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FOSSA OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

FOSSA is #7 ranked solution in top Software Composition Analysis (SCA) tools. PeerSpot users give FOSSA an average rating of 8.8 out of 10. FOSSA is most commonly compared to Black Duck: FOSSA vs Black Duck. FOSSA is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 65% of users researching this solution on PeerSpot. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 28% of all views.
FOSSA Buyer's Guide

Download the FOSSA Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: August 2022

What is FOSSA?
Up to 90% of any piece of software is from open source, creating countless dependencies and areas of risk to manage. FOSSA is the most reliable automated policy engine for legal teams to maintain license compliance, security to fix vulnerabilities, and engineering to improve code quality across the entire software supply chain. As the only developer-native open source management platform, FOSSA fully integrates with your existing CI/CD pipeline to provide complete visibility and context earlier in the software development lifecycle. For the first time, teams can collaboratively shift left and audit, analyze, control, and remediate license issues and vulnerabilities right in their existing workflows.
FOSSA Customers

AppDyanmic, Uber, Twitter, Zendesk, Confluent

FOSSA Pricing Advice

What users are saying about FOSSA pricing:
  • "FOSSA is not cheap, but their offering is top-notch. It is very much a "you get what you pay for" scenario. Regardless of the price, I highly recommend FOSSA."
  • "Its price is reasonable as compared to the market. It is competitively priced in comparison to other similar solutions on the market. It is also quite affordable in terms of the value that it delivers as compared to its alternative of hiring a team."
  • FOSSA Reviews

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    Brett Fattori - PeerSpot reviewer
    Manager of Open Source Program Office at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 5
    Compatibility with a wide range of dev tools, web and "C-type", enables us to scan across our ecosystem, including legacy software
    Pros and Cons
    • "The most valuable feature is its ability to identify all of the components in a build, and then surface the licenses that are associated with it, allowing us to make a decision as to whether or not we allow a team to use the components. That eliminates the risk that comes with running consumer software that contains open source components."
    • "The solution provides contextualized, actionable, intelligence that alerts us to compliance issues, but there is still a little bit of work to be done on it. One of the issues that I have raised with FOSSA is that when it identifies an issue that is an error, why is it in error? What detail can they give to me? They've improved, but that still needs some work. They could provide more information that helps me to identify the dependencies and then figure out where they originated from."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it to scan for all licenses, to identify the open source licenses that are found, to identify licenses that are unknown or unrecognized so that we can deal with those, and we use it to make sure that our client-facing apps are compliant with open source licensing requirements.

    How has it helped my organization?

    I would rate FOSSA's compatibility with a wide range of developer ecosystem tools as quite high. It covers all of the popular languages that are used in software development today, which is mostly centered around web development. But it also has the ability to work with what I like to term as "traditional development," those things that are done using the C-type languages, like Objective-C, C itself, or C# for .NET — languages that compile into an application. I'm glad that they also support that. Their support for all of the ecosystem is pretty high. This compatibility is very beneficial to our open source management operations in that we have been able to handle the various shades across the organization. We've been in trading since 1975, and our software has been evolving since then. We have a lot of legacy stuff that falls into the areas of scanning that might be more complex, and FOSSA handles it quite well.

    Also, because of their policy engine and because of the ability to flag licenses, there is improved awareness in our organization of the licenses that our software contains and what the different requirements are of those licenses. It has raised awareness and understanding of when certain licenses are more problematic than others, because of the way we integrated it into our processes.

    In addition, FOSSA has decreased the time our team spends on troubleshooting because it identifies the issues, surfaces them, and brings them to my attention in several ways. It has definitely simplified things. It's hard to quantify how much time it has saved because I really had not been doing this in the absence of FOSSA. I haven't got anything to compare it to. 

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable feature is its ability to identify all of the components in a build, and then surface the licenses that are associated with it, allowing us to make a decision as to whether or not we allow a team to use the components. That eliminates the risk that comes with running consumer software that contains open source components. It allows us to be ahead on that so that we are in compliance with open source rules, so that our company is seen as a good steward of open source.

    We also like their policy engine because it is very simple in that it is a "red, yellow, and green" mechanism, like a stoplight that everybody's familiar with. Red to deny, yellow to flag, and green to approve. We found that to be in direct correlation with how we were viewing licenses. We've added a couple of policies since then that are not covered in FOSSA directly, but their policy engine has been flexible enough to allow us to accomplish adding what we call "white licenses." That means they have no color assigned yet because we've never seen them in our ecosystem. We have a way, through FOSSA, to identify those using the API, which extends the policy engine for us. It does the same for "black licenses," licenses that we just flat out deny.

    And because of the way their policy engine works, its accuracy is fairly high. It identifies multiple licenses on some components and makes a decision for us. It would be beneficial to be able to affect some of those, twiddle some knobs and change some dials in the background for how those are handled, but for the most part, it works all-around.

    What needs improvement?

    The solution provides contextualized, actionable, intelligence that alerts us to compliance issues, but there is still a little bit of work to be done on it. One of the issues that I have raised with FOSSA is that when it identifies an issue that is an error, why is it in error? What detail can they give to me? They've improved, but that still needs some work. They could provide more information that helps me to identify the dependencies and then figure out where they originated from. That would give me a better idea of where to look, rather than just generically searching the web. They do provide more information than they used to, which is good, but I still think that they have a ways to go with it.

    Another topic is the components tab of FOSSA. It has a couple of reports that tell me the packages that are being tracked and that allow me to look up packages. That could be expanded in several ways and fixed up in several ways. It could be expanded in that, right now, you can only search for and find packages that are in use in the organization. There is no way to search for all packages, even packages that we're not using. That would be really useful to my developers, for them to be able to come into FOSSA and get more information about components before they use them.

    The other thing on that tab, regarding the reports, is something that I've been working on with them for a while. The reports don't really work that well for us. They do provide good information but they perform poorly with either the number of projects, or components, in the system. Reports that worked when the load was low, are now timing out before finishing. Unfortunately, that makes it a feature that I can't really roll out to the rest of the organization. For example, the due diligence report and the audit report FOSSA has would be very beneficial to my teams, but until they work for all the teams, I can't roll it out. 

    So there is work that needs to be done on this page for reporting. If they're going to provide reports they should function and they should provide actionable information. They do provide actionable information but because they don't function, they're not really useful to me, and I need them to be. So the components tab needs work, or it needs to be removed, but I prefer that it gets the work.

    There are other little things that could be improved as well. On the issues tab, there is a problem with resolving issues that have been identified and that occur in a larger number of projects. It doesn't even have to be that many. We've got one component that is tied to 61 projects and we have tried to resolve it for all but it never actually works. It spins for a while, but it doesn't do anything.

    These aren't things that happen on a regular basis. They're not so much of an issue that the system doesn't work. There are a few other usability issues in the system, UI concerns that I have, and I bring those up on the Slack channel with them as I run into them. Quite often they address them very quickly.

