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Frequently Asked Questions concerning code contributions

If we need to modify source code for our organization needs, is it possible?

  • Please, get in contact with SOS before modifying source code. We are open to the needs of our community and are therefore interested to know what functionality you miss.
    • Particularly applies to our products the saying: there's more than one way how to do it.
    • We would like to discuss your business needs and organize code modifications in a decent Requirements Management process. 
  • The GNU Open Source license permits the modification of source code for users of the that license.
  • Users of commercial licenses should submit their change requests or code contributions to SOS. Such modifications affect warranty and support of the products and are not accepted without prior written consent of SOS.

What is the standard procedure for code modification?

  • Code modifications by users of open source licenses
    • Code modifications can be submitted as feature requests to the public SourceForge Ticket System either as requests for development by SOS or as code contributions.
  • Code modifications by users of commercial licenses
    • Code modifications are usually effected by the SOS Development Team, not by the customer. However, we will review code contributions of customers.
    • Users of commercial licenses submit their change requests to SOS. The procedure is the same for change requests that are to be developed by SOS and for code contributions of customers. The SOS Ticket System offers the issue type "Change Request". Such requests will be initially reviewed and answered by the SOS Support Team. 
  • Procedure for Change Requests
    • If a change request is accepted during the initial review by the SOS Support Team then it will be added to the Requirements Management System.
      • The process to manage requirements includes legal aspects of code submissions including compliance with our dual licensing model and technical aspects of quality of code and maintainability. 
      • Requirements are elaborated by the SOS Development Team and are subject to a final review by SOS and the initiating user or customer.
      • At this stage the user or customer will receive approval or denial for submitted change requests.
    • Change requests with valid requirements are added to the public Change Management System.
    • During the Release Planning period decisions are taken if change requests will be added to the next release, to a later release or will be postponed.
      • Change requests based on paid development will be preferred and are assigned a release.
      • Change requests that attract broader feedback from the community are equally preferred.

Do we need to get approval from your company?

  • Users of the open source license do not need approval from SOS for code modifications, they are free to modify the software at their will within the limits of the GNU GPL. However, SOS will not accept to add such modifications to the source code of the products if the above-mentioned processes for Requirements Management and Change Management were not considered.
  • Users of the commercial license will loose warranty and support for the products if they were to modify the source code without consideration of the above-mentioned Requirements Management and Change Management processes.

Could we get maintenance and support for all modified packages if they were approved by SOS GmbH?

  • Yes, definitely. It is the purpose of the Change Management process that would allow us to support and to maintain such modifications.

Could we share this code with other clients?

  • Certainly, please respect the license in use:
    • Open Source License
      • Within the limits of the GNU GPL you are free to share your modifications. 
      • Please, consider that sharing does not include selling such modifications or bundling with commercial products.
    • Commercial License
      • Please, refer to the information about our partner program and OEM offering

Is it possible to have ownership rights for the packages and extensions that were developed by our personal?

  • Yes, if you created Add-Ons or Extensions yourself then you will have full ownership of the results.
  • Add-Ons and Extensions are independent modules that do not include code of the Open Source products. Such Add-Ons and Extensions can make use of public APIs of SOS Open Source products.
    • A good example would be an Extension that makes use of the official XML interface to integrate SOS products with other applications or usage scenarios.
    • A bad example would be a reporting solution that relies on the database and respective entity relationships that are used internally by the SOS product and subject to on-going change.
  • Should Add-Ons and Extensions be shipped or bundled with SOS Open Source products then the respective rules of the GNU GPL for Open Source License compliance will apply. 
  • OEM partners can bundle commercially licensed SOS products with their own products.

 

For your questions on the handling of code contributions and licenses please send an e-mail to: sales@sos-berlin.com

 

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