Have you read the book written by Eric S. Raymond “The Cathedral and the Bazaar abbreviated as CatB” on software engineering methods?It’s an interesting piece where the author is differentiating between the two kinds of software development. One is the building a cathedral referred to the closed-source development that has central governance, software releases available only to subscribed/elite groups and comes with a price tag. On the other hand, an open-source development stated as Bazaar is freely available to all, developers and geek from across the world contribute and build a stable, coherent, and robust system.
Being a CXO, Developer or a consumer which technique would you opt for? Let’s explore –
Open Source Software [OSS] is a software that is offered along with source code, with the rights to users to read or modify it.
As per techopedia -The OSS group agrees that software qualifies to be an Open Source Software when –
- The program is freely distributed
- The source code is inclusive
- Edit rights and permissions are granted to any user
- Redistribution of the amended version of source code is allowed
- OSS license must not interfere with the operation of any other software.
The old story of needing to understand if your organization uses open source has shifted to how and how much open source is in your applications* – Rod Cope, CTO of Rogue Wave Software
As per a study titled “Future of Open Source” ~90 percent of firms agreed that Open Source offers room for innovation, enhance productivity and interoperability. As per the report more than 55 percent respondents have adopted open source software instead of a registered software for a production environment.
While you thought OSS is the need of the hour for Enterprises and startups, you would be amazed to know that even government organizations are embracing Open Source Software. As per a report by Red Cope February 2017 – Bulgaria Leads the implementation with most of the software designed for government offices are open source and available in public repository.
The report also highlights how the brand is now “open” to explore the idea of Open Source Software. Biggies like Microsoft and Walmart have come up with open source code policy to handshake with innovation.
OSS is supporting innovation initiatives, accelerating development time and providing a competitive edge to your organization but what VALUE does it bring to a firm/user?
Being transparent is the fundamental idea of an Open Source Software. While Closed source development does not allow its user to test, evaluate and analyze the software, Open source offers firms to access the code before putting money into it. The power of tweaking the code, customizing as per your requirement is like possessing the magical powers for a software developer.
As per a survey report from 2016 Future Of Open Source, respondents mentioned that continuous use of Open Source Software helps in innovation. OSS with its features like quick Time to market, ease of agile development and interoperability helps in delivering quality software with no technical glitches.
However, the USP of innovating with OSS comes because of its free usage and communities that help and grow. Just download the code and start playing with it, in case you encounter a glitch reach out to the community for help and get it resolved. Within communities individuals work on mutual consensus, there is no competition,and that is a significant key to invention.
Open Source Software [OSS] offers freedom of choice. You need not sign up for per-user plan or yearly plan, with OSS the opportunity is limitless. With strong community support at the global level, the OSS standards improve each day,and you could expand your product portfolio for your client at no extra cost. Such opportunities may not exist with proprietary software’s.
How frustrating it gets when a website crashes due to an increase in traffic? For any software, scalability is a parameter that indicates the health of the product/service with an increase in volume/size or features. In fact, the 2015 Future of Open Source survey stated, 58 % respondents believe open source affords the most excellent ability to scale.
As per research published by Techcrunch in April 2017, there are three major sectors for which Open source software are widely available. They are IT Operations[LINUX, Tomcat etc] ,DevOps [ Git, Node.js etc] and Data and Analytics [ MySQL, Hadoop etc].
Another report from Infosys highlights the fact that – Cloud, Big data, Content management, databases, operating systems, development tools and mobile technologies are the major tech areas where OSS is successfully adopted. While the same report marks Linux as one of the largest OSS , with almost 94% of the world’s top 500 super-computers using it. Open source versioning system git is the overwhelming choice for versioning with 73%.
If you are an individual, enterprise, startup, MNC or government organization Open Source Software are splendid and certainly suit your requirement of software engineering. When a firm/individual adopts to OSS, they are freeing themselves from a costly vendor lock-in that helps in the long run.
Backed up by a strong community of skilled techies, help is just a click away, it is not only easy on installation but integration with third parties and customization as per client needs. With a promise to deliver quality and reducing time to market it helps in building trust and drive innovation at a fast pace.
Unlike any technology, OSS also has some risks associated with them. Here is a list of major challenges faced by individuals in using Open Source Software-
- Lack of Standards and Protocols
- No defined process for integration and customization
- A grey area to the security aspect
- In case of mishap/issues, no one could be accountedfor.
- Lack of dedicated support or technical assistant.
Teknospire, the fintech innovators that is on a mission to enable financial inclusion at the global level with its flagship product – FINX is a proud implementation of many Open Source Software’s. The FINX umbrella that has a wide range of offerings like Agent Banking Suite, Mobile Money Suite, Enterprise Bus Service, Automatic Reconciliation and Data Analytics and Reporting Suite is engineered with Open Source Development.
Teknospire believes in offering quality solutions that fit into the budget of rural people and organizations. The solutions that are open, scalable, flexible, owned by you and most importantly secured and OSS is the best bet.