10 Reasons to Choose Open Source Software for Your Next Project
Have you ever wondered why so many businesses invest and contribute to open source development? There are lots of reasons. Here we are mapping out 10 reasons to choose the open source for your next software project.
The world of open source is an ever-expanding one. If you are ready to launch a project, do not lose out the opportunity to consider open source as a lucrative software project possibility. This blog will enlighten you about the need to opt open source and the importance of open source software development.
What Is Open Source Software? – A Quick View
An open source software enables people to freely use, study, modify, enhance, and distribute the source code through permissions imposed through an open source license. As computer programmers have access to an open source software’s source code, they can improve that program. They can do it by adding features to it or sort out parts that go wrong sometimes.
Open source software presents a stark contrast with ‘proprietary’ or ‘closed source’ software. They are nothing but those software code over which only the creators have control over. The person, team, or organization that authored it exerts an exclusive right to modify it.
A survey conducted by The New Stack and The Linux Foundation revealed that more than half of the participants (53%) said that their organization has an open source software system or has plans to have it. The organizations that do not make use of open source in any possible way is just a meagre 3%.
Many software platforms that we use daily are operationally based on open source. Linux and other infrastructure software such as Apache have become mainstream. WordPress is one of the most popular open-source projects. Linux operating system and Firefox web browser are a few others. Android uses Java, Facebook uses PHP, Apple has its own open source language Swift, and the list of open source goes on.
In a nutshell, open source is a world that appreciates programmers’ contribution. These projects help them enhance their coding skills and make them better developers.
Is your organization eying on starting your next product as an open source project? It will definitely be an innovative start as open source ensures greater quality, reliability, flexibility besides making your project cost-effective. Let’s explore more reasons to choose open source.
10 Reasons to Choose Open Source for Your Next Software Project
1. Enhanced security and stability
Bugs in open source software do not enjoy long life. Unlike in the proprietary software, as thousands of people work on an open source system, many scrutinizing eyes are watching the code. This helps in getting these bugs fixed in no time. Open Source codes enjoy faster response times and hence vulnerabilities get fixed in lightning speed.
As open source software will always be available, it adds another aspect of security. You are not at the mercy of the publisher (as in proprietary software wherein they may choose to stop development whenever they feel like).
If you are jumping into long-term projects, it assures a great level of security. You can rest assured that the tools you use won't vanish or fall into disrepair if their original creators stop working on them. All the codes are openly available.
2. Preserves agility of your organization
If you are looking for technology agility, open source is a great choice. It offers manifold ways to solve problems. Every project is unique and serves particular needs. Therefore, working with software that does not allow for easy customization is difficult. In open source, every bit of code is visible and accessible.
Your organization does not get stuck at any stages of the project just because a particular competence isn’t available from a vendor. With open source, you can create that yourself! For example, you need a key feature to help your business. In case of using proprietary software, you need to submit a request about your need and wait. Whereas, in open source software, you can add features and functionalities to your software product if you have smart open source developers.
Developers can change any specific part of the software to fit the needs. They just need to alter, add, or delete the code to customize it to perform their needs.
3. Superior quality
It is commonsensical to assume that a software package created by a community of hundreds of developers will perform better than the one created one a few developers (as the proprietary software).
Experience shows that open source software is superior software. As the source code is available to all the developers, even after release, it gets quickly updated and enhanced with various plugins and modules. These modules, though created for specific individual needs, are shared with the community for anybody to adapt and use.
4. Faster Deliverability
Open source software has a wide collection of tools, plug-ins, modules, and so on. As the code is available to the developers over the Internet, they can swiftly solve different tasks in no time.
If you need to add a specific module to your software system to resolve an issue, you can spend a few minutes to download the open source tool that suits the need well. If not, you will have to spend hours writing the code from scratch.
If you face a problem with a given open source tool while in a project, you can ask for the best way to resolve it with the community of developers. You can get insights from the descriptive documentation as well.
