Harness today announced a free community edition of its continuous delivery (CD) platform is now available under a source-available license rather than a more traditional open source license.
Scott Sanchez, chief marketing officer for Harness, said the goal is to make CD as accessible to developers and DevOps teams as their current CI platform. Harness already makes an open source edition of its continuous integration (CI) platform available.
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 it but not launch a competitive offering. A source-available license is an alternative to an open source license that allows an organization to potentially create a fork of the Harness CD that could, for example, be delivered as a cloud service. That specific issue has led to scenarios where vendors that create an open source project find themselves competing for revenue against a cloud service provider that is not necessarily as committed to contributing and maintaining the primary open source project. At this juncture, it’s not clear how many other vendors that make software available under an open source license might take a similar tack.
While most organizations that embraced DevOps have been able to successfully implement a set of CI best practices, the number of organizations that have implemented CD is not nearly as high. One reason for that is automating deployments across platforms has never been especially easy. Each platform tends to be customized to the point where it is difficult to automate application deployments. In effect, 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 is going to require more organizations to implement a set of CD best practices. A source-available license should help increase the number of DevOps teams that can access and experiment with a CD platform, noted Sanchez. The challenge, of course, is that many of those applications are now based on microservices with components widely distributed across an IT environment.
Historically, CI and CD have been synonymous when viewed within the context of a CI/CD platform. It’s not clear to what degree DevOps teams will look to better leverage the CI/CD platforms they already have in place rather than deploying a dedicated CD platform for IT operations teams and letting developers choose whatever CI platform they prefer. In general, a recent survey conducted by the Continuous Delivery Foundation found that 80% of respondents that work for companies with two or more employees are involved in DevOps to some degree.
Regardless of approach, the coming year is shaping up to be one where many more organizations take DevOps initiatives to the next level. Arguably, as more organizations realize how dependent they are on software to differentiate themselves from rivals, the ability to deliver new application experiences has become critical. At the core of those efforts is a set of DevOps best practices that will ultimately determine just how competitive those organizations will be.