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Open source communities are driven by a mutual interest in collaboration and sharing around a common solution. They are filled with passion and energy. As a result, today’s world is powered by open source software, powering the Internet, databases, programming languages, and so much more. It is revolutionizing industries and tackling the toughest challenges. Just check out the projects fostered here at the Linux Foundation for a peek into what is possible. 

What is the challenge? 

As the communities and the projects they support grow and mature, active community engagement to recruit, mentor, and enable an active community is critical. Organizations are now recognizing this as they are more and more dependent on open source communities. Yet, while the ethos of open source is transparency and collaboration, the tool chain to automate, visualize, analyze, and manage open source software production remains scattered, siloed, and of varying quality.

How do we address these challenges?

And now, involvement and engagement in open source communities goes beyond software developers and extends to engineers, architects, documentation writers, designers, Open Source Program Office professionals, lawyers, and more. To help everyone stay coordinated and engaged, a centralized source of information about their activities, tooling to simplify and streamline information from multiple sources, and a solution to visualize and analyze key parameters and indicators is critical. It can help: 

  • Organizations wishing to better understand how to coordinate internal participation in open source and measure outcomes
  • CTOs and engineering leads looking to build a cohesive open source strategy 
  • Project maintainers needing to wrangle the admitido and operational sides of the project
  • Individual keeping track of their open source impacts

Enter the Linux Foundation’s LFX Platform – LFX operationalizes this approach, providing tools built to facilitate every aspect of open source development and empowers projects to standardize, automate, analyze, and self-manage while preserving their choice of tools and development workflows in a vendor-neutral platform.

LFX tools do not disrupt a project’s existing toolchain but rather integrate a project’s community tools and ecosystem to provide a common control plane with APIs from numerous distributed data sources and operations tools. It also adds intelligence to drive outcome-driven KPIs and utilizes a best practices-driven, vendor-agnostic tools chain. It is the place to go for active community engagement and open source activity, enabling the already powerful open source movement to be even more successful.

How does it work? 

Much of the data and information that makes up the open source universe is, not surprisingly, open to see. For instance, GitHub and GitLab both offer APIs that allow third-parties to track all activity on open projects. Social media and public chat channels, blog posts, documentation, and conference talks are also easily captured. For projects hosted at a foundation, such as the Linux Foundation, there is an opportunity to aggregate the public and semi-private data into a privacy respecting, opt-in unified data layer. 

More specifically to an organization or project, LFX is modular, desplegable, and API-driven. It is pluggable and can easily integrate the data sources and tools that are already in use by organizations rather than force them to change their work processes. For instance:

  • Source control software (e.g. Git, GitHub, or GitLab)
  • CI/CD platforms (e.g. Jenkins, CircleCI, Travis CI, and GitHub Actions)
  • Project management (e.g. Jira, GitHub Issues)
  • Registries  (e.g. Docker Hub)
  • Documentation  (e.g. Confluence Wiki)
  • Marketing automation (e.g. social media and blogging platforms)
  • Event management platforms (e.g. physical event attendance, speaking engagements, sponsorships, webinar attendance, and webinar presentations)

This holistic and configurable view of projects, organizations, foundations, and more make it much easier to understand what is happening in open source, from the most granular to the universal. 

What do real-world users think? 

Part of LFX is a community forum to ask questions, share solutions, and more. Recently, Jessica Wagantall shared about the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP). She notes:

ONAP is part of the LF Networking umbrella and consists of 30+ components working together towards the same goal since 2017. Since then, we have faced situations where we have to evaluate if the components are getting enough support during release schedules and if we are identifying our key contributors to the project.

In this time, we have learned a lot as we grow, and we have had the chance to have tools and resources that we can rely on every step of the way. One of these tools is LFX Insights.

We rely on LFX Insights tools to guide the internal decisions and keep the project growing and the contributions flowing.

LFX Insights has become a potent tool that gives us an overview of the project as well as statistics of where our project stands and the changes that we have encountered when we evaluate release content and contribution trends.

Read Jessica’s full post for some specific examples of how LFX Insights helps her and the whole team. 

John Mertic is a seasoned open source project manager. One of his jobs currently is helping to manage the Academy Software Foundation. John shares: 

The Academy Software Foundation was formed in 2018 in partnership with the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences to provide a vendor-neutral home for open source software in the visual effects and motion picture industries.

