Life-Cycle Support for Information Systems Based on Free and Open Source Software


  1. Carbone, R.
  2. Charpentier, R.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Valcartier Research Centre, Quebec QC (CAN)
Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) has been growing constantly in importance and expanding in many software architectures the world over. Increasingly, open source and commercial software share the same ground and will “hybridize” each other in complex architectures. This phenomenon can be observed in both civilian and military information systems. In April 2005, a technical workshop was organized under the auspices of the TTCP-JSA (Joint Systems and Analysis) to determine the role of FOSS in military computing. The key findings of this workshop confirm that FOSS is a very useful technology in military architectures and its importance should constantly increase in the future. However, software support models for FOSS and commercial packages are significantly different and have been a puzzlement to many users and their organizations. In this article, the four basic support strategies that are applicable to software maintenance are described, and some guidelines are proposed for ranking them in a given application context. It is also recommended to adopt them in a progressive strategy starting with support offered by vendors and by competent consultants before adhering to a FOSS consortium. As a last resort, tasking full responsibility of the maintenance of the code can be envisaged.
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2014-P1 — External Literature
Date of publication
10 Feb 2014
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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