Community-driven tools like Open Source Software can propel your business to greater heights. You’ll enjoy high-quality codes without spending much on the hardware. They also allow you to integrate and scale your systems without having to appease the commercial vendors.
However, an open-source code may come with hidden costs, compatibility issues, and difficulties of use. You may also encounter misunderstandings during the project’s journey. Furthermore, your business’ core value may face threats if left uncovered.
The good news is that it is possible to evade these challenges and take advantage of open-source software.
The term Open Source Software (OSS) means software that you can get under a free license. You enjoy the right to use its source code for any purpose.
Often, open-source software allows collaborative and public development. Therefore, you are free to distribute the code to anyone for any purpose.
We’ve been enjoying this free and customizable internet browser for decades now. Mozilla Firefox is free software that allows you to access thousands of plugins at a click of your mouse.
It enjoys almost 5% of the global browser market shares. If you’re a Linux, iOS, Android, or Windows user, you might have used it.
Firefox is behind the revolutions that happened to operate systems and social networks.
PHP is a programming language that you can use to develop websites, apps, and other digital resources.
Slack and Spotify are a few examples of popular websites that have embraced PHP. The language is famous because it allows fast and flexible open-source software development.
Most custom code developers use Python in their projects.
It has attracted more users due to its machine learning field, a fast-growing area in software engineering.
This programming language is also easy to use. As a novice software engineer, you may want to go with it.
With this free software, you get to enjoy a complete office suite. Libre Office provides documents, presentations, databases, and spreadsheets features.
All of these come free of charge, unlike if you had used the Microsoft Office.
However, you can support these guys by becoming part of their massive community of contributors. Simply send your donation when downloading the platform.
Windows, Mac, and Linux users can access this software. Whenever you need help, you can always get it through their live chat and forum.
You can use this free software to play media, audio, and video files. VLC Media Player allows you to play devices, webcams, streams, and discs. If you fancy streaming podcasts, you might have used it.
With this player, you get to enjoy a plethora of extensions and skins. Therefore, if you are looking to try out different designs, it has your back.
You can also optimize your files for a specific hardware configuration.
Furthermore, it is compatible with Mac OS X, Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, and several other platforms.
Linux prides itself on being among the most user-friendly open-source code software. It is common among developers using desktops and Android devices.
This operating system is incredibly customizable. Additionally, its community offers excellent support. Thus, it is one of the most secure operating systems.
Also, you don’t pay anything to have this open-source software.
No wonder most developers claim that Linux is their darling when it comes to developing their projects.
Most graphics designers love this 3D tool. With Blender, you can do:
» Video editing
» Rendering e.t.c.
Additionally, it comes with modeling features and tools such as:
» Support for Tripod solvers and Planar tracking
MySQL rules the world of open source databases. It is a top choice for many open source projects because of:
» Easy administration
» Transparent support for large binary objects and text
» Excellent read performance
The source code is available under the GNU General Public License’s terms. You can also access it through several exclusive agreements.
It is a central part of LAMP, the most widely used open-source web application. LAMP is an acronym for Linux, Apache, MySQL, Python/Perl/PHP.
With it, you can work on free-software-open source projects that need a full-fledged database management system.
MySQL supports several applications, including:
» MODx e.t.c.
Apache HTTP Server is open-source software released under the Apache License.
It supports UNIX, Windows, and other modern operating systems. The “A” in LAMP represents Apache.
Users love it because it:
» Provides fast programming
» Is secure
» Offers flexible software development
» Supports several operating systems
» Supports several programming
» Has hundreds of modules to extend functionalities
Apache Software Foundation helps a community of open-source code developers in developing Apache.
The project’s goal is to gift developers an efficient and secure server. They strive to avail HTTP services in line with the modern HTTP standards.
You can access the software if you’re using:
» Microsoft Windows
» OS X
» Novell NetWare etc
GNU is a collection of compilation tools for developing open-source projects. With it, you can develop projects in several programming languages, such as:
Users get to enjoy quality upgrades from time to time. Additionally, it functions with both cross and native targets.