A challenge this industry was having was that there were many key open source projects used in the industry, such as OpenVDB, OpenColorIO, and OpenEXR, that were cornerstones to production but lacked developers and resources to maintain them. These projects were predominantly single vendor owned and led, and my experience with other open source projects in other verticals and horizontal industries causes this situation, which leads to sustainability concerns, security issues, and lack of future development and innovation.

As the project hit its 3rd anniversary in 2021, the Governing Board was wanting to assess the impact the foundation has had on increasing the sustainability of these projects. There were three primary dimensions being assessed.

We at the LF know that seeing those metrics increasing is a good sign for a healthy, sustainable project.

Academy Software Foundation projects use LFX Insights as a tool for measuring community health. Using this tool enabled us to build some helpful charts which illustrated the impacts of being a part of the Academy Software Foundation.

We took the approach of looking at before and after data on the contributor, contribution, and contributor diversity.

Here is one of the charts that John shared. You can view all of them on his post



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The article by Srikrishna ‘Kris’ Sharma with Canonical originally appeared in the FINOS Project’s Community Blog. It is another example of enterprises open sourcing their code so that they can “collectively solve common problems so they can separately innovate and differentiate on top of the common baseline.” Read more about Why Do Enterprises Use and Contribute to Open Source Software.

Orchestrating Legend with Juju

Goldman Sachs open sourced the code and contributed its internally developed Legend data management platform into FINOS in October 2020.  Legend provides an end-to-end data platform experience covering the full data lifecycle. It encompasses a suite of data management and governance components known as the Legend Platform. Legend enables breaking down silos and building a critical bridge over the historical divide between business and engineering, allowing companies to build data-driven applications and insightful business intelligence dashboards.

Accelerate FINOS Open Source Project Adoption

Ease and speed of deployment enables innovation and lowers the barrier of entry to open source consumption and contribution. Engineering experience is about leveraging software ops automation to demonstrate impact of an open source project to the community. An awesome engineering experience is more often required to enable wider adoption and contribution to an open source project.

Over the last few months, Canonical has been working closely with FINOS and its community members to offer a consistent way to deploy and manage enterprise applications using Juju and Charmed Operators with a focus on Day 2 operations. The idea is to provide a software ops automation framework and toolkit that enables the DevOps teams at financial institutions to realise the benefits of rapid deployment/ testing and application management using a platform that is 100% open source, vendor-agnostic and hybrid-multi-cloud ready.

What is Juju and Charmed Operator?

Charmed Operator:

A charmed operator (also known, more simply, as a “charm”) encapsulates a single application and all the code and know-how it takes to operate it, such as how to combine and work with other related applications or how to upgrade it. Charms are programmed to understand a single application, its operations, and its potential to integrate with other applications. A charm defines and enables the channels by which applications connect. Hundreds of charms are available at charmhub.io.

Juju Operator Lifecycle Manager (OLM) is a hybrid-cloud application management and orchestration system for installation and day 2 operations. It helps deploy, configure, scale, integrate, maintain, and manage Kubernetes native, container-native and VM-native applications—and the relations between them.

Juju allows anyone to deploy and operate charmed operators (charms) in any cloud–including Kubernetes, VMs and Metal. Charms encapsulate the application plus deployment and operations knowledge into one single reusable artefact. Juju manages the lifecycle of applications and infrastructure stacks from cloud to the edge. Juju is cloud-vendor agnostic and hybrid-multi-cloud by nature: it can manage the lifecycle of applications in public clouds, private clouds, or on bare metal. Merienda bootstrapped, Juju will offer the same deployment and operations experience regardless of the cloud vendor.

The Legend Charm Bundle

In the spirit of providing an enterprise-grade automated deployment and maintenance experience to FINOS members, Canonical created a charmed bundle for Legend and contributed it to FINOS.

The Legend Charm Bundle provides a simple, efficient and enterprise-ready way to deploy and orchestrate a Legend instance in various environments across the CI/CD pipeline, from developer’s workstation to production environment. The bundle includes several Charmed Operators, one for each Legend component.

Why a Legend Charm Bundle?

  1. A simple way to evaluate Legend
    One can spin up a Legend environment from scratch using one single command juju deploy finos-legend-bundle
  2. An intuitive approach (for banks and other financial institutions) to spin up production environments
  3. Provides orchestration capabilities, not only deployment scripting
  4. Easily plugs into Legend release lifecycle and simplifies Legend FINOS instance maintenance

The Legend charm documentation resides on finos/legend-integration-juju github repository and here is the link to related repositories.multiple components.

Detailed instructions are available for locorregional and cloud installations if you would like to spin up your own Legend instance within a few mins and start using Legend either locally or on AWS EKS.



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