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Using open source software components in a mission-critical project not only can keep the project within budget but can also result in a more robust and flexible tool. When considering an open source component, prospective users should evaluate the project for several characteristics: maturity, longevity, and flexibility. For greatest benefit, the users should also build and maintain a strong working relationship with the component's developers. We compiled our experiences developing SAP into a developer's guide for those considering using open source in their mission-critical application. In addition to discussing how to evaluate open source components suitability for inclusion in a mission-critical application, the guide suggests strategies for working with open source development teams.