Let’s start by defining what open source software (“OSS”) is. OSS is a type of software for which the original source code is readily available for use, redistribution and modification. This source code can be (voluntarily) modified by programmers to change various aspects of the application. For example, if a feature of an application is not working correctly, a programmer can alter the source code to fix this issue. Programmers may also add features to OSS by altering its source code. The addition of these features may either fix or enhance aspects of the application. Programmers just need to agree to terms of a license (which tend to be nonrestrictive for OSS) before making these changes and redistributing the software. For many new and small businesses, having the capability to access free software programs may help in accelerating them.
So, what’s the difference between OSS and proprietary commercial software? It’s pretty simple – the source code for proprietary commercial software is usually highly confidential, meaning that not just anyone can view or make changes to it.
Pros of OSS:
Cons of OSS:
The practicality of OSS depends on a company’s specific requirements. While OSS may be the best fit for some companies, proprietary commercial software is a better fit for others. If you would like to discuss the implementation of either of these options for your company, contact us today to be connected with an experienced consultant.