What exactly is Open Source? - Square 1 Products

What exactly is Open Source?

18th October 2018

What exactly is Open Source?

Open source software is any sort of computer software that’s distributed with its source code available for modification. That means it usually includes a license for programmers to change the software in any way they choose: They can fix bugs, improve functions, or adapt the software to suit their own needs. Often providing developers with a lot more flexibility in what the programme can offer.

Why Open Source?
The idea of open source stems from the tech community. From the earliest days of computers, programmers and engineers developed new technologies through collaboration, the knowledge is shared, and the entire community benefits from the collective innovation.
In many ways, the creation of the open source license was a direct response to proprietary manufacturing. The Open Source Initiative administers open source licencing around the world, promotes open source development and facilitates community and educational initiatives.

The Benefits of Open Source
The vast majority of open source software is freely distributed, however it does require maintenance, configuration, and ongoing support. Unlike closed proprietary software, open source software can be altered and extended by any developer familiar with the source code. This grants organisations freedom from vendor lock-ins and assures long-term viability whilst keeping costs low.

Collective Power
Many hands can deliver powerful and fast outcomes. The collective power of a community of talented individuals working together delivers not only more ideas, but quicker development and troubleshooting when issues arise. Open source provides flexibility to teams of developers to create a flexible platform that works for a business.

Increased Security
As with reliability, open source software’s code is often more secure because it is much more thoroughly reviewed and vetted by the community, with any issues that do arise fixed more diligently. Long a point of hesitation for enterprise adoption of open source, concerns about security just aren’t an issue today as they may have been when open source was first launched.

Customisability
Businesses can take a piece of open source software and tweak it to suit their needs, meaning that they’re not wasting money on more software when new challenges are presented. Since the code is open, it’s simply a matter of modifying it to add the functionality they want.

Starting Small
Open source allows small businesses and enterprises to start small and quickly with community versions, and then migrate to a commercially-supported solution as your business requirements drive you there. If the project doesn’t require support, you can continue on the community version indefinitely. You have the option to try the various alternatives but it allow you to pic the one most suited for your businesses needs and then scale up with a commercial solution as and when required.

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