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FOSSA Pros and Cons

FOSSA Pros

Manager of Open Source Program Office at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
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.
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Associate General Counsel at Circleci
FOSSA provided us with contextualized, easily actionable intelligence that alerted us to compliance issues. I could tell FOSSA exactly what I cared about and they would tell me when something was out of policy. I don't want to hear from the compliance tool unless I have an issue that I need to deal with. That was what was great about FOSSA is that it was basically "Here's my policy and only send me an alert if there's something without a policy." I thought that it was really good at doing that.
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Sr. Security Architect at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
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.
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Learn what your peers think about FOSSA. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
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GY
Sr. Director of Open Source at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
I found FOSSA's out-of-the-box policy engine to be accurate and that it was tuned appropriately to the settings that we were looking for. The policy engine is pretty straightforward... I find it to be very straightforward to make small modifications to, but it's very rare that we have to make modifications to it. It's easy to use. It's a four-category system that handles most cases pretty well.
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CL
Data Privacy Officer at a healthcare company with 51-200 employees
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.
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BG
Attorney at a legal firm with 11-50 employees
The most valuable feature is definitely the ease and speed of integrating into build pipelines, like a Jenkins pipeline or something along those lines. The ease of a new development team coming on board and integrating FOSSA with a new project, or even an existing project, can be done so quickly that it's invaluable and it's easy to ask the developers to use a tool like this. Those developers greatly value the very quick feedback they get on any licensing or security vulnerability issues.
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Principal Release Engineer at Puppet
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.
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CL
Program Manager at a consumer goods company with 10,001+ employees
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.
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MW
Application Security Specialist at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees
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.
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Private
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.
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FOSSA Cons

Manager of Open Source Program Office at a financial services firm with 5,001-10,000 employees
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.
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Associate General Counsel at Circleci
I wish there was a way that you could have a more global rollout of it, instead of having to do it in each repository individually. It's possible, that's something that is offered now, or maybe if you were using the CI Jenkins, you'd be able to do that. But with Travis, there wasn't an easy way to do that. At least not that I could find. That was probably the biggest issue.
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Sr. Security Architect at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees
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.
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Learn what your peers think about FOSSA. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
541,462 professionals have used our research since 2012.
GY
Sr. Director of Open Source at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
Security scanning is an area for improvement. At this point, our experience is that we're only scanning for license information in components, and we're not scanning for security vulnerability information. We don't have access to that data. We use other tools for that. It would be an improvement for us to use one tool instead of two, so that we just have to go through one process instead of two.
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CL
Data Privacy Officer at a healthcare company with 51-200 employees
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.
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BG
Attorney at a legal firm with 11-50 employees
We have seen some inaccuracies or incompleteness with the distribution acknowledgments for an application, so there's certainly some room for improvement there. Another big feature that's missing that should be introduced is snippet matching, meaning, not just matching an entire component, but matching a snippet of code that had been for another project and put in different files that one of our developers may have created.
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Principal Release Engineer at Puppet
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.
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CL
Program Manager at a consumer goods company with 10,001+ employees
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.
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MW
Application Security Specialist at a computer software company with 10,001+ employees
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.
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Private
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.
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Learn what your peers think about FOSSA. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
541,462 professionals have used our research since 2012.