    Buyer's Guide
    FOSSA
    August 2022
    Learn what your peers think about FOSSA. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: August 2022.
    621,327 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I've been using FOSSA for three years now.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It's quite stable - but when it's running on a single instance, it can become overloaded quickly if there's a lot of projects being scanned. We've been talking, for quite some time, about deploying it to a cluster so that it can handle the load. 

    It's good at what it does. But you have to put together a good plan for deploying it at scale along with your applications that are being scanned, to handle that kind of load. That's something that you have to plan for from the beginning. For us, because things were still evolving, we couldn't really plan for them. We had to adjust as we went.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    FOSSA enables us to deploy software at scale. We have been using it in an automated scanning process since the very beginning. We've made several tweaks to it throughout, but we're now at a point where, daily, we are scanning upwards of 800 commits, successful builds that are done in our system. It has scaled quite well, and we're now rolling out applications into cloud environments using Pivotal Cloud Foundry and it is functioning quite well with that as well. 

    We are also looking to scale its capabilities by deploying it into a cluster so that it can handle the amount of requests and other API functions that get hit on a daily basis.

    They have worked extremely closely with us to get it deployed on Kubernetes. From what I understand, we've been helping them to test it. We were at the beginning of it and they're on the cusp of making that a regular part of their solution. They have worked with us and made it very simple to install. We installed Kubernetes, and installed Rancher to manage it. Using Helm Charts, FOSSA created a deployment for us that made it easy to roll it out to the cluster and scale it as needed, using Rancher. It's scalable, but we're just getting to the point where we can deploy it to production. There are still a few steps remaining before we can launch, full-time, on the cluster.

    We have a bit of an issue getting individuals to use FOSSA, because we don't provide a consistent experience to all of the projects through FOSSA. There are still little differences between the ecosystems that have to be touched upon. We do a "white-glove" treatment before we roll it out to the teams. It's been growing as we get projects into a steady state where it's approachable by developers. Before it hits that steady state, I wouldn't want to put it in front of the developers because there would be too many questions on their end that would make them walk away from it before they used it. There is some license work that needs to be done before we communicate it to the developers, but that's because we want to provide a consistent experience. It's not an issue with FOSSA - rather, we want to make it so that a developer on one team feels the same as a developer on another team, when using it.

    How are customer service and support?

    Their technical support is good. They have been the most responsive company that I have ever worked with in my 28 years of doing software development. They are an understanding company. They are listening to my needs and they are willing to implement features that are, maybe, more useful to our company than to other companies, while always looking for how they could apply those features more generally. Because they're looking to grow their platform, I find them more willing to work with me. So overall, their technical support is fantastic.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We did not have a previous solution.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was straightforward. There were some growing pains because when we adopted FOSSA it was still a "zero dot" version. It wasn't even the official 1.0 release yet. But it has grown with us.

    It was very straightforward in that it was a simple Docker installation. All I needed was a machine to run it on. Making the connections within the organization, because of the way we're structured, was a little difficult to implement. The installation and integration, overall, were very straightforward.

    The initial deployment of it, from the time of installing it to the time where we were productive with it, was about six months, but that was because we had to figure out the internal connections within the organization to get the data we needed to be operating properly. It was not really an issue with FOSSA. FOSSA needs certain information and figuring out those linkages took some time.

    Our strategy, initially, was to go after projects that run through our software pipeline, and then we would approach the ones that were not involved in the software pipeline. But as we worked through the process, we found that there was more of a mandate to make things a part of the software pipeline. As a result, we stepped away from looking at things that were not a part of that software pipeline unless they were our client-facing applications, like our mobile applications. They're not built through our pipeline, they're built separately. Although we started out looking at it in terms of ones that are in the pipeline and ones that are not, we then said, "We'll just go with the ones that are in the pipeline," because eventually the ones that are not will be in the pipeline. Then we would only have to focus on the ones that will never be in the pipeline, which greatly simplified our deployment.

    What was our ROI?

    We have definitely seen return on our investment with FOSSA. We are at a point now where we are starting to see trust in the open source program office. We're seeing developers reach out to the open source program office because they see what's in FOSSA and they want to be more aware. They want to be more cautious, but they also want to know what's available to them. Using FOSSA to surface the information has brought more awareness to our developers of what's going on in the software they're creating. That awareness is bringing more understanding of open source and its impact on our software.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    Consider the cost of the product and what it provides in terms of your developers. We looked at the pricing schedule at the time, per developer seat and tried to understand what a developer was. The fixed seats didn't line up with what we thought actual usage could be. It's always a razor's edge when trying to convince upper management of the usefulness, while trying to justify the overall cost.

    When we evaluated our intended usage, we determined that our actual developer count was best represented by the number of developers that are making commits to projects being scanned by FOSSA during a 30-day window. Historically, how many developers have committed code to projects that are being tracked by FOSSA? We decided that those developers would need access to FOSSA, and we monitor for increases based on seasonality, as we hire or renew contractors, to determine what our average would be for licenses.

    Using this method we were able to determine the number of licenses we would need, and adjust later based on projections. We continually monitor our usage, which rises and falls periodically, but we average right about the number of actively, engaged developers we're licensed for. Being able to agree on something that can be calculated, that was backed by hard numbers, as opposed to just guessing how many developers would actually be engaged and using it, was something that management could get behind.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We did evaluate some alternative platforms before we got into this. We looked at Black Duck and we looked at FOSSology, which I believe is an open source solution, and we looked at FossID as well.

    With Black Duck, I didn't like the fact that features we were requesting, that we thought were necessary for our implementation strategy, would be thrown into a pool of ideas and their developers would pick and choose among those ideas. Whereas FOSSA immediately worked with us. In fact, before we had even bought anything, they had implemented a solution for what we needed. The fact that they went ahead and did it before we signed a licensing agreement with them, was fantastic. Black Duck did not want to do that kind of thing and I think that was because they're just so big.

    FOSSology is open source, and far from complete. We could invest our time in making it do what we needed, but the chances of getting that done in our time frame was slim to none. 

    FossID was a brand new solution, even newer than FOSSA at the time, and didn't have what I considered to be a cohesive business plan for their product. While providing scanning and reporting, it lacked a homogenous interface and seemed overly complex to use.

    What other advice do I have?

    My advice would be to understand your software development environments before you try implementing FOSSA. How does the software move through your system? How does it go from being source code to production software? Through that, you can identify the point where you want to place FOSSA. We did an evaluation and used our software delivery pipeline to identify what should be scanned, and that helped to increase acceptance.

    Others will understand better, once they know their software ecosystem's final, production quality software that consumers are going to use or ingest, that that is what FOSSA is best at doing. If they understand those connection points then they will have a better integration. Knowing what FOSSA can do, where to put it, was the biggest decision that we had to make and the hardest decision we had to make. FOSSA simplified it with their CLI app.

