In part one of my blog, It’s Just the Way Software is Made, I discussed the realities of how software is made, the birth of agile development, and the advent of component-based software development. Today, we will drive down the software supply chain to understand where your software has really coming from. I’ll also discuss why it’s important for us to instill high quality standards and governance policies in our “parts” ecosystem.
In part two of my blog ‘A Closer Look at Today’s Software Supply Chain’, I discussed why human-speed supply chain management can’t keep pace with today’s agile software development practices and why high quality software components are not simply a given. In this final segment, I will share a real world story on how thousands of organizations sourced one “bad part” named Bouncy Castle in 2013.
In our recent open source developer survey we asked, what are the TOP FOUR characteristics considered when selecting a component? And since components are the building blocks used when creating an application, selecting the right one is an important choice. Not surprisingly, the most important characteristic for the selection are the features and capabilities provided by the component. After all, if the component doesn’t fulfill your requirements then why use it?
Just like automobile manufacturers, software “manufacturers” need to apply supply chain management principles for both efficiency and quality. They need to be prepared to conduct a rapid and comprehensive “recall” when a defect is found. And today’s modern development practices make this, well, challenging to say the least.
Just the other day I was planning dinner for my family and thought it would be a great idea to bust out the Dutch oven I had to have, but rarely use, and make a nice stew. I ran to the grocery store to grab some fresh carrots, turnips, onions, a couple of Yukon Gold potatoes, and some fresh chicken (and a bottle of nice wine for the thirsty chef). I needed a quick start and an on-time finish. Or it would be another failed product delivery — followed by a rapid desire by my family to outsource.
There are two ways to motivate others to action: emotional appeal and fact based analysis. Our 2014 Open Source and Application Security survey results touched on both. We’ve run this survey for the past four years, but this time we decided to reveal the results in a new way. Rather than let our marketing team “spin” the results, we wanted to provide you a completely independent perspective focus on both open source development and application security. Adrian Lane, CTO and Security Analyst, at Securosis jumped at the chance. We provided him the raw survey results data and he agreed to write the analysis. We did not ask or direct him on what to write; in fact, Securosis’ Totally Transparent Research methodology does not allow companies like Sonatype to influence their research.
RebelLabs recently put out their Java Tools and Technologies Landscape report and we were very pleased to see Nexus chosen as the repository manager of choice by 64% of developers. We saw this same preference carry over in our own recent Open Source Development survey, where 49% of respondents indicated they used Nexus as their local component repository manager. Which brought us to analyze these market trends further .By digging into the log data from the Central Repository, we were able to capture more compelling proof that indeed, Nexus holds a significant portion of the repository manager marketplace and for good reason.
Enthusiasm for securing the software supply chain is growing in both conversation and practice. For the past year, Sonatype has called for a new approach to securing the software supply chain that gives organizations an opportunity to protect their business and their applications from hacker exploits — taking a frictionless approach built into the supply chain and software development lifecycle, as opposed to bolt-on solutions looking for vulnerabilities later in the development process.
Wow! What an amazing turnout we had for our 4th annual survey: 3,353 participants this year brings us to over 11,000 participants in the four years we’ve run this survey. I would like to extend a BIG THANK YOU to all who participated! The survey started with a bang and was quickly followed by a shock wave. Just a week after our 2014 survey kicked off this year, the tech world was thrown off by the announcement of the Open SSL bug dubbed Heartbleed.
As the HeartBleed bug wreaked havoc on the internet over the past few days, we at Sonatype began thinking about the lessons learned from this recent scare and how, collectively, we can develop a process for mitigating the next major exposure.