Software compliance and license management company Palamida Inc. Wednesday unveiled a partnership with CollabNet Inc. and launched an initiative to encourage software vendors to list the third-party intellectual property contained in their products under the banner “IP Ingredients.”
Palamida made the announcements at the Gartner Open Source Summit taking place in Orlando through Friday.
Mark Tolliver, chief executive officer at Palamida, characterized both moves as indicative of the changing nature of the software business. In the past, when users were buying software from a company, they could naturally assume that all the development work and validation had been carried out by that vendor and its staff, he said.
That is no longer the case now when more and more applications incorporate elements of third-party software, particularly that from the open-source community, he said in a phone interview Wednesday.
CollabNet has already integrated Palamida’s IP Amplifier into the CollabNet Application Lifecycle Manager, according to Tolliver. Users will be able to submit their software code to be analyzed by Palamida’s IP verification service and to check for license compliance via a button on CollabNet’s toolbar, he said. CollabNet makes on-demand collaborative development software.
Customers will be billed separately for the Palamida service, depending on the amount of source code they want examined, Tolliver said. The idea is to enable development teams to request an IP (Internet Protocol) analysis at any point during the development of new software and then append the results of that analysis to the documentation accompanying the software.
Meanwhile, the intention of the IP Ingredients initiative is to emulate what food manufacturers do in listing what ingredients are used in their packaged products.
Software vendors could use IP Ingredient labels to clearly indicate what goes into their software as a way of assuring customers, investors and partners that their products comply with the licenses relating to all the components.
Palamida has already heard from a number of end-user customers that they are starting to ask their software suppliers for this kind of specific information about their products, Tolliver said.
The main driver behind the users’ requests is more about corporate governance than fear of potential lawsuits in relation to noncompliance with software licenses, according to Tolliver.
In its own IP Ingredients list, Palamida lays out the project, license and description for the third-party software it uses as well as a URL (uniform resource locator) for the supplier of each product. The company has also set up a Web site to promote its initiative as well as provide compliance best practice suggestions and links to other Web sites that provide information about the IP in third-party software.
The information for IP Ingredients is generated by Palamida’s IP Amplifier service, so the initiative also acts as a marketing tool for the company’s products.
The first company to commit to supporting Palamida’s IP Ingredients initiative is IT operations management vendor GroundWork Open Source Solutions Inc.