Harness CD Platform Now Available via Source-Available License

Harness announced today that the free community edition of its CD-ROM platform is now available under an open source license rather than a traditional open source license.

The goal is to make the CD available to developers and DevOps teams as their existing CI platform, said Scott Sanchez, Harness’s chief marketing officer. Harness already provides an open source version of its Continuous Integration (CI) platform.

The Harness CD platform is available under a Polyform Shield license that provides free access to the platform, including the right to use, modify, and distribute but not to launch a competitive offering. An open source license is an alternative to an open source license that allows an organization to create a fork of the Harness CD that can, for example, be served as a cloud service. This specific issue has led to scenarios where vendors creating an open source project find themselves competing for revenue against a cloud service provider that is not necessarily obligated to contribute and maintain the core open source project. At this juncture, it’s not clear how many other vendors who make software available under an open source license might take a similar path.

While most organizations that have adopted DevOps have successfully implemented a set of CI best practices, the number of organizations that have implemented CD is not nearly as high. One reason for this is that automating cross-platform deployments has never been so easy. Each platform tends to be so customized that it is difficult to automate application deployments. In fact, each platform is its own unique type of “snowflake”.

However, as the number of digital business transformation initiatives continues to steadily increase, the need to regularly update application experiences will require more organizations to implement a set of CD best practices. Available source licensing should help increase the number of DevOps teams that can access and experiment with the CD platform, Sanchez noted. The challenge, of course, is that many of these applications are now based on microservices with components widely distributed across the IT environment.

Historically, CI and CD have been synonymous when viewed in the context of the CI/CD platform. It is not clear to what extent DevOps teams will seek to make better use of the CI/CD platforms they already have instead of deploying a dedicated CD platform to IT operations teams and letting developers choose which CI platform they prefer. Overall, a recent survey by the Continuous Delivery Foundation found that 80% of respondents who work for companies with two or more employees participate in DevOps to some degree.

Regardless of the approach, the coming year is shaping up to be a year as many organizations take their DevOps initiatives to the next level. Arguably, as more organizations realize how much they rely on software to differentiate themselves from competitors, the ability to deliver new application experiences is becoming critical. At the core of these efforts is a set of DevOps best practices that will ultimately determine how competitive these organizations are.

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