Life at Eclipse

Musings on the Eclipse Foundation, the community and the ecosystem

Posts Tagged ‘Open Source

Open Source Security at the Eclipse Foundation

Open source software is the single most important engine for innovation today. The ability to freely combine software components, frameworks, and platforms frees developers from constantly reinventing the wheel and allows them to focus on the new innovations that users want. Free software also enables business models to scale in ways that proprietary software would never allow. Globally and in all sectors of the economy, building on top of open source software is the dominant approach to delivering successful software systems today. 

However, with great success comes great responsibility. From Heartbleed to SolarWinds to Log4j, securing open source software and its global supply chain has never been more important. The reasons for this are many, but among them is that for too long open source has been treated by many of its consumers as “free as in free beer” where they should have been treating it as “free as in a free puppy.” Contributing to the sustainability of the projects and communities that deliver open source is really no longer a choice. It is a necessity.

At the Eclipse Foundation, we believe that foundations have a role to play in addressing the challenges of securing open source and its supply chain. Specifically, we want to provide services to our projects that help improve their security posture. But doing so requires additional staff and resources. That’s why we are so grateful for the financial support from the OpenSSF’s Alpha-Omega project, being announced today. This money will allow us to start building a team to roll out many of the ideas in our Open Source Software Supply Chain Best Practices document under the leadership of Mikael Barbero, our Head of Security. 

Some of the ways that we are going to put this funding to good use include:

  • Automate the generation of static source-based SBOMs for all Eclipse Foundation project repositories.
  • Implement a SLSA-based project badging program for Eclipse Foundation projects.
  • Initiate a number of security audits for high-profile Eclipse Foundation projects.

We are also going to provide regular and public updates to the community about our progress and initiatives.

Software security is a never-ending process. This funding is the first step in a journey. We appreciate the support of the Alpha-Omega project, and are committed to using it effectively. 

Written by Mike Milinkovich

June 19, 2022 at 7:28 pm

AQAvit Brings Quality Assurance to Adoptium Marketplace and Java Ecosystem

The launch of the Adoptium Marketplace on May 26 is exciting news for the millions of developers, researchers, and organizations who rely on TCK-tested compatible Java runtimes. As noted in the announcement, by providing a vendor neutral home for the OpenJDK ecosystem, the marketplace makes it easier than ever to access Java SE-conformant binaries necessary for cloud native and enterprise deployments.

But there’s more to the story. For a long time, compatibility has been the name of the game when it came to Java implementations. The Adoptium Marketplace has been set up to take the Java ecosystem to the next stage of its development. 

That’s where Eclipse AQAvit comes in. It brings quality assurance metrics into the marketplace, so that the Java community can begin to select binaries not just based on compatibility but on quality. 

Eclipse AQAvit Brings Quality Assurance to Java

Everything in the marketplace will be compatible with the relevant version of the Java SE Technology Compatibility Kit (TCK). 

But TCK compatibility doesn’t tell you anything about the quality of the implementation. In recent years, the number of OpenJDK-based runtime distributions has absolutely exploded. And although many vendors maintain their own release quality tests, OpenJDK distros have historically not been built to any consistent quality standard. It has become increasingly clear that the Java ecosystem needs a consistent, multi-vendor definition of quality.

Ensuring high-quality binaries are ready for production deployment is crucial for the Adoptium Marketplace. The AQAvit project team compiled tens of thousands of tests and built a few of their own to produce a comprehensive, systematic way of ensuring the quality of runtimes available. The AQAvit Quality Verification Suite covers a broad set of requirements, ensuring binaries provide superior: 

  • Performance
  • Security
  • Resilience
  • Endurance

They also ensure that the binaries can pass a wide variety of application test suites and can verify new functionality during runtime development. That’s what’s unique about the Adoptium Marketplace: it provides peace of mind knowing that the binaries are not only compatible but will actually meet the demanding requirements of your enterprise applications.

Contributing Helps Ensure AQAvit Meets Your Needs

And in the spirit of open source, you give a little to get a lot.

Many of the founding members of the Adoptium Working Group are Java developers and vendors, including Alibaba Cloud, Azul, Huawei, IBM, iJUG, Karakun AG, Microsoft, New Relic, and Red Hat. The marketplace enables working group members to promote their Java SE compatible releases verified to Eclipse AQAvit’s quality criteria. Their membership helps support the cloud-based infrastructure that drives Adoptium’s efficiency as a shared community project. In other words, the working group collaborates to create and provide access to high-performance, enterprise-caliber, cross-platform, open source-licensed, and Java-compatible binaries of OpenJDK builds, through the marketplace. 

Contributing to the AQAvit project is one of the best ways to ensure access to runtimes that meet specific needs. We encourage Java community members to get involved and contribute additional tests to cover the use cases their applications require. They’ll be incorporated in the AQAvit test suite, so every binary going forward will have to meet that standard. This way enterprises and developers can be confident any AQAvit-verified binaries they use will function as needed. 

