Open Source Governance: Worldline’s Progressive Approach

4 minute(s) read

Open Source isn’t just a fleeting trend in the tech world; it’s a transformative force, and I’ve had a front-row seat to its evolution for nearly two decades. While many casually throw around “Open Source” as a modern buzzword, for forward-thinking companies, it’s a pivotal strategy. It offers a blueprint for reduced costs, bolstered innovation, and expedited delivery, all the while serving as a magnet for industry talent. Yet, the real magic happens when companies don’t just join the Open Source bandwagon, but truly understand and respect its intricacies. This is where Open Source Governance comes in, which involves identifying and managing risks associated with Open Source components, such as security risks, licensing risks, and IP risks. At Worldline, we’ve risen to this challenge by developing a comprehensive governance structure that ensures effective management and utilisation of Open Source resources.

Central to our approach is the Free & Open Source Software (FOSS) policy, which sets the standard for FOSS use, distribution, and licensing within our organisation. This policy isn’t just a piece of paper – it’s our playbook. It lays down the dos and don’ts, shedding light on the nuances of FOSS licenses, defining Worldline’s responsibilities when distributing FOSS, and zooming into how FOSS licenses play into our licensing and patent realms.

Extract from our License Matrix

But having a policy is just the beginning. While policies provide direction, effective tools and practises ensure implementation. To put our vision into practice, we’ve developed a suite of tools and initiatives that facilitate seamless Open Source management. That’s why we employ tools like Dependency-Track and Black Duck Software for efficient license management. They even help generate detailed Software Bills of Materials (SBOM) that accompany our deliverables.

Extract of SBOM generated with Dependency-Track data

We also built an internal community, the Open Source Club, which serves as a melting pot for ideas and expertise. Here, team members share their experiences, tackle challenges together, and cultivate a culture of transparency and collective growth. This Club is more than just a meeting point, it’s where team members exchange insights and address Open Source challenges, promoting a culture of transparency and collective growth. Whether it’s advice on adoption, the intricacies of contribution, or simply decoding usage patterns, the Club is where Open Source magic happens.

As technology keeps evolving, Worldline stays dedicated to nurturing innovation and maintaining the best practises in Open Source Governance. To ride the Open Source wave effectively, a solid governance framework isn’t just recommended; it’s essential. We aknowledge that such a governance requires balance between flexibility and control to be successful.

Our policy actively supports and shapes our contribution efforts, with several of our specialists dedicating time specifically for Open Source projects. These contributions range from bug fixes and feature enhancements to the creation of documentation and advocacy. Worldline not only shares code snippets but also releases entire projects under Open Source licenses. Explore our GitHub repositories for a closer look.

Worldline's organisation on GitHub

For example, our open training materials on various front-end technologies and languages such as JavaScript, Kotlin, Angular, Angular Security, Vue.js, React, and iOS development with Swift are freely available for both learning and contributions.

Today, our association with the Open Innovation Network (OIN) takes our commitment to Open Source Governance to new heights. This move isn’t just strategic; it’s visionary. This partnership provides us with valuable expertise, resources, and networking prospects, helping us continuously refine our practises. Moreover, this alliance fosters a spirit of collaboration and knowledge-sharing within Worldline, ultimately benefiting both our teams and clients. The Open Innovation Network is a community of organisations that support Open Source software and patent non-aggression. By joining OIN, members can cross-license their Linux System patents royalty-free and access OIN’s portfolio of intellectual property assets. OIN also promotes diversity, collaboration and innovation in the Open Source ecosystem. OIN has over 3,800 members from more than 150 countries, including global leaders such as IBM, Red Hat, Amazon and U.S. Bank. Being a member of OIN can benefit your enterprise by reducing patent risks, enhancing flexibility and choice, and fostering open innovation.

OIN logo

“We continuously look for ways to integrate the best technologies in our payment solutions, which helps to deliver capabilities and services that our merchant and banks customers value and trust. We provide our customers safer and faster digital transaction services, and Open Source is a significant innovation driver in these offerings,” said Worldline CTO/COO Christophe Duquenne in today’s Press Release. “We are pleased to join the Open Invention Network and support its role in protecting Open Source software.”

In conclusion, having a robust Open Source Governance framework in place is crucial for companies that want to leverage the benefits of open source effectively. At Worldline, we have taken a proactive approach to Open Source Governance by establishing a comprehensive policy, providing training and awareness programmes, utilising specialised tools, and joining industry networks like OIN. By taking a proactive stance toward Open Source Governance, Worldline unlocks the vast potential of Open Source while mitigating associated risks. Our holistic framework, combined with our dedication to shared knowledge, makes us active participants in the Open Source community. As technology continues to evolve, Worldline remains steadfast in its commitment to nurturing innovation and upholding the highest standards of Open Source Governance.

Written by

Raphaël Semeteys

DevRel, Software architect, Open Source expert