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Challenges of Tracking Open Source Software in Product Architecture

Speaker Name: 
Andreas Bauer
Speaker Title: 
Speaker Organization: 
Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU)
Start Time: 
Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - 1:15pm
End Time: 
Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - 2:30pm


The commercial use of free/libre, and open source software (FLOSS) in software products is on the rise. To govern such use, companies employ FLOSS governance tools in combination with own product architecture infrastructure. Among other challenges, companies encounter license compliance related problems in this context.

Existing architectural models are often designed to cater to the managerial needs producing various high-level reports, but neglecting more fine-grained issues such as compliance information or bill of materials details. As a result, compliance and architectural data may be stored in different systems that are not well-connected. This leads to company-specific tools that try to interconnect such systems, which is a suboptimal solution to the issue of FLOSS tracking as part of software architecture.

In this talk we show the exact challenges companies face with software dependency documentation in the context of FLOSS license compliance and tracking. We share the preliminary results of the single-case case study research we performed in a multinational enterprise software company with mature FLOSS awareness and use, but issues with integrating open source software information and dependencies to their current product architecture. We share our early findings and vision for the further research on this industry-relevant topic.


Andreas Bauer, M.Sc., is a researcher and Ph.D. student at the Professorship for Open Source Software at Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU). Andreas’ research focuses on license compliance tooling and open source software development. Before joining the research group of the Professorship for Open Source Software, he studied Computer Science at FAU.

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