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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Different licensing situations in software development - Part 2

In the previous post (software licensing in software development), I had written about some of the situations that emerge in the realm of commercial software development. Most of these have to do with the usage of software from other companies that are included in your own software. One may ask as to why you would need to include software from other companies as part of your own deliverable ? Well, there are many reasons. The biggest reason is that your team cannot write software for everything that is needed to be done, and somebody may have done a far better job in a specific area of software that you would take a long time to do.
Consider some specific situations. You have a children's software that allows them to create their own cards with a lot of fancy stuff, and eventually, you would be able to create some cards with lots of music and some videos. One of the ways to share this is through writing such cards to a DVD, such that you can give this to the friends of your children and they can play this on their own DVD players. There are 2 spots where there is a need for some specialised software. One, when you are using pictures and videos, these can be in a number of different formats and you need a way to read the most common of these. If you were to try and write all such tasks into your own software, your team might not have the technical ability to be able to decode some of the formats, and you will need to use some external software or codecs for the same purpose.
Similarly, when you need to write these creations to the DVD, you need some specialized software. Writing to DVD requires the ability to connect to the DVD using the appropriate middleware, and a lot of this stuff is already present in existing software that can be used in your own software.
These are 2 simple cases that show the usage of other 3rd party software in your code, and as your own software becomes more complicated, the need for more such software becomes even more complicated.

I will write more in the next such post ..

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