If we've heard it once, we've heard it a million times: Open source can save businesses money and it provides flexibility because they're not "locked in" to using a single vendor's offerings. But along with the cost savings and the added freedom also comes responsibility -- especially if a company chooses to distribute open source or include open source in its products.
Open source software can be released under a wide variety of different licenses, and not all of them are compatible with each other. That's why experts advise companies to keep close track of what open source programs they're using and under which licenses those programs are released. Otherwise, they could end up scrambling to resolve a license violation (like Cisco recently did).
So how does one keep track of the open source programs installed in the enterprise? Manually checking the records and comparing licenses periodically may have worked when open source in the enterprise was rare, but now that open source uptake is increasing -- and especially since mixed open source/proprietary environments are becoming the norm -- manual audits probably won't cut it.
At least that's what OpenLogic is banking on. Last week the company announced the availability of OpenLogic Discovery, according to LinuxInsider. The tool is desied to check the software in an enterprise against its library of 5,000 versions of more than 800 open source programs. Discovery will then provide an inventory of all the open source programs installed on company systems. The beta version is available now, according to OpenLogic. The final version will be available June 15.