Developers Alliance releases report on Interoperability as Oracle v. Google heads to court



WASHINGTON and BRUSSELS, Dec. 7, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Today the Developers Alliance & NDP Analytics released a new report, “Quantifying Risks to Interoperability in the Software Industry,” that found the negative economic impact of threats to interoperability in the IoT space alone could exceed $77 billion in lost economic productivity over the next eight years.

IoT is the future of both software and technology and could contribute $11 trillion globally by 2025. However, that future is threatened by a troubling series of court cases that seek to erode one of the core building blocks that fuels the growth of IoT and makes its complex ecosystem possible – software interoperability – which allows developers to write code that interacts with different devices and software platforms.

One such case is Oracle’s long-running litigation against Google, with the Federal Court hearing an Oracle appeal today (the Alliance previously filed a brief in the case). Oracle is suing Google for re-implementing a small portion of its Java programming language – the APIs that facilitate interoperability – in its implementation of the code in Android. Oracle is seeking to overturn a Federal Jury finding that this was permissible as “fair use”.

“Were Oracle to win in this round, it would be able to control the interoperability of third party software using the Java language and APIs, which is the most popular language used by developers,” said Bruce Gustafson, President and CEO of the Developers Alliance. “Put another way, many developers who have long relied on the premise that re-implementing these APIs was fundamentally good programming practice might be stopped dead in their tracks. And we’re not alone in feeling this way. The negative impact would go far beyond those developing in Java; it would upend the economics of software development by jeopardizing the bedrock concept of software interoperability,” Gustafson added.

Interoperability is imperative to the future of the developer workforce, and to unlocking the tremendous potential of IoT. Any threat to interoperability is a threat to developers, to technological innovations, and to the billions of dollars in economic productivity they contribute.

The Developers Alliance is the world’s leading advocate for software developers and the companies invested in their success. Alliance members include industry leaders in consumer, enterprise, industrial, and emerging software development, and a global network of more than 70,000 developers.

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SOURCE Developers Alliance