Liferay Portal is included in the list of the most successful open source projects. It is believed that Liferay is the best or, in other words, one of the most popular open source portals that provide tremendous benefits to its users. The current paper aims to shed light on the development model of Liferay. In addition, much attention is paid to the Liferays platform strategy, the role of the MIT licensing in the success of Liferay, and, finally, factors that should be taken into account when deciding on licensing this company.
Liferays Development Model
The case study of Liferay and its content management platform provides convincing evidence that the development model of the company differs drastically from the traditional closed-source development one (Deodhar, Saxena, & Gupta, 2016). This software firm has successfully proved that the open-source development approach is a far more effective than the closed-source methodology because of tremendous benefits of its application to the software industry. Because the traditional closed-source development model excludes the opportunity to modify or redistribute software, this company decided to embrace open source in order to provide users with an opportunity to try out their products before purchasing it or, in other words, making a so-called commercial commitment. Because the common closed source development model faces many challenges, especially the ones associated with the increased competitiveness, the management team of the Liferay Company made a decision to adopt the open-source development model in order to attract attention of new participants and develop a wide range of new functionalities (Deodhar, Saxena, & Gupta, 2016). In general, the open-source approach of Liferay positively influences the firms growth and development because it enhances a collaborative development process and accelerates the rapid improvement and innovation processes in Liferay. The open-source development model is the best option for Liferay as it is based on the principles of transparence and collaboration. According to the main idea of the case study at hand, Liferay made a decision to embrace the open-source development model instead of a closed-source one because the first offers tremendous benefits to its business, including enhanced security and increased reliability (Deodhar, Saxena, & Gupta, 2016). In other words, Liferay has chosen this development model because it is a so-called peer reviewed software that is more reliable and secured than the closed-source one. Another convincing reason for why Liferay uses open source model is because it provides Liferay with a unique chance to build a powerful business that can contribute to the creation and development of the open-source community. The open-source development model engages customers, partners, and, finally, employees. The documentation team claims that Liferay relies on the open source software because of a wide scope of considerable benefits to its users, especially reliability and stability of the open source, its auditability, cost effectiveness, increased flexibility, and accountability, as well as freedom and support (Deodhar, Saxena, & Gupta, 2016).
To begin with, Liferay refused to follow the closed-source development model because Liferay software developers claim that the open source model offers reliability and stability, especially the absence of serious defects, data losses, and, finally, other types of failures that may put the data security at risk. Second, because open source model offers stability, it provides Liferay with a chance to adapt to the ever-changing business environment (Deodhar, Saxena, & Gupta, 2016). Because one of the greatest benefits of the open source development model is its auditability, Liferay made its choice favoring the open source model in order not only to exceed expectations of its users, but to increase their confidence. Cost effectiveness of the open-source development model is also one of the reasons for why Liferay followed this way. Therefore, because the open source model is free and allows people to use, download, and even modify it, Liferay gets a lot of exposure (Deodhar, Saxena, & Gupta, 2016). However, because the label of free has some negative connotations as free software movements are usually associated with limited opportunities in generating significant economic returns, the term free was changed to open source in order to prove that the source code of software program is easily accessible to every user (Deodhar, Saxena, & Gupta, 2016). Thus, after having shed light on the main ideas of why Liferay is not the proponent of the traditional closed-source development model, it is possible to arrive at a conclusion that the company follows the open-approach development model with the primary purpose to accelerate its rapid development and innovation, as well as to create open-source community and attract attention of users (Deodhar, Saxena, & Gupta, 2016).
Liferays Platform Strategy
The adoption of an effective and reliable platform strategy for software products is one of the most crucial issues in the software industry. The documentation team of Liferay stresses that Liferay 6.0 was considered the most important step towards the adoption of a reliable platform strategy by this firm (Deodhar, Saxena, & Gupta, 2016). The primary mission of the platform strategy is to extend and transform capabilities of Liferay. In other words, the main objective of its platform strategy is to change the portal for a full application version in order to increase the number of committed users. In order to avoid possible threats, the management team of Liferay strives to adopt a new platform strategy that would increase the security and efficiency of the company. In general, Liferays adoption of the platform strategy focuses mainly on preserving the uniformity and stability of the core system (Deodhar, Saxena, & Gupta, 2016). The unique platform strategy of this company provided Liferay with a promising opportunity to become one of the leading players in the software industry. The effective content management system of Liferay allows creating, publishing, and, finally, editing the content. The digital platform of Liferay is purposed to develop and create personalized experiences across numerous digital devices, including mobile technologies (Sezov, Hinkey, Kostas, Rao, Hoag, Bohl, Gaskill, & Williams, 2015). In addition, the core component of this company is directly connected with building a close and long-term relationship with users by providing accurate information at any moment. Nowadays, Liferay is considered the leading collaboration platform that enhances personalized user experiences. According to the management team, customers can use Liferay as an efficient collaborative, social, and web platform (Sezov et al., 2015). First, Liferay is a reliable collaborative platform that includes a suite of numerous collaborative applications that range from simple personal productivity applications to a series of complex community-building applications (Sezov et al., 2015). Second, customers can use Liferay as a convenient social platform in order to build relationships with other users and see interesting updates of their connections. Liferay is one of the most effective social platforms because it enhances social networking and enables different social applications, which are an integral element of overall user experiences. Finally, Liferay is a crucial web platform that offers its users a unique opportunity to share personal data from their applications with other systems (Sezov et al., 2015). Thus, after having shed light on the key peculiarities of the Liferays platform strategy, it is possible to infer that the company has adopted its integrated platform strategy not only to preserve the security and uniformity of its core system but to attract attention of potential customers, and enhance its usage support (Deodhar, Saxena, & Gupta, 2016).
