Open Software Service Definition

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= The Open Software Service Definition defines 'open' in relation to online (software) services.

URL = [1]

v1.0 without the notes


An online service, also known under the title of Software as a Service (SaaS), is a service provided by a software application running online and making its facilities available to users over the Internet via an interface (be that HTML presented by a web-browser such as Firefox, via a web-API or by any other means).

With an online-service, in contrast to a traditional software application, users no longer need to 'possess' (own or license) the software to use it. Instead they can simply interact via a standard client (such as web-browser) and pay, where they do pay, for use of the 'service' rather than for 'owning' (or licensing) the application itself.

The Definition

An open software service is one:

1. Whose data is open as defined by the open knowledge definition ( with the exception that where the data is personal in nature the data need only be made available to the user (i.e. the owner of that account).

2. Whose source code is:

  • 1. Free/Open Source Software (that is available under a license in the OSI or FSF approved list -- see note 3).
  • 2. Made publicly available.