    The solution helps me work with both legal teams and DevOps, in a way. However, I still haven't been able to roll out FOSSA for general use by everybody. I don't know how useful it would be for the legal teams because they've already worked with me in establishing policies and then left it with my department to make decisions based on those policies. If there's ever a question about things, we have offline discussions. But they typically don't get into FOSSA because there's not much of an interface there for them, per se. I could see creating an interface that's more targeted at the legal side of things, but I don't feel that is necessary in our situation because I tend to handle the issues that might arise as legal questions. If I need to go further, I will talk to them. I might share some information from FOSSA, but I don't direct them to FOSSA because there's really nothing that I can show them that's going to give them what they need.

    The biggest lesson I have learned from using FOSSA is having patience to understand what the teams are using and why they're using it. This is all in the context of the fact that we went from being a company with no open source program office, and a very light policy touch on what was allowed and what wasn't allowed. So it has really been about patience in working with those teams, understanding their needs and FOSSA as a tool they're going to have to work to accept. But it was also important to listen to them so that I could make changes to the way that I had the FOSSA implementation done, to simplify their work. Asking them to do something new was a big ask in their already busy days, so making it as simple as possible was something that I had to figure out and patience is what really made that possible.

    When I initially tried to roll out FOSSA, I received a lot of pushback from what I would say is the "old guard" at my company. FOSSA was a company that had only been around for about eight to 10 months at the time. They were essentially a startup. Their CEO, Kevin, is a very brilliant guy. He has a finger on the pulse of the future of open source. Some of their actions and what they've done since I started working with them show that they really understand it. With the old guard of my company, I ran into ageism, where they said, This is a very young company with a bunch of young people. How are they going to know what to do in this particular industry?" That is something that other companies might run into: "Why should we go with a startup over something that's established, like a Black Duck?" The reason you should is because FOSSA is a hungry company, wanting to do good by their customers, and it's a company that cares about what their customers' needs are.

    Everybody that I had talked to at trade shows about FOSSA was happy with them as well, it seemed. They had their gripes and their complaints, just like I do, about functionality within the software. But overall, it simplifies our jobs, and others recognize this.

    Other companies that are trying to make a decision should be aware they may run into these kinds of issues. FOSSA is now just over three years old. It's still establishing itself against bigger companies. When Synopsis announced that they had acquired Black Duck, I went and looked at what they did as a company - they were into printed circuit boards, hardware on circuit boards, and hardware security. To me, that's a company that has no idea what open source software truly is. They might use it, but do they really have an in-depth understanding of it and the security around it? Just because they did security for PCBs doesn't mean that security in software was going to be a natural fit for them, and I still don't think it is.

    Some people stick with what they know, and are unwilling to look at something new. Those people should really give FOSSA a chance because, as a hungry company, FOSSA is going to be willing to work more with companies that adopt them, unlike larger companies. FOSSA is young - they're in tune with what's going on with modern software. Evaluating the newer option was the right choice for us, and for me.

    Overall, it's a great product. It's really well organized in its interface and it is targeted towards a manager of an open source program office. Other products I looked at seemed to be more targeted at developer operations. And because I wasn't specifically trying to be DevOps, FOSSA really worked. It really fits in with my workflow.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    On-premises
    Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    PeerSpot user
    Justin Giannone - PeerSpot reviewer
    Sr. Security Architect at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
    Real User
    Top 5
    Embedded within the software development lifecycle as close to the introduction of dependencies as possible
    Pros and Cons
    • "Their CLI tool is very efficient. It does not send your source code over to their servers. It just does fingerprinting. It is also very easy to integrate into software development practices."
    • "On the legal and policy sides, there is some room for improvement. I know that our legal team has raised complaints about having to approve the same dependency multiple times, as opposed to having them it across the entire organization."

    What is our primary use case?

    FOSSA provides a command line interface tool, and we always use the latest version of that. It gets pulled down automatically by some scripts that I've written, so we will always pull down its latest version.

    We're using it primarily for the free, open source license compliance portion of it. Those scripts that I've built have the ability to be able to fail builds on pull request checks, though we haven't started enforcing that yet. Therefore, we're really primarily using FOSSA as a dependency inventory tool, then our legal team can also review and give feedback to the teams about the licenses that they're using. In the future though, we are planning on leveraging FOSSA for that policy enforcement piece as well.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It lets legal sleep at night. We have been acquired by a parent company who has a much stricter policy around free, open source dependencies. The fact that we already had FOSSA in place, which had that inventory of the 13,000 dependencies, has drastically eased the discussions that we've needed to have with them. This is sort of tangential, but the reason why they're so much stricter than us is because they are traditionally not a SaaS-based company. Their software tends to be installed on-prem, which means that the free, open source license compliance piece becomes a much touchier subject for them.

    Any license type that is not categorized in either a denial, review, or approval state. This also ends up bringing up an alert that says, "Someone's using an uncategorized license. Should we add this to the approved or denial list?" I believe that those get applied across the entire organization. This functionality helps us identify the violations, then legal can come in and review as to whether or not there's action that needs to be taken. Recently, I've seen some back and forth between our legal team and FOSSA about improving this functionality.

    FOSSA helps the legal team interact and communicate with the engineering teams who are introducing the dependencies, which is all part of DevOps. In the context of DevOps, it absolutely helps in their communications with legal.

    What is most valuable?

    It is a combination of both features and the perspective that FOSSA tries to take, which is sort of different than a lot of their competitors. The main feature and perspective that they take is their desire to be embedded within the software development lifecycle as close to the introduction of dependencies as possible. That has allowed us to build these checks and FOSSA execution into the pull request checks that run automatically whenever an engineer opens a pull request to introduce new code changes into a code base.

    The solution’s compatibility with a wide range of developer ecosystem tools is incredibly easy to use. I've written a handful of scripts to even ease that process even more. It is at the point where, in order for one of our teams to integrate FOSSA into their development process, it requires them to add essentially two commands to their pull requests check pipeline. That builds in a bit more functionality than the FOSSA command line tool provides out-of-the-box. However, just executing FOSSA can be achieved by adding a single line to a continuous integration pipeline. With all of the various platforms that you can use to build your project, FOSSA is incredibly easy to integrate.

    Their CLI tool is very efficient. It does not send your source code over to their servers. It just does fingerprinting. It is also very easy to integrate into software development practices.

    What needs improvement?

    On the legal and policy sides, there is some room for improvement. I know that our legal team has raised complaints about having to approve the same dependency multiple times, as opposed to having them it across the entire organization. I believe that our legal team is working with FOSSA on improving those things. FOSSA is very open to our suggestions, requests, etc.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    We have had FOSSA for probably two to three years at this point. When we picked up FOSSA, they had only been on the market for roughly a year.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    There are times, and this is true of any SaaS offering, where they experienced transient issues every now and then. Occasionally, I'll get a team, saying, "My pull request check failed and it's coming up with FOSSA saying that it timed out," or that they're getting a 500 response. I tell them to wait an hour and try again, then I usually don't hear back from them. I would say that it's as stable as any SaaS offering that I can imagine out there. If I was to go and check their API status page, I think I would end up seeing at least 99 percent across the board on their services.