Security Updates for Java

Quality assurance is a big part of what makes the Adoptium Marketplace unique, but it’s not the whole picture. Security fixes are also an important focus.

Once upon a time, you could count on getting security fixes for old versions of Java for a long time. After all, if you’ve deployed a set of applications on a version, you’re probably going to want to use it for a long time. 

That’s no longer the case elsewhere. But all the distributions in the Adoptium Marketplace will be kept up to date with the latest security patches or those patches will be backported to older LTS versions. This way you can be sure that your applications are secure, no matter which version of Java you’re running them on. Of course, this goes for new versions of Java too.

Everything Users Need in One Place

The Adoptium Marketplace brings together all these elements — quality assurance, adaptability to community needs, security updates for every version, sustainability — into a one-stop shop for binaries. Ultimately, this delivers five key assurances to end users:

  • The binary has been tested and is compatible with the relevant version of the Java SE TCK
  • The binary was built in accordance with open source principles
  • The binary has been fully verified using the AQAvit quality verification criteria, having passed through multiple tests to ensure it meets industry quality standards
  • The binary is as secure as possible, with the latest security updates included
  • The binary is brought to you by a vendor committed to supporting and participating in a multi-vendor, vendor-neutral collaboration

If your organization is considering participating in the Adoptium Working Group, have a look at the Charter and Participation Agreement. Or if you have questions, email us at membership@eclipse.org

Written by Mike Milinkovich

May 31, 2022 at 7:33 am

Security Leadership at the Eclipse Foundation

As everyone who is involved in the software industry is well aware, security is a significant topic these days. In particular, open source supply chain security is top of mind across the entire ICT industry. The Eclipse Foundation, its community, its projects, and its working groups all have a strong motivation to be leaders in advocating and implementing security best practices. Our members, adopters, users, and stakeholders all desire that their security risks be mitigated to the degree possible. 

One thing that is clear, however, is that simply putting the burden of added security work on the shoulders of our committers and project leaders is not an option. This topic needs to be addressed by services provided by the Eclipse Foundation to our project community or it will fail. Without strong support in terms of release and build engineering, tooling, and education, developers simply do not have the time, interest, or skills necessary to be responsible for implementing security best practices. It is equally true that security, and particularly supply chain security, requires a programmatic approach. Security is not an attribute that you simply add to existing software.

So we need to provide services to our projects to implement our Open Source Software Supply Chain Best Practices. We envisage this as a collection of services provided to our projects by staff to protect our code repositories, secure third party artifacts, provide security audits, secure build pipelines, and protect build outputs. 

The Eclipse Foundation has long had a security policy, and is a CVE numbering authority. We have a long track record of taking security seriously. However, we are not going to be able to accomplish more without leadership. So, to that end, I am very pleased to announce that we have recently promoted Mikaël Barbero as our new Head of Security. Mikaël is well known to our community as having led our Common Build Infrastructure for many years, as well as having authored the best practices document referenced above. Mikaël will be providing leadership to our security initiatives, and will be working closely with our projects and our IT staff to steadily improve security across the Eclipse community. Some of this work will complement or leverage related efforts to improve our IP processes and provide software bill of materials (SBOMs) for all of our projects. We expect to make a number of program announcements over the coming months, so stay tuned. Please join me in welcoming Mikaël in his new role.

Written by Mike Milinkovich

May 12, 2022 at 7:41 am

Eclipse Software Defined Vehicle: Building the Future of Automotive

Today the Eclipse Foundation is announcing a new working group dedicated to developing a new and innovative software platform for the world’s automotive industry. The Eclipse Software Defined Vehicle (SDV) initiative has the support of leading companies across the automotive, IT, cloud, and services industries, all of which are necessary to create the platform and ecosystem that will drive innovation for the next generation of mobility solutions. 

The automotive industry today is undergoing a radical transformation. Electrification, autonomous vehicles, advanced driver assistance systems, and ever-increasing consumer expectations about their in-car digital experience, are all happening at once. These trends are dramatically transforming the system architectures embedded in vehicles. Automotive architectures are moving from networks of special purpose devices to something that more closely resembles servers on wheels, where more powerful general purpose computers are responsible for implementing and coordinating the various systems in the automobile, including the ones which keep us and our families safe on the road. And these systems architectures are rapidly changing how automotive software needs to be built.

The vision of SDV is to radically transform the automotive industry by collaboratively developing a common software platform that all participants in the automotive industry can use in an openly licensed, royalty-free manner. From an IT  technology perspective this is not particularly radical. After all, open source platforms and “software defined everything” (e.g. storage, networking, data center, radio, etc.) are two of the defining trends in the IT industry over the past decade (or more). In the case of open source platforms the trend has been driven by eliminating the cost of non-differentiating software, decreasing the time to market in delivering complex systems, and reducing risk by relying on proven software platforms and components. “Software defined everything” has largely been driven by Moore’s Law and the resulting cost savings of replacing special purpose devices with general purpose computers running special purpose software. 

