BrowserStack Gives Back to Open Source with Free Code Testing

The move is to thank the open-source community for the value the company has received by using open source in its business.

Todd R. Weiss

June 15, 2018

3 Min Read
Open Source
open source handwritten with related word cloud on blackboard

Web and mobile app testing vendor BrowserStack is making its app testing product portfolio available for free to open-source developers as it works to repay the open-source community for some of the code it has used as a basis for many of its products.

The code testing products – BrowserStack Live, Automate, App Live, Screenshots and App Automate – are now available for free and unlimited use by open-source projects and developers through the company’s enhanced open-source program. Open-source projects Selenium and Appium are used as the foundation for many of the company’s own products, including BrowserStack Automate and App Automate.

The offer also is available to channel partners that develop open-source projects, Jay Dave, product marketing manager for BrowserStack, told Channel Futures.  

To participate, users must register their projects, make their code public, add an open-source license, add the BrowserStack logo to the project’s GitHub page and hyperlink it to the company’s website. Participants must also fill out an application form that provides details of their projects.

“The primary goal of this announcement is to help as many open-source developers and give back to a community that fuels innovation for software world,” said Dave. “Better tested software is a top priority for organizations in all industries and of all sizes. Our role is improving the quality of open-source software by empowering developers with our testing tools and infrastructure.”

The BrowserStack testing products allow developers to test and debug their apps on more than 1,200 real iOS and Android devices, which can provide more accurate results than software emulators, the company said. Registered open-source developers can use the tools for free for the duration of their projects.

“BrowserStack is committed to strengthening our ties with the open-source community and is dedicated to giving back to the developers that rely on open-source projects,” Ritesh Arora, co-founder and CEO of BrowserStack, said. “The open-source community remains an important wellspring of some of the most innovative ideas impacting software development. We believe that, through access to powerful tools like BrowserStack, more open-source projects come to fruition and succeed.”


Ritesh Arora

Ritesh Arora

BrowserStack’s testing tools already are being used by open-source projects to test their code, including Zurb Foundation, which provides a front-end framework; Discourse, which is an open-source forum and community discussion platform; and Video.js, which is an extensible JavaScript and CSS library that makes it easier to work with and build on HTML5 video.

Founded in 2011, more than 25,000 customers around the world use BrowserStack, according to the company.

“We are a software business built by developers for developers, and we use open source because it just works,” CTO Nakul Aggarwal wrote in a recent post on the BrowserStack blog. “It has offered tremendous value in helping our team solve problems rather than relying on reinvention,” he wrote. “At BrowserStack we can attest to the value of open source helping to solve core engineering problems, speeding time to market and accelerating innovation. Open source has helped our own team build things faster.”

Al Gillen, an analyst with IDC, said that BrowserStack’s approach to offering free services to open-source developers and projects is reminiscent of those done in the past by other open-source companies such as Canonical and Ubuntu.

“This approach of offering a freemium solution offer is as old as open-source software,” said Gillen. “Commercial organizations can’t survive giving [their] product away for free forever, so I’m guessing that this is … a product that the company can afford to give away for free use, while [it] monetizes something else.”

By having to register to get access to the products, open-source developers are at least being placed onto the company’s marketing list for future contacts, said Gillen.

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About the Author(s)

Todd R. Weiss

Todd R. Weiss is an award-winning technology journalist who covers open source and Linux, cloud service providers, cloud computing, virtualization, containers and microservices, mobile devices, security, enterprise applications, enterprise IT, software development and QA, IoT and more. He has worked previously as a staff writer for Computerworld and, covering a wide variety of IT beats. He spends his spare time working on a book about an unheralded member of the 1957 Milwaukee Braves, watching classic Humphrey Bogart movies and collecting toy taxis from around the world.

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