    We have had minor downtimes here and there that have been less than a day.

    They are just now releasing version 2 of their command line tool. That is the first major update that they have released for the CLI tool.

    For maintenance, there's just me from the technical side, and at most, two people on the legal side. I have to add an API key to a CI pipeline when someone new wants to integrate with FOSSA. I don't even know if that would equate to one percent of my responsibilities. We are constantly looking to improve. Therefore, we are actually looking at ways that I wouldn't need to do that. That literally the entire process would just be running that CLI command to generate the configuration file, add that configuration file to GitHub, and add these two commands to your pipeline, then everything should just work. That's in the future, but my responsibilities may even diminish even more.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    We have almost 200 projects currently using FOSSA. Those are all built into the pull request checks, and we are planning on extending their use, potentially even up into our parent company as well. I rarely get complaints from teams that their pull request checks are being held up or anything like that. They seem to scale at whatever size we need them to.

    The solution enables us to deploy software at scale as a global company. We have probably a few thousand nodes hosting our software in AWS and our private data center. We would not be able to confidently be able to deploy all of this stuff without knowing that we were compliant with these licenses.

    The largest set of users is engineering. The teams want to be able to get in there so they can see the results of the submissions, and whether or not they have any alerts that they need to talk to legal about. The next largest, which is a funny word to use for this because there are only two of them, would be the legal team, then there is myself from security. It's going to be interesting to see what users in our parent company want to be involved as well, because I know that they actually have a dedicated intellectual property group.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The technical support is fantastic. I have waited, at most, five days for them to fix bugs that we've identified in the CLI tool. They are knowledgeable, can escalate properly, and their turnaround time is excellent.

    Their CLI tool is also open source. I have actually had some of our engineers submit pull requests to them to fix bugs that they've not only identified, but figured out a fix for. They are open to merging outside pull requests as well.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    A lot of competitors that we had tried prior to FOSSA seemed to want to be more of an audit tool, which gets run at the end of a release. Unfortunately, at that point, there is no flexibility or time to correct a policy violation. You're already at code freeze. The team has already validated and tested the build. Now, all of a sudden, you're going to tell them that they have to go in and tear out a dependency. There's no way that you would be able to do that within the timeframe of a release. Whereas, FOSSA wants to come in as soon as that dependency gets introduced. This reduces the amount of work and everything that would need to be done in order to replace that dependency with something else.

    Prior to me getting involved with this whole effort, we had been using Black Duck. I believe it was very expensive and we were never able to get it to function the way that we wanted it to. 

    When I came onboard and started looking at stuff, we were using a provider called WhiteSource who was not able to fill that pull request check feature that I really wanted because it was slightly tangential. However, I came from an engineering background before coming over to security with about 15 years of software engineering, so I had a very opinionated view of where these checks should be happening. WhiteSource just flat out could not support the use case that I had.

    We purchased and tried to use Black Duck before bringing on WhiteSource. I'm not sure how long we had Black Duck floating around for, since that actually predated me. However, I tried to work with WhiteSource for a year in order to try get their offering into the process and add the stuff that I wanted to do. We were completely unable to do it.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was straightforward. They made it so easy to run and submit a build to their platform. In order to set up a configuration file, it's running one command out of the CLI tool, then submitting it; you run a build and do all the fingerprinting, then submitting all that data up to the FOSSA platform is just one more command with the CLI tool. They streamlined everything behind the scenes for us.

    We are still rolling it out to teams who have not adopted FOSSA, e.g., if we have a new project, then we ask them to set up FOSSA for their project. I literally tell them that it's less than an hour's worth of work. If your guy is working, and he's telling you that setting up FOSSA is taking longer than an hour, you should probably have him come talk to me, because he's doing something wrong. When people start pushing back, and they're like, "Oh, we don't have time to put FOSSA in." I'm like, "It takes less than an hour. You have time to put FOSSA in."

    We are going to need to reevaluate our implementation strategy as we work more with our parent company. Now that we have exposed them to FOSSA and the way that we've been using it, they're interested in adopting FOSSA themselves, and they are a far larger organization than us. 

    What about the implementation team?

    I was part of the PoC, initial setup, and everything since then.

    What was our ROI?

    It is not a moneymaker. It's more of a compliance tool. It helps legal sleep at night, so to the extent that our legal team is better rested, we've seen return on investment.

    There is no way that we would be able to manage the volume of open source licenses that our organization uses without using a tool at least similar to FOSSA. Off the top of my head, we have somewhere around 13,000 unique dependencies identified in FOSSA today. That is with some projects not quite being properly configured as well. We expect that number will likely go up to 15,000. Just trying to maintain anything with that volume using a manual process is impossible.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    FOSSA is not cheap, but their offering is top-notch. It is very much a "you get what you pay for" scenario. Regardless of the price, I highly recommend FOSSA.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    I poked around at other options. Granted, this was two or three years ago. So, I only remember the guys who sort of stuck out in my mind, like SonarQube. 

    Because we're also a SaaS company, it's good to eat at least some of your own dog food. We ended up going with the SaaS offering. This also means that there is less maintenance on our side, since the SaaS offering gets updated automatically. We don't have to worry about making sure that those nodes are up and running within our infrastructure, and our infrastructure guys don't have to worry about maintaining them.

    I know that FOSSA would love if we did use the solution’s security/vulnerability management features, but the organization is going in a different direction. We're going to end up going with the GitHub Dependabot offering. This is mainly because all of our source code is already in GitHub, who has automated a lot of those checks, even the remediation. They have kind of automated the non-vulnerable already, and just keeping all of that information in one place is also beneficial rather than spreading it around multiple tools.

    If FOSSA did the automated piece that GitHub has Dependabot doing where Dependabot identifies one of your dependencies as being vulnerable, then they will automatically open a pull request upgrade that package to a non-vulnerable version. If FOSSA can introduce something along those lines, then I would be more interested in their vulnerability and security management piece. The other thing I would say is that GitHub offers the Dependabot feature at no additional cost, which is also a very significant selling point that I think FOSSA would have a very hard time competing with.

    What other advice do I have?

    With my engineering background, I was supporting legal from the technical side of things in order to get the processes and checks embedded into the development process. The accuracy of the policies and checks was handled by the legal team.

    I recommend taking a look at, or at least considering, the approach that I took, where I wrote some scripts to automate the steps within a continuous integration pipeline. We've actually open sourced the scripts that we used. They're on GitHub. While the FOSSA CLI tool is fantastic, there tends to be a bit more functionality that you need to build around it that's a little more specific for your organization, and scripting works well for that.

    Biggest lesson learnt: There's a tool out there that does free, open source license compliance that wants to come in and be part of the software development life cycle early, i.e., as soon as the developer introduces a dependency. 

