The process for joining the OSA is intended to be as fair, open and simple as possible while ensuring a strong membership of qualified and experienced organizations.
OSA membership consists of four classes of members, corresponding to the various business models in the open source ecosystem: Product ISV's, Systems Integrators and Value-Added Resellers, End Customers, and Community organizations including Non-Profits. For more information on these member classes, please refer to the Membership Criteria document
To become a member, an organization should first be nominated by an existing member. There are no restrictions on which member, or which class of member, must submit the nomination. All current OSA members are encouraged to nominate any organization they feel can add significant value towards the mission of the OSA.
The OSA’s Board of Directors must then consider the nomination and vote to admit the prospective member, as soon as is reasonable. A majority vote (3 of 5 directors) is needed to admit the new member.
Upon being notified of admittance, the organization must then sign the OSA member agreement, and, if admitted under a classification requiring annual dues, pay those dues within 30 days of the effective date of the agreement, unless otherwise specified by the board.
The nomination should include an indication of which class of membership the interested organization feels they are best suited for. For many organizations, this will be obvious, but it won’t be uncommon for organizations to have hybrid business models that could conceivably qualify them for multiple classifications. In such cases, the OSA will work with the interested organization on choosing a mutually agreeable classification. The organization is encouraged to propose a classification and discuss with the nominating member and the board regarding whether that classification is appropriate. In any event, the member agreement requires choosing one classification that the new member is willing to agree to.
Also, a member’s classification may change from year-to-year. When membership is subject to renewal, if it seems that the member’s business model and/or nature of its contributions to the OSA don’t match its classification, either the member or the board can propose a change in classification, and mutually agree to such a change.