Jane Brewer

Open Source Software – Advantages and Disadvantages


Open-source software is counted among the top-rated software applications that facilitate individuals with a source code that's free from any modification. It has gained high popularity among users in a short period. Currently, it's used in multiple fields, including education, personal, and business projects. Key examples of this software application are Blogger, Mozilla Firefox, WordPress, and Open office.

But it is to be noted that open source software comes with both pros and cons, and you need to weigh both before choosing it for projects.

First, let's learn why open source is good.

Open Source Software advantages

Reliable

You can rely on open source software completely as experienced developers develop it. There are minimal chances of identifying flaws in this software. Additionally, it is monitored by highly qualified and experienced experts capable of fixing faults in a short period.

Cost-effective

Individuals need not pay for using Open source software. Moreover, the software's installation is also free of upfront expenses, but there is no compromise with the quality. It is an ideal option for businesses with a restricted budget as it may help them save overall cost of operations.

Scalable

Open-source software is easily scalable as a Linux operating system, and it can be scaled up as per the business's unique needs to achieve particular results.

Flexible

Open-source software users don't need any experience in leveraging vendor lock-ins. In case there are irrelevant features, the users can effectively remove them. The software's source code can be modified easily and quickly, and there is no need to strictly follow the provider's requirements.

Licensed

The software facilitates its users with convenient and easy license schemes. As a user, you need not think about tracking and monitoring. Irrespective of the location, open-source software can be used anywhere, and it doesn't pose any limitations on the installation count. Nowadays, open-source web development gains popularity and you can get a customized web application developed.

Free from errors

Open-source software has a high-profile team for maintenance. The community of these people ensures that this software is free of bugs and other errors. After the user identifies a bug, it can be reported to the community to be fixed in real-time. The source code is available for everyone and doesn't take long.

Disadvantages of Open Source Software

Risk of malicious transfers

As the source code is open-source, software development can be edited freely. The issue comes when accessible parties misuse the code for their benefit. Most of them use it to improve the software, whereas there are possibilities of vulnerabilities like a threat to security and identity theft.

User Friendly

Not every open source applications have a seamless and easy-to-handle interface. The Graphical User Interface of some open source applications can be difficult for the users to use or understand, and they require extensive technical knowledge savvy to understand the interface. It may also require employees' training to handle and operate the software, which means the companies may need to hire trainers, which causes extra expenses.

Maintenance

If open-source software doesn't include upfront costs, it features additional costs such as time to time maintenance. When you encounter any issues with implementation, third-party support may be required and it will result in an additional expense. The issue is that most of the time, businesses aren't aware of these costs.

Compatibility

Open source development software isn't compatible with some of the proprietary and other software. If proprietary hardware is required to be integrated with an open-source machine, you'll need third-party drivers for the task. However, it can't guarantee the hardware will still work on the machine that hosts the program. Therefore, when buying the hardware, it's best to whether or not it supports the open-source application.

Support

When you use open-source software, you may experience some technical issues. The open-source software doesn't offer any extensive support, and users need to find support services to get rid of the issue.

Drivers

It is not easy to find the required drivers for the components (hardware) added to the software as the driver may or may not support the current operating system. Hence, users need to find a new hardware component that could help find the best out of its available functionalities.

Concluding Word

Open-source software's source code is accessible for all users. They can edit, share or modify the source code as per their unique needs. The ability is provided by its license, which grants permission for altering the software. Now, you can easily hire an open-source developer and the person would handle the development work efficiently.

The software helps organizations in several ways. However, it does come with some shortcomings, but its advantages outweigh its cons. Hence, analyze the points before using open source software for your business. Also, make sure to define your requirements and preferences and go for open source software accordingly. It will help you in making a better choice. Most importantly, it should be able to integrate with your existing system.

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