Open-source software vendor OpenLogic this week is unveiling a free software tool aimed at helping businesses look under the hood of their IT systems to find and inventory the open-source applications they're running.
In an announcement slated for Wednesday, the vendor said its OpenLogic Discovery tool will give corporate users the chance to clearly see what open-source applications are present, even if they were installed without authorization.
The tool was created because many traditional software asset management applications don't look for -- and can't inventory -- open-source applications, said Kim Weins, a senior vice president of marketing and products for OpenLogic. Off-the-shelf software asset management software is usually "dependent on things that are put in the registry in Windows," she said. The Discovery tool will work alongside traditional software asset management applications by using catalogs of "fingerprints" that identify open-source programs.
The tool was developed after many OpenLogic customers said they didn't have useful ways of determining what open-source applications might already be in use within their IT systems, Weins said.
Typically, many open-source applications find their way into business IT systems through software developers or other IT workers who download them free on the Internet and add them to their corporate infrastructure to solve existing problems, Weins said. "The reality is that a lot of open source has come in through the back door," she said. "People don't really know what they have."
The OpenLogic Discovery tool can spot more than 5,000 versions of about 900 of the most commonly used open-source packages used in corporate computing today, according to OpenLogic. It can find open-source software running on Windows, Linux and the Solaris operating systems.
As part of its offering, OpenLogic will provide an open-source inventory analysis for up to 500 machines inside a company that runs the Discovery tool. The hardware can be scanned using a command line interface, with the results evaluated by OpenLogic and returned in a free report. That report would detail what open-source packages are installed, how many installations of each package are present and include a listing of the open-source licenses involved. The report would also detail whether the installed open-source applications have passed OpenLogic's 42-point enterprise-ready software certification process.
OpenLogic released the Discovery software in beta form in April and is now offering it for general availability.
Other vendors such as Palamida and Black Duck Software also offer software that helps companies look deeply into their software code to ensure that it's compliant with licenses and copyrights to prevent infringements and legal battles.