In this post, I will show you What is Open Source Software and its advantages? Open source software is available under a software license that allows users to access the source code and edit it according to their requirements. The software license protects the right of the user to edit and modify it in any way he wants. The closed source model allows only the modifier of the application to access and modify the software in any way.
Some of the advantages of open source software are mentioned below:
Freely Available: One of the other great advantages of using this technology is that it is usually available for free. Users just need to download the software from internet and start using it. This allows the user to utilize the saved resources for software enhancement and other activities. This also helps in reducing the overall cost of the project.
Support: Usually such popular software is supported by a large community of software developers who are always available online and help out developers who face problems while developing solutions. This software usually come along with a well-formulated documentation that is very helpful while setting up and working on the software.
Availability of Resources: A successful software is always in demand therefore almost all the software development companies offer skilled resources who can utilize this software for creating a meaningful and useful solution for the client. The developers also need to keep themselves informed and updated with latest and popular technologies if they want to survive in the tough job environment.
Enterprise Management Solutions: Each and every business is different with other businesses in some or the other way. This also implies that their problems and requirements are different just like the solutions required for them. It is almost impossible to make a software that will completely fulfill the requirements of any one type of business. However, open source software can be customized according to the business specific requirements of the client to create a solution that can fulfill the requirements of a particular business organization.
Currently, there are numerous open source software available over the internet and can be freely downloaded. Some of the famous Open Source web technologies are Joomla, WordPress, Magento, Ruby on Rails, PHP, Java etc. These technologies along with numerous other OS technologies allow the developers all over the world to create client oriented solutions that are flexible and reliable.
The OS technology is a boon for web developers who are usually working on stringent budgets and need cost-effective platforms for developing and delivering quick and useful solutions to their clients.A successful Open Source Software project has a large community of software developers. Many of these developers work as independent contractors and can be employed to customize the software, alternatively, if a company has internal developer resources, they can leverage those skills to perform the customizations.
Does it Really Work?
This all sounds fantastic, but does it really work? Are there Open Source Applications in use in the real world?
Here are a few facts to convince you that it most certainly does work:
– Around 70% of websites are served by the Open Source Apache HTTPD server.
– More than 27.5% websites are using WordPress CMS platform.
– In a 2002 survey, it was found over 31% of UK and nearly 42% of German companies were using or planning to use OSS.
Just a heads up, one thing with open source programs, they can be a little technical and not always user-friendly for the non-programmer. Here’s the list of 5 the first 3 can be found at SourceForge.net:
1 – FREE Sound Editor
Audacity® is free, and available Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, GNU/Linux.
2 – FREE PDF creator
3 – FREE video editor
4 – Free Programming Language
Being able to change the way an Open Source Software application operates is critical in many business environments. No two businesses are identical and therefore it is unlikely that any one piece of software will satisfy the needs of all potential users. Without the ability to modify their software a company is restricted in its operations by that software.
While it is true that no two businesses are identical, it is also true that there are a great many common business practices that are repeated across organizations. These common practices can be well served by “standard” software. The remaining practices, those that are different from competitors are, typically, the ones that give a business an advantage in the marketplace.
Since these non-standard practices are key to the organization’s success it is critical that any software solutions adopted by the company also support these non-standard processes. It is in this need to adapt software to companies specific needs that make Open Source Software attractive. Since the company has access to the source, the application can be freely adapted to suit the unique requirements of each user.
Who Pays for Open Source Development?
The ability to customize software is critical to allow an organization to continue to improve their business processes, but how does a company afford to pay for such customizations?
One of the side effects of allowing any user access to the source code is that the cost of acquiring the software in the first instance is massively reduced. In most cases, the source code is available at no cost. This enables the user to divert resources normally allocated to pay software license fees into enhancing the software.