According to the estimations of Bryan Cheung, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology license is the best option for Liferay because it allows users not only to have free access to Liferays source code but also to modify and distribute it (Deodhar, Saxena, & Gupta, 2016). The researches stress that Bryan Cheung should retain the MIT licensing because this permissive open-source license meets objectives and mission of Liferay. Moreover, this license is definitely the best option for the company because any software that is licensed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology can be easily changed, modified, and even released under other types of licenses, especially a proprietary license (Deodhar, Saxena, & Gupta, 2016). The MIT license, as compared to many other licenses, imposes very limited restrictions and requirements on the reuse of a software and its code. The MIT license is the winning choice for Liferay because this open source option offers a wide scope of benefits to end-users. In other words, the end-user gets an opportunity to use, copy, modify, and distribute their software (Deodhar, Saxena, & Gupta, 2016). The Liferays MIT license specifically grants users with a valuable chance to sublicense and sell their software. Regardless of the fact that Bryan Cheung made a decision to retain the Liferays MIT licensing, he had some other options. According to the information presented in the case study, Liferay: A Portal and Content Management Platform, Bryan Cheung who held the post of the CEO in Liferay at that period, could follow the proprietary licensing model that could implement strict measures and, consequently, could completely restrict end-users access to any input from outside the Liferay (Deodhar, Saxena, & Gupta, 2016). However, Bryan Cheung neglected this opportunity because proprietary licensing model went against the mission of this software company and contradicted the open-source approach. Therefore, the proprietary licensing model does not correspond to the community orientation of Liferay and its increased popularity among users. Thus, because Liferays management team and leadership wanted to avoid this unpleasant scenario, they refused to adopt the proprietary licensing model in order to assist the Liferays software products in reaching the highest level of adoption among its users and achieving the market leadership (Deodhar, Saxena, & Gupta, 2016).
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Factors that Should Be Taken into Account while Deciding on the Liferays Licensing
Regardless of the fact that both open source and proprietary licensing have numerous advantages and possible threats, many factors should be taken into consideration while deciding on the type of licensing. For instance, Bryan Cheung, the CEO of Liferay, rejected the idea of adopting the proprietary licensing model because it did not correspond to the objectives, missions, and community orientation of this software company (Deodhar, Saxena, & Gupta, 2016). According to the CEO of Liferay, the adoption of the MIT license is a winning decision for Liferay because it fully corresponds to the open source development model of the company, fosters the development of a collaborative process with its active users, and, finally, contributes to the creation of stable communities (Deodhar, Saxena, & Gupta, 2016). Generally speaking, if I were to choose the type of the Liferays licensing, I would definitely agree with the estimations of Bryan Cheung that the MIT licensing is a perfect choice for this software entity because the terms of this permissive open-source license do not limit the rights of users to copy, publish, and modify the software they purchase. If I were to decide on the Liferays licensing, I would take into consideration both advantages and possible risks of the open source licensing. I am a proponent of the idea that software developers should be aware of software licensing rules because an effective licensing provides software companies with a unique opportunity to make their competitors lag behind. In order to avoid unnecessary copyright complaints and be protected from losing control over their code, software companies should bear responsibility for accurate assessment of the terms and roles of the open source licensing (Sezov, 2009). Moreover, because open source and proprietary licensing models differ in their versions, terms, rules, and impacts on software companies drastically, the development team of Liferay should be aware of the most beneficial versions of licenses that correspond to the goals and objectives of the company (Sezov, 2009). After having reviewed and evaluated the main factors that should be considered when deciding on the Liferays licensing, it is possible to conclude that because the Massachusetts Institute of Technology license gives users a chance not only to access but also modify and sell the Liferays adoption code, this open source license positively influences the success of the company and contributes to its development as a reliable open-source portal for its users. Thus, although the permissive MIT licensing created some challenges to Liferay, a radical departure from this licensing model would mean a departure from the companys core principles and mission.
In such a manner, after having shed light on the significance of the open source development model and its positive influence on the development and success of Liferay, identified the peculiarities of Liferays platform strategy, accessed the value of the MIT licensing, and analyzed the factors that should be taken into consideration when deciding on the Liferays licensing, it is possible to arrive at a conclusion that the management team of the company should be aware of the business missions and objectives because these core factors shape the portal and content management platform of this company.
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