As the era of downloading and installing software shifts toward utilizing cloud-based services the traditional concepts of open source and the underlying open source communities that produce software is also shifting, in some cases quite dramatically. As a result of this shift, higher education has seen the emergence of new “cloud-based” open source models such as KualiCo and Instructure/Canvas which have commercial companies leading software development as well as hosting cloud-based services using that software. Although technically still “open source” as they release most of their code under open licenses, in these models the commercial entities have opted to not release key pieces of their systems as means to place barriers to others deploying and hosting on their own. For example, in both the case of KualiCo and Instructure, code related to running multi-tenant systems, which is crucial if you wish to host a cloud service yourself, are not released under open licenses.
“The OAE is like the open areas in a university where you meet, study and work in a shared environment.”