All these aspects help in speeding up the project without wasting time on superfluous efforts.
5. Serves your needs efficiently
In an open source software system, developers stand in the shoes of users and write code. They are the users of it and therefore they want to improve it. They work with the exact needs of users in mind.
A proprietary software does not have this merit. The developers who create them rarely use them. Therefore, they make assumptions about the end users’ wants and needs and write code. based on these speculations.
6. More Permissive and Flexible Licensing
Your enterprise will enjoy the freedom of using any version or build of the software. As the Open Source Licensing is pretty flexible than Proprietary Software Licensing, you decide when to upgrade.
The more permissive nature of open source licensing relieves you from the threatening nature of typical commercial software licenses.
There exist about 2,000 types of licenses used with the over two million open source projects. The restrictive personality of these licenses differ from each other.
You can also have dual licensing, which has emerged as a recent trend. In this a licensor can have both proprietary and open source licenses.
Be mindful to read the license accompanying open source software carefully. You can’t take the conditions lightly just because it is more flexible than others. Violations will lead to adverse effects for your business just as in proprietary software licenses.
7. Supports Interoperability
The term ‘interoperable’ indicates communication between applications and systems based on accepted standards, specifications and protocols. Open source noble gesture of making the source code freely available to all presents a contradiction to interoperability. For instance, it becomes difficult for applications and device drivers to communicate with each other if each version of the operating system is different.
But the fact is that open source supports interoperability. There are standard based APIs that facilitate connection with any system. This helps your application to communicate with diverse systems having services distributed across numerous domains. The option to change between systems and to link other businesses, computers and users with each other is a great benefit of using open source software.
8. Greater Support Options
As the open source software is evolved out of an iterative approach among a large group of programmers, the support options are robust. The communities comprise varied sets of people from around the globe. Therefore, ideas and support systems can be manifold and creative.
These strong support options make it sensible to believe that open source software is a safe investment for any businesses. The existence of a dedicated community with product experience is ever ready to offer help that suits your needs. There is also an option to get paid support if you want to get highly technical queries and get it solved from high level experts.
9. Cost Effective
This is one of the significant advantages of open source. By opting open source software, you can get relief from mandatory proprietary charges. You can decide what you need and you can get it at a better quality. And the advantage is you will get it at just a fraction of the price.
Besides the cost advantages, open source helps enterprises to start small and scale. As many enterprises are budget-challenges, exploring open source options for your software projects makes sense in a financial perspective.
10. Open Source Attracts Better Talents
The major question any businesses ask themselves before selecting any software is “Do we have the essential skills to deploy and maintain it?” If you are selecting open source software you can be sure that you are going to attract better talents.
Most professional technologists know that open source is the future. They know that corporate investment in open source software is expecting exponential growth. Smart developers have a passion to author their own projects. They enjoy interconnecting with others outside their enterprise to develop solutions. Thanks to this flexibility and freedom. Open source projects attract better software talents.
Why Should You Hire Open Source Developers?
Imagine that you are a technology enthusiast entrepreneur and you are aware that there is an open source software available which attends to all your project requirements and provides loads of additional functionalities. But you realize that you don’t have the skillset to deploy and maintain that particular software. If you plan to undergo some training or give training to your in-house developers, it will cost you additional expenses. That will indeed fail the entire agenda of choosing an open source software. Therefore, it is prudent to choose expert open source developers.
There are many leading software solutions companies that provide a smart crew of open source developers. Look for the ones that have sufficient years of experience in the open source software solutions realm and proven track record in building custom applications, open source ecommerce and open source CMS solutions.
I hope you've got the answer to your question, "why do we need open source?". If you are looking for solutions that meet your business needs now and in the future, open source software development is the answer! It is touted as a safe investment by enterprises as many web, mobile, and cloud solutions are increasingly built on open source architecture. So, why wait? Consider open source before you finalize the software technology for your next project.