Android developers get

Black Duck Software Inc. created a software and service package to help Android developers who are using open source code to stay compliant.  

The Fast Start program will guide developers toward the development of applications for Android faster than it would if they downloaded and installed the freely available, open source Android with its 80,000 components themselves, according to Peter Vescuso, vice-president of marketing and business development, at Black Duck.

Black Duck’s program will install Google Inc.’s Android open source software, ensure the use is compliant and is using the most current version of the software. The program will also generate reports of what the developers have added on to the original code, according to Vescuso. The Waltham, Mass.-based company specializes in open source software management.

Open source application development is increasingly popular. Both Twitter and Facebook are built upon open source and have thrived. Android is also an open source platform specifically for mobile devices, on which developers can build applications and it is growing in popularity. Android has become more popular because people are able to build upon it unlike Apple Inc.’s iOS software, which restricts the amount of development you can do on it, according to Jay Lyman, an analyst at New York City-based firm, The 451 Group.

“All the demand and use of Android is driving a need for these (vendors) to develop code and test applications,” Lyman said. “It’s further evidence that Android is white hot.”

There is a growing number of businesses in addition to developers that are looking to build on top of Android, but do not want to worry about the compliance licenses, said Stephen O’Grady, an analyst at Seattle, Wash.-based firm, Red Monk LLC.

“I think it will be beneficial to smoothing out the rough edges of Android,” O’Grady said.

Since developers are not specifically trained in license compliance for the 19 licenses, this Fast Start program is useful for them, O’Grady added. The program also solves the problem of keeping up with Android updates, which happen as frequently as about every three months.

“Something that took weeks would take one to two days,” Vescuso said. “We automate all tasks and license applications that come with Android.”

There is one foreseeable shortcoming for this program, according to O’Grady. “Black Duck isn’t Google, so it won’t be able to control everything in terms of visibility,” O’Grady said.

There are other products on the market similar to this one for developers to use with Android. However, there is not a program identical to this one. Sencha Inc. out of Redwood City, Calif., also has one for Web development and app testing for Android, according to Lyman.

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