What is Open Source ?
Open source software is a type of software application which provides users with a source code which is free to modify. In the recent years the open source software has been so popular, especially in the IT industry.
Where is Open Source Software Used ?
Currently it is used in various fields such as business, education and personal projects.
Some of the examples for open source software are Linux Operating System, Mozilla Firefox, Open office, WordPress and Blogger, Libre Office, Gimp etc.
What is the speciality of Open Source Software ?
The source code in open source software is available to all the users. According to the needs they have the option to edit, modify or share the source code. This ability comes from the license it is equipped with. The license grants permission for the users to alter the software.
Advantages of Open Source Software
Cost Effective :-
Generally an open source software is free to use. The users does not require to pay for the usage. It can be installed free of cost without any upfront expenses. Nevertheless the quality is not compromised. Especially for businesses with tight budget, using open source software can lead to significant amount of cost savings.
High reliability can be ensured when using an open source software. The open source software is created by expert developers and guided by them. Therefore, there is very less chance that someone will identify flaws in the software. In addition to that, the software is monitored by a set of experts who is able to fix faults in a lesser time duration.
Unlike in proprietary software, users in open source software does not experience vendor lock-ins. Even if there are irrelevant features, the users can effectively remove them. This is because the source code is free to modify. Users do not need to stick to the provider’s requirements.
Open source software offers convenient license schemes. Thus, the users do not need to worry about monitoring and tracking. And regardless of the location, an open source software could also be used. Moreover, it does not pose any restrictions on the number of times it can be installed.
Error Free :-
The number of people involve in maintaining an open source software is more in hundreds and thousands. Usually they are present as a community. These people make sure that the software is error free of bugs.
Once a user identifies a bug, they could report it to the community so that the community could fix it as soon as possible. Releasing a patch will not take longer time since the source code is available to everyone.
Dis-advantages of Open Source Software
As mentioned earlier, the source code present in an open source software is free to edit. The problem comes when someone misuses the code for their own benefits. While many of them use it for improving the software, others could invite vulnerabilities such as identity theft and malicious transfers.
Some applications cannot support both open source software and proprietary software. If proprietary hardware needs to run on an open source machine, it requires third party drivers. However, that cannot guarantee that the hardware will work on the host machine. Therefore, before purchasing a hardware it is recommended to check it is supported by the open source application.
Even though an open source software does not contain any upfront costs, still it is equipped with some hidden costs. Especially with maintenance. If you face any problems in the implementation process, a third party support may be needed which could charge additionally. This is a problem for businesses that is unaware of the hidden costs.
Finding required drivers for hardware components is not an easy task because the respective driver must be supporting the current operating system you use. Hence, a new hardware component that is installed could fain to provide its functionalities.
When using an open source software, it is common to experience technical issues. Unlike a proprietary software, an open source software does not offer extensive support. For fixing this people look for support services online.