When deciding what software to download, it’s more than likely that you’ve come across the term “open source.” If you’re wondering exactly what it means, then it is simple enough to understand. Open source is released under license and means you have the rights to change, use, or study the software in question. Here are some of the advantages of choosing open source software.
You have the opportunity to mold the program
Buying software is a bit like either renting or buying a house. Buying a more traditional piece of software is like renting a house, as you’re stuck paying for whatever features they decided to include in the house. While this may include a big garden or a desirable amount of space, it may include features you wouldn’t choose yourself, like a brightly colored bathroom or a poorly designed kitchen. They may even be lacking in some things that you think are important to a home, like a big bathtub or a dishwasher.
If you purchase open source software, you have more control over it, just like you would have when you purchase a house rather than rent one. Once you’ve paid for it, you can then add any features you’d like to make it more suitable for you. For example, if you choose a piece of software like a cloud or incident management tool from the developers at mattermost.com, you’ll not only receive a piece of software with lots of features pre-installed, but you’ll also be able to add any features you think will make it more suitable for your needs.
You and your team retain control over the service’s technical roadmap, and your team is free to develop additional features without restriction. If you purchased a non-open source program, there would be very little that you could alter about the software. You would be restricted to only changing certain settings within the program rather than altering major parts of the software.
Constantly up to date
The world of technology is constantly changing. There are regular things like operating system updates, changes in the law, and even new viruses that could jeopardize how well your software runs. If you purchased a non-open source software, you would be relying on that company’s developers to release an update to make sure the software can cope with such changes. Depending on the company, this could take several days or weeks, or they might not even release an update for the program if they’ve discontinued or stopped selling it.
As you have control over any open-source software, you can make sure it’s as up to date as possible at all times. You don’t have to wait for another company to release an update, as you can tweak any features that need changing immediately. This means the amount of time you’re without properly functioning software will be reduced significantly.
With open source software, you can be certain that all of your data is as secure as possible. You have full control of where your data is stored. With some other types of data, you may find that the software stores copies of the data on its own servers or could even claim ownership of any data used within the software. All of this uncertainty can cause numerous complicated legal problems, so it’s always best to use open source software where possible.
sourcea document (or organization) from which information is obtainedMore (Definitions, Synonyms, Translation)