Who Owns the Source Code?

Who Owns the Source Code?

An important consideration when selecting a business partner for a custom e-Learning development project is: who will ultimately own the source code at the end of the project – you or the vendor?

Before delving into this question it is important to have a clear understanding of the term “source code”:

 

Source Code Overview

The source code is the set of is the software program instructions written in a language that can be read and edited by humans.

For example, many e-Learning courses use Flash files to present content in the e-Learning course. A developer will create and edit these Flash files using a Flash editing program – these files in their source form can be identified by their filename extension .fla (e.g. lesson1_02.fla).

Once the developer has completed the development of the source .fla file they will will publish (or compile) the file in a process that compresses and converts the source file into machine-readable form. These compiled Flash files can be identified by their filename extension .swf (e.g. lesson1_02.swf).

The compiled .swf files are great for web-based training because they are compressed and optimized for web delivery. However, the compiled .swf files cannot be readily edited without access to the source .fla file.

 

Updating Custom Course Content

One of the most compelling reasons organizations develop custom e-Learning is that it provides the ability to update and modify content as best-practices evolve and regulations and processes change over time.

Many organizations assume that when they hire a custom content developer they’ll not only own the course, but also be provided with the source code needed to update and modify the course content. Unfortunately,  this is not always the case. Many of our competitors not only refuse to provide their customers course source files, they also demand exorbitant fees for minor updates and revisions.

Sadly, this practice is pervasive throughout the industry and frequently surprises unsuspecting customers, who often assumed that they owned the rights to their content.

 

With TDX Global You Own Source Code

At TDX Global we find our competitors closed-model, proprietary approach to source code to be a short-sighted, underhanded business practice. This is why in our service agreements we clearly articulate our clients’ ownership rights to the custom developed course and the source files used to create the content.

We also use standard development software and provide our clients the tools, training and materials to edit and update TDX Global e-Learning courses. When we build a custom course, you’re assured that you’ll be able to update the course according to your business needs – without any surprise fees for the source materials.

If you currently are experience difficulties updating or modifying any custom content due to an uncooperative supplier, we may have a practical, cost-effective alternative available to paying high fees for minor content edits. Contact TDX Global to learn more.