What is Open Source ?

by Shikha Singh 03-Apr-17

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Open Source is described as computer source code that is freely accessible to anyone. Developers and users can amend and use it to avail their advantage. Of course, this only works, if you are capable to write or rewrite the code to suit your requirements. The facility to access the source code is secured by the license under which the software is released. There are various kinds of Open Source licenses available in the market, but they all have one thing in general, they save the right of the user of the software to use and modify it in any way they want.

The open source software has features to modify the applications is in direct contrast to the Closed Source Software model. In Closed Source, only the developer of the application has uses to the source code, and hence, only the developer is proficient to update the application. Being capable to vary the way an Open Source Software application works is critical in various business environments. No two occupations are similar and hence it is improbable that any one piece of software will gratify the requirements of all potential users. Without the facility to change their software a company is restricted in its functions by that software.

What is Open Source ?

While it is fact that no two business ventures are same, it is also the reality that there are several common business functions that are repeated across organizations. These common functions can be well served by "standard" software. The residual practices, those that are dissimilar from competitors are, usually, the ones that give an advantage in the market.

Related Article: What is Linux and What is Unix

Since, these non-standard practices are major to the organization's success it is significant that any software solutions adopted by the company also help these non-standard processes. It is in this need to get software to the company's specific requirements that makes Open Source Software attractive. Since the company has access to the source, the application can be freely adapted to match the unique requirements of every user. If you like to use it for web design and development project; there are several sources available. Some software is for learners and some is for advanced technological users.

See some advantages of Open Source Software below:

Freely Available
One of the other essential advantages of using this technology is that it is generally available for free. Users just require downloading the software from the web and starting accessing it simply. This offers the user to access the saved resources for software improvement and other functions. This also supports reducing the overall rate of the project.

The best feature of open source software is customizing the software according to the needs of users. This is the major difference between open source and closed source model. The option of customizing the software permits the developers to make a solution that specially targets the needs of their clients. Organizations and enterprises can extract the maximum advantages from these attributes as they can get tailored solutions for handling their day to day activities.

Availability of Resources
Successful software is always demanding among the users, therefore almost all the software development organizations offer skilled and proficient resources that can access this software for making useful and meaningful solution for the client. The developers also want to keep themselves well-versed and updated with recent and popular technologies, if they need to survive in the sturdy job environment.

Usually, such popular software is supported by a huge community of software developers who are always obtainable online and help out the developers who face the issues while making solutions. This software usually comes along with a well devised documentation that is very supportive while setting up and working on the software.

Enterprise Management Solutions
It is very a fact that each and every business venture is dissimilar to the other in some or the other manner. This also entails that their issues and needs are different just like the solutions needed for them. It is almost unfeasible to develop software that will totally fulfill the needs of any single type of business. However, open source software can be custom-made according to the business venture specific needs of the client to make a solution that can accomplish the needs of a specific business organization.

Presently, there are various open source software accessible over the web and can be freely downloaded. Some of the well-known Open Source web technologies are WordPress, Joomla, Magento, PHP, Ruby on Rails, Java, etc. These technologies along with various other OS technologies let the developers all over the globe to make the client oriented solutions that are reliable and flexible. The OS technology is a big boon for web developers who are typically working on severe budgets and require cost effective platforms for developing and serving speedy and helpful solutions to their clients.

There are many open source software available on the web. See some famous and well liked examples of Open Source Software:

Accounting: In this field, you can find out various open source software such as SQL-Ledger (accounting system).

Antivirus: In this field, users can find the open source ClamAV software and use it simply.

Databases: In this field, users can access some software such as LDAP, MySQL (database), PostgreSQL (relational database with the ability to do stored procedures).

Knowledge Management: Plone (open source content management system) and Knowledge Tree are the major examples of this sector.

Domain Name Servers: There are many domain name servers like Bind, PowerDNS, etc.

Telephony: In telephony, users can access Asterisk (It is a phone system as PBX that also aids Voice over IP technology), FreePBX,  Elastix, Trixbox CE.

E-mail Servers: There are many email servers available on the web such as PostFix, QMail, Sendmail, etc.

File Servers: File servers are famous among the users. Some of these examples are FreeNAS, OpenFiler and Samba.

Other Valuable Systems (desktops & servers): Some open source servers and desktops are Fedora (Linux destop system), Apache (web server), JBoss (J2EE server for Enterprise Java Development), Slackware (Linux distribution), CentOS (Linux distribution from Red Hat’s development efforts), Tomcat (Java servlet container), Zope (Content management system and portal), Ubuntu (Linux desktop operating system),.

Productivity Software: These kinds of software are Evolution (calendar, contact manager and e-mail client), Gimp (image manipulation program), Firefox (web browser), Thunderbird (e-mail client, news aggregator, etc.), Open Office (word processor, spreadsheet, etc.)

Programming Languages: There are many open source programming languages popular among the developers such as Perl, PHP, C, Python, C++, Ruby, TcL, Mono, etc.

Routing/Networking: In this field, DHCPD, IPTables, PF Sense are accessible

The above list shows some well known examples of software, which are open sourced to the world.



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