    Before I found FOSSA, and after my experience with WhiteSource, I thought that I was going to have to write my own solution, which would have been a nightmare because I'm not a lawyer and don't know necessarily how to parse nor understand all these licensed languages. It was a huge undertaking, and I'm one person. Now, since I'm technically not on the engineering team, it's very difficult for me to get engineering resources beyond myself.

    One of the features that FOSSA has on their roadmap is that they want to provide functionality before a developer ever introduces a dependency, so they can sign into FOSSA, run a search, and find out whether or not that dependency is going to violate policy. Just being able to move those checks earlier into the development process saves a ton of development work and time.

    I would put FOSSA as a solid eight out of 10. Nothing is perfect. There is always room for improvement. However, they are a fantastic tool and an incredibly responsive organization.

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Public Cloud

    If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

    Other
    Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    FOSSA
    August 2022
    Learn what your peers think about FOSSA. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: August 2022.
    621,327 professionals have used our research since 2012.
    Data Privacy Officer at a healthcare company with 51-200 employees
    Real User
    Top 20
    Reduces our costs and timeline and allows us to go very granular and automate the scanning of licenses
    Pros and Cons
    • "One of the things that I really like about FOSSA is that it allows you to go very granular. For example, if there's a package that's been flagged because it's subject to a license that may be conflicts with or raises a concern with one of the policies that I've set, then FOSSA enables you to go really granular into that package to see which aspects of the package are subject to which licenses. We can ultimately determine with our engineering teams if we really need this part of the package or not. If it's raising this flag, we can make really actionable decisions at a very micro level to enable the build to keep pushing forward."
    • "One thing that can sometimes be difficult with FOSSA is understanding all that it can do. One of the ways that I've been able to unlock some of those more advanced features is through conversations with the absolutely awesome customer success team at FOSSA, but it has been a little bit difficult to find some of that information separately on my own through FAQs and other information channels that FOSSA has. The improvement is less about the product itself and more about empowering FOSSA customers to know and understand how to unlock its full potential."

    What is our primary use case?

    I lead the legal team at my organization, and we use FOSSA largely in partnership with our engineering teams. We use FOSSA for open-source software licensing scans and diligence.

    We are using its latest enterprise version.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It has reduced the time that we used to take to go through the internal review and the diligence of a build and then push that build to be live on production. It has not only reduced the time; it has also reduced some of the pain points to make us more operationally efficient. It has allowed us to scale up our engineering efforts in a way that enabled us to push multiple builds for different product features and create more agency for those teams. From a timeline perspective, we've had it for two years, and our baseline prior to that was very narrow, but it has significantly reduced the time taken for a more complex build with diligence reviews from maybe two or three weeks to almost instantaneously. Of course, the second component to the timeline reduction is that we also don't need to staff someone to conduct those reviews. They are automated through FOSSA.

    Its actionable intelligence helps with triage. It doesn't do recommendations, but it highlights those issues so that I and my team can move them on very quickly and ultimately unblock those issues for our engineering teams. It doesn't make recommendations per se, as far as I know.

    It contextualizes the specific license that maybe has an issue or that is approved or rejected in a package. It contextualizes that within the package and the other licenses that are in play. So, it allows us to isolate that portion of the package and make a decision if the license was rejected or flagged. It allows us to make the decision on the package to say, "This piece of it, do we need it or do we not?" We can then move forward.

    I do find the license solution of FOSSA very holistic in terms of collaboration between the legal teams and DevOps. We don't use the security solution of FOSSA, so I can't speak to that, but I would agree wholeheartedly that it's a very holistic tool for both teams. It has enabled us to build out a process that removes some of the typical pain points between an R&D team and the legal team when it comes to third-party license scanning. One of the pain points is often timing and how long it takes to typically do these reviews manually. FOSSA does them near instantaneously. The second pain point is around isolating issues. I can't even imagine how long a manual review of a package would take, and fortunately, we haven't had to do that manually because FOSSA does that for us. From a relationship standpoint, it has removed some of such pain points between the legal and engineering teams to allow us to work faster and smarter and ultimately push new features and projects to production in a more efficient way.

    It 1000% enables us to deploy software at scale. Our engineering teams are constantly working on new builds. They're scaling those builds out and upwards, but the legal team is fixed. So, we leverage technology like FOSSA to be able to scale up our legal operations, meet the engineering teams' needs, and keep track with them without having to bring in an additional FTE to manually do some of the work, which would be required if we didn't have FOSSA. It helps us reduce our costs, and it also reduces the timeline to better support the engineering teams.

    It has absolutely decreased the time that our staff spends on troubleshooting. It is difficult to know how much time it has decreased because it has been so long since we've had FOSSA, and it is hard to remember those baselines. If I were to estimate based on the number of projects that we have in play from the engineering teams, it has reduced our demands on the team by probably 80 hours on a quarter by quarter basis, if not more.

    Because of being on the legal side, I'm less familiar with its compatibility with the wide range of developer ecosystem tools, but our engineering teams use FOSSA for their builds and for pushing them out to production. So, from my understanding after many conversations with them, FOSSA makes it much easier and more efficient for them to make their builds and then ultimately get to the production phase.

    What is most valuable?

    FOSSA has a feature that allows you to automate the scanning of licenses. You can do that by setting up different policies that are custom-tailored for your organization, which in my case are legal policies or intellectual property policies. These policies are used to scan the open-source licenses and flag them, approve them, or reject them based on your company's preferences. One of the things that I really love about FOSSA is the way we can take what would manually require probably hundreds of hours of individual review and automate that through this platform.

    In terms of ease of use and accuracy of its out-of-the-box policy engine, it is certainly very easy to use. It is also very accurate. There were some things that we custom-tailored based on our risk appetite and our internal policies related to intellectual property. The out-of-the-box policies were great, but we just slightly tailored them for what we needed for our use case. The majority did not need tailoring, and across the board, all of the policies that were out of the box were consistent with the decisions that I would have made in the absence of internal policies that I had to be mindful of.

    One of the things that I really like about FOSSA is that it allows you to go very granular. For example, if there's a package that's been flagged because it's subject to a license that may be conflicts with or raises a concern with one of the policies that I've set, then FOSSA enables you to go really granular into that package to see which aspects of the package are subject to which licenses. We can ultimately determine with our engineering teams if we really need this part of the package or not. If it's raising this flag, we can make really actionable decisions at a very micro level to enable the build to keep pushing forward.

    What needs improvement?

    One thing that can sometimes be difficult with FOSSA is understanding all that it can do. One of the ways that I've been able to unlock some of those more advanced features is through conversations with the absolutely awesome customer success team at FOSSA, but it has been a little bit difficult to find some of that information separately on my own through FAQs and other information channels that FOSSA has. 

