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You may have heard the argument, or seen the poster, in software development organizations: Reuse the Code, Do Not Re-invent the Wheel. Using off-the-shelf code to accelerate software development and reduce costs is nothing new. If it is available, and does the job, then use it. Open source software is probably the ultimate manifestation of code reuse, widely recognized in software organizations. Without open source, many of the technology phenomena of the last 15 years, from social networking to web applications to mobile communications and more, would not be with us in their current form.

With the accelerated use of third-party software comes the task of managing the list of components of a software project (the Bill of Materials, or BOM). Tracking third-party and open source components in a software project helps manage the quality and security aspects of the project. It also ensures compliance with the terms specified in the license.

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