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Software development environment must be open, says Red Hat

By Shannon Williams
Wed 26 Aug 2015
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The application development technology of the future must provide a framework for users to develop software quickly and get it to market fast.

That’s according to Red Hat, who says open source technology is the answer.

Red Hat says organisations that can effectively harness people’s innate tendency to make their lives easier will be more likely to successfully develop software and applications that genuinely disrupt, or protect against disruption, as business needs dictate.

“Traditional software development models are too slow for today’s employees who are looking for ways to make their jobs and lives easier, faster," explains Colin McCabe, director, consulting and training, Red Hat.

“Almost anyone can be a developer, and people are often more creative and capable than their employers realise.”

Stefano Picozzi, change architect, Red Hat, agrees, and says thriving businesses know how to harness people’s talents.

“This extends to software development: if an organisation has the culture, tools and technology in place that encourage teamwork, then it is more likely to have a successful development program,” he says.

Cloud services like Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) let developers create and innovate safely, McCabe adds. He says philosophies like DevOps, which connects developers and operations teams for the fastest, best results, are becoming more critical to successful, speedy development.

“Cloud means connecting developers, whoever they are, to back-end systems, then connecting the apps they create to mobile devices in a way that doesn’t completely overwhelm the operations team and existing heritage investments,” he says. “PaaS balances the need to give creators autonomy with the need for governance and oversight to guarantee quality.”

McCabe explains, “To continually improve organisational productivity and go-to-market speed, organisations must innovate at lightning speed. A DevOps approach combined with tools like PaaS can facilitate this.”

“It’s no coincidence that the future of software development looks very much like the open source development model,” says Picozzi. “The bigger the community, the greater the talent that can self-organise to decide what works and what doesn’t.”

Red Hat has identified five reasons the software development environment of the future will be open source:

Contestability

Open source gives organisations more choice so they can choose the best combination of solutions from various providers. It prevents lock-in and reduces the risks associated with single-sourcing. Developers benefit because they can choose the tools and development language that work best.

Safety

Open source solutions have been tried and tested in the cloud so users know they work, making them a safer choice. Additionally, open source delivers transparency so that users get visibility into how the open source projects will evolve.

Costs

Open source PaaS offers a technological framework for people to collaborate easily, quickly and safely. Developers can experiment cheaply and so take an iterative approach to getting better ideas to market faster. This means the cost of innovation is lower.

Integration  

Applications that can make a real impact require higher-order middleware services so they can leverage heritage systems and information assets, are easy to manage and monitor, and can be made available in public, private or hybrid cloud environments.

This lets organisations provide consumers with novel products and services, and better compete with disruptive new entrants.

Containerisation and microservices

The trends towards containerisation and microservices will continue, enabled by open source PaaS. Microservices involves creating apps as a series of smaller, collaborating services rather than as a single monolith.

The container-based PaaS environment makes it easier to compose and evolve non-trivial, microservice-based systems. These become the rich, complex apps that organisations need to remain innovative in the future.

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