Open source software is a term that is primarily used for the computer applications which are available along with their source code to the public. The availability of the source code ensures that pretty much anyone and everyone can customize, inspect, or modify the software as per the requirement. Access to the source code offers a wide range of benefits which are outlined in 5 Reasons To Use Open Source Software. In this post, however, we would like to discuss the associated myths to familiarize you with the truth about the open source software.
Open Source Software: Is It Free?
A fairly wide range of people, especially the tech newbies believe that an open source software essentially means software that is available for absolutely no cost on the internet. Such people hear the word open source and their minds automatically that it is free. While you won’t be paying for licensing costs you will still be paying for, the cost of customization, the cost of installation, the cost of migrating the data, as well as the training costs, hardware costs, support costs, and the cost imposed on system integration.
The Freedom Associated With The Open Source Software:
What needs to be understood is that when the term free software is used for the open source ones, it is not the costs that we are referring to but the freedom. Having the freedom is what casts a strong impact on the overall cost of the software. The freedom that an open source software offers lies primarily in the following four categories:
- You have complete freedom to make use of the software as per your
- You have complete freedom to make modifications to the source code of the software as per your wish.
- You have complete freedom to distribute the source code of the software.
- You have complete freedom to distribute the source code of the software once you have modified or customized it as per your requirement.
Thanks to the capacity of the user to make use of the application as per his/her wish, the licensing costs in case of the open source software are entirely curtailed. Therefore, while several of the other costs mentioned above may be associated with utilization of the open source software, it is within the power and right of the user to install the application on as many servers as they desire. They do not have to spend more money on the license for all the extra benefits. An added benefit of curtailing the cost ensures that pretesting can be conveniently done with the open source software before the user finalizes his decision of choosing or rejecting a particular application. For organizations, the cut down cost goes a long way in helping with the costs of implementation, training, maintenance, and consistent support for the software.
Now that you are aware of what open source software is and what it means, you are in a much better position to decide if you’d like to opt for it for individual or organizational use. You have a thorough understanding of what you can do with an open source software and how it can help you have the freedom of using the software. Rest assured, the benefits associated with the choice of open source software are truly fascinating.