assessment methodologies.

Project success and the software quality are a multidimensional construct and the variety of different measures to assess its quality is rich and varies from one methodology to the other. However, there are some characteristics of OSS that are inserted in different methodologies. The most often considered characteristics are:

  • The number of developers working on the OSS,

  • The number of downloads of the software,

  • The developer’s satisfaction,

  • The level of activity on the project,

  • The time between consequent releases,

  • The time to close bugs and

  • The reputation in the community.

These characteristics are added to the characteristics already measured in close-source software. Since the code is available to everybody it can be reviewed and assessed by using traditional methodologies that measure the level of understanding, completeness, conciseness, portability, consistency, maintainability, testability, usability, reliability, structuredness and efficiency. These assessments can be done by everybody who is interested in the quality of the OSS.

Different OS assessment methodologies have been proposed to help users analyze and estimate the quality of software products and the related production processes. The most popular methodologies available to the OSS community are the following:

  • Open Source Maturity Model (OSMM) from Cap Gemini (Duijnhouwer & Widdows, 2003)

  • Open Source Maturity Model (OSMM) from Navica (Golden, 2005)

  • Methodology of Qualification and Selection of Open Source software (QSOS) (Atos-Origin, 2006)

  • Open Business Readiness Rating (OpenBRR) (Wasserman et al., 2005)

All the four assessment methodologies listed are oriented mainly toward the analyses and evaluation of OS products. Such methodologies consider some aspects of the OSD process and try to include these elements inside the overall assessment procedure.

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17.2 Open Source Maturity Model (Osmm) From Cap Gemini

The Open Source Maturity Model (OSMM) provides a systematic approach for evaluating and implementing OS products within a commercial environment. It describes how an OS product should be assessed to ensure that it meets all the IT requirements that the company requires. The OSMM accomplishes this by linking an effective FLOSS product analyses and a review of the company and its IT issues. The OSMM enables to:

  • Determine the maturity of an OS product,

  • Assess a OS product’s match to the business requirements and

  • Compare OS products with commercial alternatives.

The OSMM approach makes a distinction between product indicators that are units of measure describing how the product was developed, and how it is accepted by the community; and between application indicators that measure relevant aspects of the product within a specific context (aspects like maintenance, training facility, connectivity, etc.). Application indicators cannot be measured using the Capgemini’s OSMM without gating information provided by the customers and possible future users of the OS products.

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