Tool Vendor or Author
From [[http://cpsquare.org CPsquare]], the community of practice on communities of practice.
Who produced the software and what is its history (beyond good practice in software selection)? The relationship between software users and the vendor or source may be a long-term one, so needs to be carefully considered at the outset.
- Availability of new features
- Co-development between community and vendor/coder
Special considerations for communities of practice
Open source or proprietary
- Open source products are developed by volunteer communities around the world, allowing code, updates and features to be seen and shared freely. Because open source programs are developed by volunteers, they are free to the user, although installation and configuration can be costly. On the other hand, since open source products are developed by communities of users they can be more sensitive to community needs and perspectives. Conversely, software companies can marshal design and development resources as well as provide guaranteed support.
The number of communities that have adopted a particular platform or tool. Platforms or tools with large communities bases have a better survival and improvement rate. Among other things the number of users can be a good indicator of the extent to which software bugs have been discovered (and, hopefully, fixed). A larger installed base may result in greater familiarity and more thorough testing in the field.