As promised in our previous blog, this blog highlights open source on IBM i. In recent years, open source solutions have gained popularity and use continues to grow on IBM i. Why is this? Security and modernization are two of the top concerns for IBM i shops, and open source can help in both areas.
What is open source? Open source code is source code that is publicly accessible and modifiable. There is a large community of developers who collaborate and use each other’s code for their projects. The sharing of code has many benefits for the community including control, security, stability, and even training. Not all of this code is free though. There are instances where programmers can charge for the code they created or contributed to. This is an important note to pay attention to when using open source.
Free code seems like it should be a security issue, right? Initially, this may be a concern. However, with such a large community looking at the code and using it for their own projects, its actually quite the opposite. Most software companies have a team of in-house developers, but how many revisions can they send their code through? How many different pairs of eyes do they have looking at the code to make sure it’s secure without security flaws? Chances are, not as many as the open source community. Every programmer using the code also needs it to be secure, and in order to achieve a secure functioning software they must review the code. With each developer modifying the code, it theoretically becomes more and more secure.
Bug bounties are also becoming more and more popular. Bug bounties award developers who find bugs and security flaws within code. The number of developers who take part in bounty programs continues to grow, as do the number and size of companies who offer these programs. For an organization, the relatively small cost for a bounty program is much smaller than the repercussions of a security breach. For a developer who successfully finds a significant bug, the payday could be worth the time spent finding it.
Open source solutions continue to grow as its community does. More and more developers are repurposing code and working together to use the most efficient and secure code available. With efficiency and security in mind, large organizations are taking notice. IBM has a team specifically devoted to open source projects. As this developing area of the IT world continues to grow, Arbor Solutions intends to be able to support our customers as they grow as well. Our staff has multiple developers with open source experience and could be a good resource to your organization. Give us a call to see if we could be a good fit!