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27 August 2010, 11:56

Microsoft's Security Development Lifecycle under Creative Commons License

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Microsoft SDL Shield Logo Microsoft is to change the license for its process for developing secure software. In future, the company's Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) will be available under a Creative Commons license (Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported). This should make it easier for others to use and distribute the principles behind SDL and for programmers to integrate SDL components into their own development processes. This has not previously been possible, as documentation and other SDL materials were under an exclusive Microsoft license which precluded such use.

The company hopes that the change will lead to more developers utilising the Microsoft process for developing software more securely across the entire product lifecycle. SDL can trace its origins back to a 2002 Bill Gates memo on "trustworthy computing". The resulting programme was intended to make security an integral part of the company's software development process and make its products more persistently secure. All Microsoft software since Windows Vista has been developed in accordance with SDL.

David Ladd, Principal Security Program Manager at Microsoft, has announced that the first two documents to be placed under the new license will be a white paper entitled "Simplified Implementation of the Microsoft SDL" and "Microsoft Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) – Version 5.0", a guide to how the company uses SDL in its product development. These can be expected within the next few weeks. According to Ladd, the company will also be going through other content on the SDL portal and relicensing it as appropriate. SDL tools are not affected by the licensing change, but will continue to use Microsoft licenses.


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