Software Projects and Products

From OSGeo
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The distinction of the terms "Product" and "Project" in a Free and Open Source Software context is not clear cut. This pages helps to disambiguate between the two and links to related pages and topics.

Software Project

The term "Software Project" is often used to describe the scope of an Open Source project but there usually is no clear cut definition of what this actually comprises. The following components usually make up an Open Source Project, they are listed in no particular order and may or may not apply to every project:

  • Code Repository
  • Bug or Issues Tracking System
  • Documentation
  • Mailing Lists
  • Web Site or Wiki
  • Individuals who develop th software
  • Individuals who use the software
  • please add what you deem relevant

Software Product

The term Software Product is typically associated with shrink-wrap or COTS (Commercial-Off-the-Shelf) software. A Software Product is usually one piece of executable code or a set of software components, libraries or schemata that are ready to use by an end customer. One result of the efforts that went into an Open Source Software Project may be called the Software Product, it is usually some entity that can also be downloaded (binaries, scripts, code for compilation, etc.).

In proprietary business models the Software Product often is the single piece of work that is the focus of generating revenue. This is one of the few revenue generating activities that does not apply to FOSS business models.