    The improvement is less about the product itself and more about empowering FOSSA customers to know and understand how to unlock its full potential. More training would be helpful. When we first purchased FOSSA, there was no real onboarding that I was a part of. That could just be because FOSSA did an onboarding with someone else on the team, and I inherited that after the fact, but onboarding would be very helpful. Another thing that would be really helpful is building out more documentation for more advanced use cases of FOSSA. One, in particular, would be for the use case where FOSSA can help you really drill down on a specific package and what licenses are flagged or rejected in that package, and how to resolve those within the system. This was something about which I couldn't find documentation on the FOSSA website, and I had to have the CS team walk me through that.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using this solution for about two years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It is very stable. We have not experienced any downtime.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It scales very well. One of the things that I love is that the engineering teams have been able to load more and more projects into FOSSA and build out their pipelines. FOSSA also has integrations with Slack, and these integrations enable FOSSA to notify and push notifications on Slack after a scan has been completed and the issues have been identified. That's very helpful from my perspective and from a team's perspective because it creates visibility. It also enables me to not spend all day every day in the FOSSA platform. Instead, I only need to go in when I receive a notification.

    In terms of its usage, it is adopted a hundred percent in our company. In terms of users, there are two people from the legal team who use FOSSA. Largely, the entire engineering org uses FOSSA in one way or another, and its users range from the Chief Technology Officer, who oversees the engineering team, to director-level people in the engineering team. One in particular who uses FOSSA a lot and with whom I partner is the director of platform and security at my organization. There are others as well, such as individual engineers, engineering managers, and our security manager.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    When I couldn't find the answer to a question that I had, I was able to turn to our customer success manager who then was able to connect me. We jumped on a Zoom call with probably one of their platform engineers. Three of us were then able to recreate the issue and work through it together. On top of that, they were able to help me anticipate future issues on that point and how to navigate them. It was a near-term troubleshooting solution and a long-term way to work more efficiently. They're responsive and knowledgeable.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We didn't use any solution previously.

    How was the initial setup?

    I don't know if its initial setup was complex or straightforward. I was a part of the initial setup, but I wasn't the primary owner of the initial setup. I was a stakeholder who was consulted and ultimately would become the primary owner, but I wasn't a part of the actual setup piece. Eventually, the setup was transitioned over to me where I took full ownership. 

    I don't have a whole lot of visibility on the number of hours per se, but I remember from the time of purchase to the time we stood it up, it was relatively quick and brief.

    What was our ROI?

    FOSSA is well worth the investment. It is an opportunity to scale your operations, especially for a legal team to maintain pace with your technical teams, especially your engineering teams, in a cost-efficient way. Instead of using a platform like FOSSA, the alternative might be to hire one or two FTEs where their full-time role is to manually scan the open-source licenses. If you were to do that, you have an additional cost, additional overhead, and additional risk. With something like FOSSA, you have something that's easily auditable, easy to roll out of the box, and easy to scale. It's a no-brainer.

    The auditability is critical. There have been a handful of conversations that I've had with Enterprise customers at my company where they've requested reports related to open-source compliance and dependencies. If you were to pull this data manually, it would probably take months to track down the data, verify it, and generate the report for a single build, whereas FOSSA does that almost instantaneously through the platform. It produces an auditable record that you can then share with customers and investors as you're going through a diligence exercise.

    What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

    Its price is reasonable as compared to the market. It is competitively priced in comparison to other similar solutions on the market. 

    It is also quite affordable in terms of the value that it delivers as compared to its alternative of hiring a team.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We did explore and had demos of other solutions. One of the solutions was WhiteSource. I wasn't involved in the ultimate decision-making process. I was, sort of, consulted, but I was not ultimately involved. I think it came down to the platform itself in terms of usability and the support for our use cases. That was the tipping point.

    What other advice do I have?

    I would rate FOSSA a nine out of 10 in terms of efficiency, scaling, and speed. I would rate it a 10 if the documentation to really get into advanced features was more widely available. 

    Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

    Public Cloud
    Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    PeerSpot user
    Eric Griswold - PeerSpot reviewer
    Principal Release Engineer at Puppet
    Real User
    Top 10
    Does a good job showing us if we're using open source licenses that conflict with our closed source components
    Pros and Cons
    • "What I really need from FOSSA, and it does a really good job of this, is to flag me when there are particular open source licenses that cause me or our legal department concern. It points out where a particular issue is, where it comes from, and the chain that brought it in, which is the most important part to me."
    • "I would like the FOSSA API to be broader. I would like not to have to interact with the GUI at all, to do the work that I want to do. I would like them to do API-first development, rather than a focus on the GUI."

    What is our primary use case?

    Our major use case is to do open source license compliance. Puppet Enterprise consists of about 90 open source packages under constant development. And it also has some components which are not open source. When we release Puppet Enterprise, we have to make sure that anything that we're relying on is something that we are allowed to use, in an open source sense.

    It does do security scanning, which is something that we're interested in and want to do, but we've only been using FOSSA casually for that.

    I am the only person really running the FOSSA jobs. I have a FOSSA job that runs daily, that scans all of our important repositories and reports back to me and the release engineering team about what it found. When we go to do a release, we run a report from FOSSA which contains all of the open source licenses in our product and we do a rescan of that to make sure that there aren't any flagged licenses inside of our product. That's our use case.

    None of the actual engineers are worried about it. Only when something gets flagged do I contact them and say, "Hey, this license isn't working for us, so we need to find something else."

    FOSSA is a cloud project and it contains a CLI component that's open source.

    How has it helped my organization?

    What we don't want to do is publish our closed source stuff under GPLv3, so we need to make sure we're not using any GPLv3 inside of our product. FOSSA does a good job of showing us if we're using licenses from the open source world that conflict with our needs for our closed source components.

    Prior to a Puppet Enterprise release, it would take approximately two to three weeks of dedicated engineering time by a single release engineer to go through license compliance. We just did a release in late July or early August, and with FOSSA our license compliance review took five to ten minutes. That is an enormous difference. It has helped to decrease the time that we spend on troubleshooting by huge amounts.

    What I really need from FOSSA—and it does a really good job of this—is to flag me when there are particular open source licenses that cause me or our legal department concern. It points out where a particular issue is, where it comes from, and the chain that brought it in, which is the most important part to me. Because there's a chain of dependencies, it's hard to find fourth- and fifth-level dependencies inside that chain, and FOSSA does a really good job finding that stuff and reporting how it got there.

    That intelligence provides help with triage and remediation, in a sense. That is, the triage and the remediation on this stuff is to just not use that stuff. With the licensing it just says, "Hey, there's a license here that you might be concerned with." And from there, the remediation is to not use that particular package.

    What is most valuable?

    The most valuable part is the open source license compliance.

    The solution’s out-of-the-box policy engine's ease of use is very high. It works extremely well. That's easy to quantify. Its accuracy seems really good, but I have not diligently measured it. When we have checked what it is doing, it has all come out great. We're extremely happy with the results, but I can't say that it is an accurate product.

