Open source software is a faction of the Free Software movement, the aim of which is free access to the software for all its participants.
The official definition of Open Source was created in 1997 by the Open Source Initiative. It is based mostly on the idea of free software, mentioned above, which enables its users to run, copy, distribute, study, modify, improve and expand existing products legally and free of charge. Open Source has a lot to offer to the business world. Its main advantages are:
Open source software means increased security – because the source code is exposed to the public eye, its users are examining it with extreme accuracy. Errors are detected and corrected immediately. For this reason, the reliability of Open Source applications is very high, compared to the closed, proprietary programs. This disproves the myth of the alleged lack of professionalism of open source software.
Rapidity of software development
The basic idea of Open Source is very simple – if by using the Internet, developers from around the world can participate together in the process of upgrading the software (error correction, expansion of functionality), a rapid application development is guaranteed. For this reason, the manufactured product is, as a result, better than the traditional closed model, where only a few developers has access to the source code and all others must use an application out-of-the-box, closed and preventing from any modification.
Independence from the provider
Thanks to the openness of the code, you will no longer be dependent on your software vendor. Practically every programmer or implementation company specializing in technology in which the application is created can provide additional services for your company.
Open Source for business – quality first
There is still circling a myth on the IT business solutions market that Open Source solutions are totally free. Open source code is not synonymous with free of charge license, installation or configuration. Indeed Open Source systems are frequently much cheaper than their fully commercial counterparts, however the biggest advantage of implementing this type of systems is their unlimited access to the source code.
Businesswise, the availability of source code is a very attractive feature, one that will never be provided by ready-made commercial solutions. Conscious and thoughtful use of this greatest advantage of open source software allows to extremely improve the quality of work in the company. The ability to make any changes in the source code allows for incomparable to commercial systems scope of activities related to:
⇒ 100% customization of the software to the needs and requirements of the company
⇒ Creation of entirely new functionality for the needs of a particular customer
⇒ Possibility to create any integration with external systems
The above-mentioned possibilities can relate both to a single system, as well as to a cohesive platform of open source systems cooperating with each other. Imagine the quality of work in a company, where data and modules will be perfectly interrelated, for example for Marketing Department (Mautic – open source marketing automation), Sales Departament (SugarCRM or SuiteCRM) or for the whole organization (Alfresco – workflow and central data repository).
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