OpenLogic Stack Builder Helps Businesses Choose the Right Open Source Software

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Businesses are adopting open source software more than ever, by most estimates, a change accelerated by factors such as the push towards cloud infrastructure and the ongoing pandemic.

Many big tech companies not only use open source software, but also contribute code and even open source their own tools where it makes sense. Open source, it seems, has eaten up the world.

However, the number and variety of open source software packages can make it difficult for even the largest companies to determine what best suits their needs, let alone which will work well together as part of a software stack. wider open source. That’s the problem OpenLogic is targeting with Stack Builder, a free tool designed to help businesses build a custom open source stack.

OpenLogic, for the uninitiated, provides open source services, support, design advice, training, and more. The company was founded in 1998 as EJB Solutions and renamed OpenLogic in 2004. In 2013 it was acquired by Rogue Wave Software, which in turn was acquired by Perforce six years later. OpenLogic claims a number of notable corporate customers, such as Fannie Mae, who used OpenLogic to migrate from Oracle Java to OpenJDK, and Moody’s, who used OpenLogic to migrate from RHEL to CentOS.

Vertically integrated

Traditionally, companies have been inclined to use out-of-the-box commercial software solutions that are vertically integrated, which is considered “unethical” by the open source software world, chief architect told VentureBeat. from OpenLogic, Justin Reock. “So companies are looking to recreate that experience by putting together a full stack of open source packages and treating it as one solution,” he said. “There’s nowhere to go to get that stack organized and figure out the best choices for their use cases. “

This is, in a nutshell, what Stack Builder is trying to solve. OpenLogic debuted with Stack Builder last year, although it was a much more primitive static incarnation based on a question-and-answer format. Version 2.0, launched this week, takes a more dynamic, model-based approach with a drag-and-drop interface.

After submitting an email address, to which OpenLogic will later send a personalized report, the user is presented with a view divided into different categories covering application delivery, data layer, front-end, monitoring, operating system, virtual machine / containers / cloud and workflow. .

Above: Stack Builder: Build Your Open Source Stack

The user then selects their package category from the menu and fills the “stack” by dragging and dropping the packages from the available options.

Above: Stack Builder: Drag & drop your packages by category

Alternatively, OpenLogic provides a set of predefined templates, such as Java stack or lightweight PHP, and automatically selects what it considers to be the best open source software packages.

Above: Stack Builder: Model

Then OpenLogic sends the user a report that describes the purpose of each of the packages, what they are typically used for, and, as you might expect, how to put them together using OpenLogic’s services.

Above: Segment of a Stack Builder report

To make choices

The problem that Stack Builder is trying to solve is not new at all. Open source software overlaps with just about all software these days, from scripts that help servers run faster to code that helps systems architecture and APIs. But estimates suggest that there are at least 1.5 million JavaScript packages alone.

There are other tools and platforms designed to help developers dig the weeds out, like Openbase, which provides data on millions of open source packages, including numbers on weekly downloads, monthly commits, and even user reviews. With Stack Builder, OpenLogic brings curation to the table and narrowed down the options to what it thinks are the best open source packages.

“We organized this selection because they are open source technologies proven to meet the needs of businesses, enterprise wide,” explained Reock. “They have all passed the OpenLogic certification – which includes a 72-point checklist that assesses aspects of community behavior, business adoption, responsiveness to security vulnerabilities, and industry organization sponsorship more large, such as the Linux foundation. “

Additionally, not all open source software works well together, possibly due to incompatible protocol layers or standards that have not been implemented properly. As such, Stack Builder serves not only as a curator, but also a compatibility tester and assessor.

“Open source projects are developed by completely different communities – which may or may not adhere to open standards, or may have different interpretations,” Reock said. “The critical elements that determine interoperability include the following standards, wide adoption and testing, [and] interaction with other products and packages.

Stack Builder is designed to provide users with the best options for their use cases through a “living tool” that is constantly updated with new or improved technologies as they evolve. At the very least, it should save companies some time and help them better understand the open source software landscape from a security, stability, and interoperability perspective.

So what is the alternative?

“The alternative is to do a lot of research on your own, research community threads, and ultimately test and try to really understand if the components of the stack will work together for your use cases. company-wide, ”said Reock.[That involves] a lot of time and trial and error.

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