    The solution’s compatibility with developer ecosystem tools is pretty good. There is some stuff within the C++ world that we haven't been able to get it to work very well with, but that's a really small amount of what we do. Most of our stuff is in Clojure and in Ruby and all the things that we want FOSSA to do there are great. It's not like we have a wide scope of developers who are using it. I'm effectively the only person actually using FOSSA. I just gather up all the information and all the repos from all the other parts of the company and run scans on them daily. I'm the major customer here.

    What needs improvement?

    I would like the FOSSA API to be broader. I would like not to have to interact with the GUI at all, to do the work that I want to do. I would like them to do API-first development, rather than a focus on the GUI.

    There were also some reporting things that I thought could be better. I talked to FOSSA about this. A lot of times when they were reporting, their labels did not match. Classically, there hadn't been a way to get well labeled output. It was just in HTML or PDF or CSV. They put out a JSON version of things that is certainly helpful. So that part's fine.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using FOSSA for about eight months.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    Any stability issues I have found were from things I did. I've had some chats with FOSSA about it, and we've talked about what could be some gray areas between me and them, but I haven't had time to investigate. So I'm not going to blame FOSSA for any stability issues at the moment. I think most of them have been on me, and there haven't been that many.

    What I've got at the moment are some scans that slap on a fairly regular basis and I don't know why yet. It looks like it's something to do with the way that I'm doing scans rather than anything that is on the FOSSA side.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    I haven't measured the scalability. It just does its thing. I don't think I'm taxing it in the least bit. But I haven't seen any limitations at all on the Fossa side. None.

    It's doing the one task that we bought it for, and it's doing it quite well. I would like to expand the use into the vulnerability scanning part, but that's not my department. But it is doing precisely the job that I want it to do and I'm quite happy with it. I don't plan on changing much with it right now.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    My experience with their technical support has really been quite good. There have been times where things have languished in the support queue for a little while before they got to them, but that's been the outlying stuff, most of the time. I've had direct access both to my account rep and to the engineering folks there, and we've had some really good conversations over time. So I'm really pleased.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    Prior to using FOSSA, we didn't have any other tool in place for license scanning. We came to the realization that we needed a tool like this for open source management because none of the engineers who had to do the two weeks of manual license review work wanted to be doing it. We all hated it. So if there was a tool to take care of it, we were all saying, "Yes, let's get that."

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was extremely straightforward: sign in to the GUI and download the CLI. I did have to write some shell scripts to do the daily scan, but that was on me. I just wanted to do it my way.

    From licensing it until bringing it into production on a day-to-day basis, it took about a day and a half. I got reviews of it by other engineers, but I was the one who was doing it.

    What was our ROI?

    I haven't done any calculations. I'm just glad that I have a tool to replace a bunch of manual drudgery.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    For vulnerability scanning we're using JFrog Xray. We're using both FOSSA and JFrog Xray at the moment, and most of our production folks are relying on Xray.

    Xray and FOSSA, in vulnerability scanning, approach the problem in two very different ways. We have some inertia over JFrog at the moment. People who have looked at the solutions, within our company, like both for different reasons.

    What other advice do I have?

    There is a temptation to try to insert FOSSA into continuous integration. That was certainly my temptation. To me, that is more work than it ought to be. Sequestering FOSSA into its own job worked out better than trying to insert it into continuous integration. It does not need to be run into a continuous integration. It's not something you need on every commit. That would be an overuse of the tool. Being able to do it as a side project keeps unnecessary failures from happening and it keeps a lot of other things, like unnecessary noise, from happening.

    However, that's my use case for my particular setup. I can imagine other use cases where having it inside continuous integration would be useful. But for my use case, while that was my first temptation, that was an incorrect approach. Having it as a side job that stands on a schedule, rather than part of the continuous integration, was much more successful.

    In terms of FOSSA's security and vulnerability management features, I am familiar with them. Our security team uses other tools for those needs at the moment. They've been stuck on them and it has mostly been inertia that has stopped us from changing to or adopting FOSSA more widely. In my opinion, there are some use cases inside of FOSSA, for the security aspect, which are better than our tools. But it is up to the security team to decide if they want to do it. There's been some poking at it over the months, but no serious migration, as of yet. Those parts of FOSSA could be used by us in future, but not at the moment.

    As for the background and information the solution’s security/vulnerability management features provide on security workflows, it's basically CVE scanning, often before the CVEs get published. So whenever there is a security alert of some sort, it will publish whatever is known based upon all the ongoing, conflicting databases of security scans. It's a helpful "Hey, this bit of software that you're using is known to contain these particular vulnerabilities."

    The reporting on security and vulnerabilities is pretty good. As I said, I've only used it casually, so I can't really say anything of great value. I haven't looked at it for a while. But I found the reporting, like all their reporting, to be quite clear, understandable, and straightforward. But my exposure to it isn't enough that I can't be more than vague.

    Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    PeerSpot user
    Program Manager at a consumer goods company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Top 10
    Improves productivity by saving a lot of time for our software developers
    Pros and Cons
    • "The support team has just been amazing, and it helps us to have a great support team from FOSSA. They are there to triage and answer all our questions which come up by using their product."
    • "I would like more customized categories because our company is so big. This is doable for them. They are still in the stages of trying to figure this out since we are one of their biggest companies that they support."

    What is our primary use case?

    We use it to scan all of our open source projects, including all of our internal projects that people use.

    We are about to roll it out to the whole company. Currently, we're only using it for open source projects, making sure people are scanning before they get the project approved.

    How has it helped my organization?

    FOSSA's compatibility with the wide range of developer ecosystem tools is great. It definitely saves us a lot of time and helps us figure out what security vulnerabilities are going on. Since we can't do it ourselves, we need FOSSA.

    The solution provides contextualized, actionable intelligence that alerts us to compliance issues. The intelligence provides help with triage and remediation. The solution reacts really quickly to triage every question or anything going on that needs help.

    What is most valuable?

    It cuts the software engineers work a lot. Because if it is already approved and scanned, then they don't have to do it again. 

    The solution is holistic. Our legal teams and DevOps work hand in hand with it. For example, we have a legal team who is part of the setup for FOSSA. 

    What needs improvement?

    I would like more customized categories because our company is so big. This is doable for them. They are still in the stages of trying to figure this out since we are one of their biggest companies that they support. I do feel like we are being heard and they are working on trying to give us what we asked for.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using it for two years.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    FOSSA has been pretty stable. There haven't been websites down, etc. We are still building on top of it, which is great. We are adding more features which we didn't know that we needed. We are still getting feedback from developers at the company on what they need and what the solution can do for them.

    My team of two does the maintenance for FOSSA.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    The scalability has been pretty perfect.

    The majority of the user roles are software engineers. We have about 3,000 to 4,000 software engineers who will be using it. Currently, I think we have about 1,000 employees who probably have used it, or maybe a little less. We are about to roll it out to the whole company, so that will be hitting the majority of all our engineers.