You can access its sources free of charge via its weekly snapshots and SVN avails
If you’re looking to edit your videos, Shotcut will give you a helping hand. It provides fantastic features, such as:
» Audio capture
» Webcam capture
» Text generator
» Noise generator
» Color generator
» Counter generator
People also love it because it supports many image formats. Furthermore, you can use it on Linux, Windows, and macOS operating system.
If you’re a greenhorn in video editing, you’ll find helpful tutorials and resources on their websites.
» Reduced Hardware Costs
An open-source software, such as Linux, is easily compressible and portable. The opposite is true for workstations and servers like Windows and Solaris.
Therefore, you don’t need much hardware power to perform tasks using open-source software. If your budget is tight, you can still get the desired results using older or cheaper hardware.
» No Vendor Lock-In
Vendor lock-in is a real headache when using closed source software.
You have to deal with costly license fees, lack of customization, and lack of portability.
In open-source projects, you can bid these challenges goodbye. It gives you the freedom to take your skills a notch higher.
» High-Quality Software
Most open source solutions are of high quality. They come with robust design and source code, thanks to the communities behind them.
If you’re looking for a stress-free coding, go for open-source code.
» Integrated Management
With these technologies, you can seamlessly integrate your application, server, service, and workstation management.
The integration itself births a fantastic and efficient administration.
» Ready Support
In most cases, you don’t have to pay for support. The communities around the open-source are there to offer you help through forums.
Additionally, many open source software vendors offer free online help. They provide live chats and other means of support.
For advanced cases, you can access their varied levels of paid support.
Most creators of open-source software provide maintenance throughout your product development journey.
» Simple License Management
With open-source software, you no longer have to worry about licenses. You can install it several times and use it from anywhere.
Unlike closed source software, you don’t need to monitor license compliance continually.
» Stress-free Scaling and Consolidating
You’ll not remain a beginner in software engineering forever. As your skills improve, the need to scale your projects to more robust products becomes natural.
An open-source code allows you to not only scale up but also consolidate your projects. They come with amazing applications such as database and email to enable you to achieve more with less.
» Hidden Costs
Often, open-source applications are free upfront. However, some may cost money along the way. Always consider the hidden expenses from the outset.
Such costs may crop up when setting up, installing, customizing, and maintaining the software. Additionally, there can be costs involved in training your staff and importing data. You may also need to integrate the application into your existing systems.
» Compatibility Issues
Some proprietary hardware may not be compatible with an open-source code you plan to use. You may need specialized drivers to run it.
Often, such drivers are only available from the equipment vendor. It will force you to dig deeper into your pocket.
Also, the existent of an open-source driver doesn’t always guarantee successful compatibility.
» Difficulty of Use
A novice may find some open-source software tricky to set up and use. Other applications may not have familiar or user-friendly features.
Thus, your productivity may take a nosedive. The issue may prevent you from using programs seamlessly.
So when going for an open-source application, dig deeper to see what other real users are saying about it.
Requests and answers from different people may help you improve your open source projects. However, any community may consist of different people.
Some may want you to respond to their questions as soon as now.
There are high chances of refactoring a person’s code and disappointing people by failing to merge their changes.
Furthermore, you may be forced to explain the rules on how to improve your open source project now and then. Even so, there’s no guarantee that it will go the way you wished.
» A threat to Business Value
An open-source may leak a business’ core secret to competitors. Avoid open-sourcing an idea that is behind your business’ core value.
For example, a unique trade secret that sets your business from the rest.
Only open-source those ideas that can help the community without compromising your business. You don’t want to reveal your secrets through open source development.
Open Sources are there for almost every business operation. Open Source development promotes collaboration among developers in a community.
At the same time, these applications can save you a lot of money. The expenses involved in the hardware, licenses, maintenance, and scaling are low. However, you need to be wary of their shortcomings. Always do due diligence before settling down to one.