Final Thesis: Product Features in Commercial Open Source

Abstract: Although open source software has developed from a negligible phenomenon to an integral part of today’s business world, there are still companies which cannot see its commercial viability. As a consequence, these companies keep on ignoring this wide-spread trend, therefore missing possible profits and the chance to gain an advantage over their competitors. In order to provide arguments for the economic potential of open source software, a comprehensive model of commercially viable product features is described in the present thesis. This hierarchically structured model was created based on interview analysis, literature research and expert discussions and provides a detailed analysis of each feature, while explaining why these features are of economic value. Additionally, practical knowledge of open source companies is incorporated into this work through the use of a survey. The results of this survey are used to validate and expand the model and to generate insight about both importance and bundling of features. In the end, the reader will see which aspects of open source software products can be used to generate profit.

Keywords: Open source; commercial open source; single-vendor open source; open core model; open source distributors; product features; software product feature model

PDFs: Master Thesis, Aufgabenstellung

Reference: Florian Weikert. Product Features in Commercial Open Source Software. Bachelor Thesis, Friedrich Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nürnberg: 2012.

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