But from an industry perspective, the technical implications of an openly licensed SDV software platform for the automotive industry are very radical. It will dramatically reshape the automotive industry similar to how software-defined networking reshaped the telecommunications industry. Free software platforms which provide a software stack for the core non-differentiating technologies will quickly lead to disruptive technical and business innovations across the value chain in any industry. 

The Eclipse SDV initiative is primarily radical because it is among the first truly open industry collaborations in automotive. Historically, automotive industry groups have delivered standards or specifications available only to members of their respective consortia. Often these innovations were encumbered with FRAND-style licensing arrangements which hindered wide adoption. Eclipse SDV is going to provide a radical departure from this “business as usual” approach in automotive by focusing on open source software stacks, liberally licensed software specifications, and a community-based, collaborative approach to innovation rather than the top-down, architecture-driven, consensus-based models of the past. The mantra of Eclipse SDV is “code first”, and that is definitely a radical idea in automotive. We are humbled by the trust that Accenture, Arm, AVL, Bosch, Capgemini, Continental Automotive, DMI, ETAS, Futurewei Technologies, Karakun, Microsoft, Red Hat, Reycom, SUSE, and ZF are placing in the Eclipse Foundation to act as the steward for this exciting initiative. 

I want to sincerely thank everyone who helped get this initiative off the ground and raise awareness about its value to organizations across the automotive industry.

I also want to encourage automotive industry stakeholders of all sizes and with any goals to consider joining the working group. The breadth and depth of in-vehicle software creates opportunities across every area of automotive development — from deployment, configuration, and communications to monitoring, safety, and security. If you or your organization are interested in learning more joining Eclipse SDV, please contact us

With the Eclipse Foundation’s commitment to transparency, vendor neutrality, and a shared voice, all participants have an equal opportunity to shape the future of the SDV Working Group and play a vital role in the future evolution of the automotive industry.  

To learn more about getting involved in the Software-Defined Vehicle Working Group, visit sdv.eclipse.org or email us at membership@eclipse.org

Written by Mike Milinkovich

March 8, 2022 at 8:56 am

What Cloud Developers Want

The results of our first-ever Cloud Developer Survey are in, providing important insight into the development tools being used today, the role of open source, and the capabilities developers are looking for in next generation cloud-based tools and IDEs.  

The Cloud Developer Survey was conducted April 22-May 1, 2021, with more than 300 software developers, DevOps specialists, architects, and IT leaders in the US, UK, France, and Germany being interviewed. It’s important to point out that this survey was fielded by an independent team of analysts with the express purpose of minimizing bias, and to provide a clear market perspective to our member community. 

In commissioning this research project, our primary objective was to gain a better understanding of cloud-based developer trends by identifying the requirements, priorities, and challenges faced by organizations that deploy and use cloud-based development solutions, including those based on open source technologies. Our expectation is that through these findings, we can better ensure developers have the tools and technologies they need for cloud native application development.

An interesting finding is that more than 40 percent of survey respondents indicated that their company’s most important applications are now cloud native. And only three percent said their company has no cloud migration plans for important on-premise applications. This bodes well for the growth in cloud-based tools to help accelerate this trend and migration.

Developers Expect Open Source Tools and Technologies

One of the most significant trends revealed by the survey is the extremely high value developers place on open source. This is a rare number to see in survey results, but 100 percent of participating organizations said they allow their developers to use open source technologies for software development; though 62 percent do place at least some restrictions on usage.

Looking ahead, developers expect open source to continue to grow in popularity, with more than 80 saying they consider open source to be important both now and in the future. With the focus on cloud native applications and growing reliance on open source, it’s safe to say that open source and cloud development go hand-in-hand, and are here to stay.

Flexibility, Better Integrations, and Innovation are Attractive 

The Cloud Developer Survey also revealed that while developers use a variety of tools, they prefer using those with which they’re already familiar. This is reflected by the fact that 57 percent of survey respondents are still using desktop IDEs, including the Eclipse IDE. What this means is that there remains a huge developer community that has yet to benefit from open source cloud IDE technologies like Eclipse Theia, Eclipse Che, and Open VSX Registry, along with the ecosystem and products built around them.

Developers that do use cloud-based tools aren’t necessarily tied to using what their cloud provider recommends. Instead, they prefer open source options that offer opportunities for customization and innovation. No matter which technologies developers opt to use, increasing productivity is crucial. Developers are looking for better integrations of APIs and other features and tools that help save them time and effort.

Developers also want the flexibility to choose best-of-breed products and tools as needed to work more efficiently and to support the next wave of innovation in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and edge technologies. Open source drives innovation in these technologies, and flexible, open source tools will be key to attracting top talent to these cutting-edge development opportunities.

Read the Full Report and Recommendations

To review the complete Cloud Developer Survey results and the associated recommendations, download the survey report.

For more information about the Eclipse Cloud DevTools ecosystem and its benefits for members, visit the website.

Written by Mike Milinkovich

October 22, 2021 at 8:30 am