April 24, 2007 9:00 PM PDT

SourceLabs looks to tame open-source sprawl

SourceLabs has developed an application to bring order to corporations' thicket of open-source components.

The open-source support company on Wednesday is expected to announce the Open Source Management System, which is aimed at large corporate customers.

The system provides a way for technology departments to create a standardized distribution of various open-source products.

It also has a mechanism for sending out alerts, such as new security patches, to different technology professionals.

The idea for the product was the result of SourceLabs customers asking for a way to better manage a growing number of open-source products within their companies, said CEO Byron Sebastian.

Often, open-source products get installed in company networks by developers who download them. But that grassroots adoption ultimately creates problems, Sebastian said.

"The issue or concern from a large company's point of view is that this happens without the knowledge of senior management or central IT because it bypasses a control point, which is purchasing," he said.

The application, which runs on Windows or Linux, includes a copy of Swik, wiki-based collaboration software developed by SourceLabs that lets IT professionals share information on specific products.

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