    Right now, it's already in the system. We just haven't yet announced that it is in the system for use. 

    FOSSA enables us to deploy software at scale.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    The technical support is really good. They are very persistent and support what we need by answering all of our questions. They answer right away. 

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We did not use another solution previously.

    How was the initial setup?

    The initial setup was straightforward. It was very easy in order to have their platform installed into our company-wide platform for internal users. They gave us what they needed, and we gave them what they needed.

    Our deployment took about a week.

    For our implementation strategy, we had to figure out what was needed in order for FOSSA to be on our platform along with the needs to onboard an external platform into our system.

    What about the implementation team?

    The deployment required three or four people: the IT team, the FOSSA team. and myself. My experience with the FOSSA team with great. The deployment went smoothly. They were there for 100 percent life support. Anything that was needed was found and triaged.

    What was our ROI?

    It takes probably a week to get everything scanned and approved before you can use it. Therefore, we are probably seeing about a couple of days or weeks of times saving per code or project for this solution. This is because it would take some time to scan, have it looked at, reviewed, and get approval.

    It improves productivity, saving a lot of time for our software developers. 

    What other advice do I have?

    If this is the type of product that you're looking for, they are one of the best products that you can use. The support team has just been amazing, and it helps us to have a great support team from FOSSA. They are there to triage and answer all our questions which come up by using their product.

    I am not a daily user. I do more of the program management side of setting it up for everyone. I don't actually use it on a day-to-day type of basis.

    I would rate the solution a 10 out of 10.

    Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    PeerSpot user
    Application Security Specialist at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees
    Real User
    Gets us a list of all licenses for compliance and easy to use with a wide range of developer tools
    Pros and Cons
    • "Being able to know the licenses of the libraries is most valuable because we sell products, and we need to provide to the customers the licenses that we are using."
    • "On the dashboard, there should be an option to increase the column width so that we can see the complete name of the GitHub repository. Currently, on the dashboard, we see the list of projects, but to see the complete name, you have to hover your mouse over an item, which is annoying."

    What is our primary use case?

    I am on the security side, and I help developers in implementing this solution. We use this solution to know the licenses of the libraries for the legal part.

    In terms of deployment, I go to the website, so it is a SaaS version.

    How has it helped my organization?

    When we sell products to the customer, we need to give them a file with different licenses. FOSSA enables us to do that. It is useful for licensing compliance.

    FOSSA provides contextualized and actionable intelligence that alerts you to compliance issues. I do receive alerts, but I am not the one who is managing this part.

    What is most valuable?

    Being able to know the licenses of the libraries is most valuable because we sell products, and we need to provide to the customers the licenses that we are using.

    It is easy to use with a wide range of developer ecosystem tools, and I would rate it a 10 out of 10 from this perspective.

    It is holistic in terms of collaboration between the legal teams and DevOps. As a security specialist, I'm just helping developers to set up their repositories. It is the legal team that takes a case up with the Dev team.

    What needs improvement?

    On the dashboard, there should be an option to increase the column width so that we can see the complete name of the GitHub repository. Currently, on the dashboard, we see the list of projects, but to see the complete name, you have to hover your mouse over an item, which is annoying.

    We can rename a GitHub report, but the problem is that if legal changes the name and says, "Okay, this repository is part of the solution with a specific name," I lose the specific URL of the GitHub repository. I no longer know which one it is. They should make this information available.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using FOSSA for one year.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It looks great to me in terms of stability.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    Currently, only four people are directly using FOSSA in the browser. Its users include the legal team and me. I'm helping developers with the setup, but they are not directly using FOSSA in the browser.

    Its usage is 100% for the applications with which we are using it. 

    How are customer service and technical support?

    Their support is great. I would rate them a 10 out of 10. Generally, I talk to my customer success contact. He is really responsive, and he always finds a solution. He is also always available for our call. 

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We were using another solution. We switched because FOSSA was easier to set up. It was also the right one for the licenses for the libraries.

    How was the initial setup?

    I was involved in the initial setup of FOSSA, and it was straightforward. It was really easy to set up, and our customer success contact was really helpful. For all the projects, it took two months.

    In terms of the deployment strategy, we start with some projects, and when we know that we want to sign up with FOSSA, we evaluate it for other projects.

    What about the implementation team?

    I did it myself. In terms of maintenance, it doesn't require any maintenance from our side.

    Which other solutions did I evaluate?

    We didn't evaluate other solutions. This was the only one because my legal team colleagues wanted to try it.

    What other advice do I have?

    It was easy to set up. You can easily set it up by looking at the documentation.

    I would rate FOSSA a 10 out of 10. 

    Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    PeerSpot user
    Real User
    Reduces the duration and the effort for identifying open-source licensing issues
    Pros and Cons
    • "Policies and identification of open-source licensing issues are the most valuable features. It reduces the time needed to identify open-source software licensing issues."
    • "For open-source management, FOSSA's out-of-the-box policy engine is easy to use, but the list of licenses is not as complete as we would like it to be. They should add more open-source licenses to the selection."

    What is our primary use case?

    We are using it to identify licensing issues in open-source software. It is a SaaS offering.

    I am an attorney. So, I don't use the front end of the product. I don't manage, model, or measure it.

    How has it helped my organization?

    It reduced the duration and the effort required to identify open-source licensing issues.

    It provides contextualized and actionable intelligence that alerts us to licensing issues. I work with licensing issue alerts, and I receive an email that directs me back to the licensing issue in FOSSA.

    It provides help to triage or remediate a licensing issue. It identifies the licensing issue and the software involved.

    What is most valuable?

    Policies and identification of open-source licensing issues are the most valuable features. It reduces the time needed to identify open-source software licensing issues.

    It is holistic in terms of collaboration between the legal teams and DevOps. I'm legal, and I work with DevOps. It identifies licensing issues in DevOps projects that legal can review.

    What needs improvement?

    For open-source management, FOSSA's out-of-the-box policy engine is easy to use, but the list of licenses is not as complete as we would like it to be. They should add more open-source licenses to the selection.

    They should also reduce the number of false-positive identifications.

    For how long have I used the solution?

    I have been using this solution for one year.

    What do I think about the stability of the solution?

    It seems stable. It is there when I go to access it.

    What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

    It meets the needs of our organization. I'm an attorney, and I know that developers use it, but I don't know how many developers use it.

    How are customer service and technical support?

    I have used their technical support, and they've resolved any issues that I've identified. They do a good job.

    Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

    We used a different solution. The decision to switch was made before I arrived.

    What other advice do I have?

    The marketing material that they have is adequate for explaining the product. 

    We are not using FOSSA for security or vulnerability management.

    I would rate FOSSA an eight out of 10. It works.

    Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
    PeerSpot user
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free FOSSA Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.
    Updated: August 2022
    Buyer's Guide
    Download our free FOSSA Report and get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions.