A Survey of Industrial Involvement in Open Source
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This thesis presents the results of an explorative survey of industrial involvement in open source. The survey is performed in collaboration with participants from the European ITEA project, COSI (Co-development using inner & Open source in Software Intensive products). The survey was performed to explore aspects of industrial involvement in open source, as industrial management of open source project, industrial use of open source components, related development, and communication processes, and industrial relationships to the open source community. The survey is based on a survey of open source literature, structured interviews of IT industry personnel, and a questionnaire. Three Norwegian companies participated in the interviews, which were used to explore interesting issues, and to provide input to the questionnaire. The questionnaire collected answers from industrial partners in the European COSI project. Our research has an explorative research goal, and five research questions. Each research question shed light on an interesting topic, and their answers will be presented accordingly. These answers are in form of both of qualitative and quantitative answers, but primarily descriptive information. It has been found that companies participate in open source related development with the roles open source owner, open source participant, inner source participant, and user of open source components. These roles will be explained further, together with the answers to the five research questions. We start with a presentation of the motivations behind use of open source components, and the selection processes used to find, and evaluate these components. Then, experiences from companies which have started their own open source projects will be discussed. Next, we describe the use of software development methodologies from open source, within companies. Furthermore, we present results related to the impact open source, have on company internal development processes. Finally, industrial participation in open source projects by companies will be analyzed. The answers to the research questions form part of the contribution of this thesis. Some of these results are used to create guidelines for open source management, and open source component selection. We have also proposed twelve hypotheses, based on our findings. These hypotheses will work as a basis for future studies, together with other results, and our research design. Future studies may include distribution of the questionnaire to a bigger sample, focus on fewer issues, and use of other research methods to shed light on these issues.