5 Reasons to Choose Open-Source Solutions for Software Development
The advantages of open-source software for app development make it a no-brainer to choose for your next project. Here are 5 reasons to choose open-source solutions for software development.
By Tyler Boykin06/16/2021
Some of the most commonly used software systems in the world are open source. For example, the Firefox web browser is one of the most widely used open-source programs in the entire world.
This model of software development has several advantages over alternatives. The main one is the cost of open-source software is usually zero, making it possible to create your own software without having to recreate the wheel.
When a software engineer develops a program, they can choose to provide the source code for other people to use. This is how the Linux OS works. Anyone can download the entire Linux kernel and source code without paying any money.
The main beauty of open source is that it allows you to create your own programs for a fraction of the cost. Your app development will be streamlined, and you can count on the many open software solutions out there to get you up and running relatively quickly.
Open Source Software Versus Other SoftwareDeveloping open-source software is a lot different than other methods of developing software. The main difference lies in access to the source code and the license. Even within open source, there are many different licenses you need to know about.
The general difference usually lies in what you must do with the software and the source code. The most permissive open source licenses will allow you to create close source software from that open source code. However, licenses like GPL require you to release your software as open-source as well.
The model you choose will depend on how secretive you need your code to be and whether you release your software to be installed or as a service. Certain types of app development require that you keep the source code hidden. That is why you must evaluate various open-source options to make the right decision.
While open-source software will always have several advantages over the competition, there are some downsides that you need to be wary of. Whether those downsides are important to you will depend on what you are trying to do.
Reasons to Choose Open Source SolutionsThe advantages of open-source software for app development make it a no-brainer to choose for your next project. Here are five reasons to choose open-source solutions for software development:
1. It’s Cost-EffectiveThe biggest advantage is that open-source software is usually free. On top of that, the quality you are getting for this free software is on par with its commercial alternatives. Getting high-quality software for free allows you to do other things with your time and money. You can spend more time trying to solve the business problems you have.
You also don't have any vendor lock-in (when you must purchase other versions of a product because the version you’re using requires it). Open-source software usually runs on many different platforms. It gives you a choice to find the platform that fits your specific needs. It also means you save a lot of money because you can choose cheaper alternatives.
2. Security and TransparencyOpen-source software is open to the world. Everyone can go to a website and download the source code for a piece of open-source software. That means that you don't have to worry about security issues because many people have looked at it before. Security issues get fixed because thriving communities are looking at the source code as it's being written.
You also can look at the source code to know whether the quality is good or not. With closed source software, you never know how developers are achieving the results that they do. They might be using clever tricks that introduce bugs or other issues in the future. Open-source software doesn't suffer from that problem, as you can look at every single line of source code to determine what is going on.
3. Easy IntegrationSince you have access to the source code, you can integrate open-source software quite easily compared to commercial software. With commercial software, you would have to go to the developer and request an integration to be developed. You’re at their mercy, and you never know how good the integration will be. If you need a platform to be supported, you will have to wait many weeks or even longer for the developer to get around to it.
Open-source software makes it easy because you can easily outsource the integration development to an experienced company like Chetu. By doing things this way, you get control of the resulting software that is developed. It could potentially offer the developed integration in the future to other people. Either way, you can move a lot faster and spend less money developing software.
4. QualityThe thing that makes open-source software solutions better than the alternative is the number of eyes looking at them. Open-source software usually has thousands of developers actively going through the source code and making changes. It means that only the best changes get into the final version of the software. It also means that you will have fewer vulnerabilities and security risks with open-source software.
Another major benefit is that you can improve the software. If you find a problem, you could easily outsource development to a company like Chetu.
5. Availability of Source CodeYou have access to the complete program with open source. You can download the code and build the software yourself. You can also take it and change it around to suit your specific needs. Ultimately, it gives you a lower cost of ownership, and it helps you learn about how certain things are implemented. Those lessons could help you build better software in the future.
Tyler Boykin is a director of sales at Chetu, Inc., a global, custom software development company.
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