Open Source Software
Open Source is a central topic in the IT business today. The most important aspects of Open Source will therefore be pointed out here in a comparison to proprietary software. Beneath you will find a listing of the basic differences between the two sorts of software
- With Open Source Software (OSS) the source code as opposed to proprietary software is made available and can be changed.
- With proprietary software the source code is kept secret and can not be changed.
- With proprietary software a closed circle of developers work on the software (concept, developing, testing) – publication can only take place after these developmental steps. Improvements will first be integrated in the next version of the software.
- With Open Source an open (and therefore normally larger) group of developers work on the software. Improvements are constantly published in the newest (developer) version.
- Because of the licence model there are none or only few revenues from licensing or the selling of OSS-software.
- Business models from OSS-companies mainly base on consulting services, implementation, integration and maintenance.
- Quick development through a large development community. A line of OSS-programs, made stable through testing, are available for application.
- The same current software is applicable company-wide without licence problems. Administration and use are simpler due to the uniform software.
- There are lesser security problems due to transparent development. Compared to proprietary software individual adjustments are possible.
- The development of OSS-software is only designed for broad used applications (there are hardly any special applications available). User documentation is only available for a minor sum of programs. However, if you decide to use Plone, you avoid the problem of having no access to basic and flexible open source software documentation. Plone has an extensive and detailed user documentation adjustable to fit specific costumer requirements. For more information please see the http//plonebook.info.
- OSS-software requires more commitment from the user to apply the current technical level. Using Plone the technical skills and knowledge of the user become irrelevant, insofar as the flexible nature of the product allows a 100 % adjustment to the needs of the user.
- With OSS there is no dependence of single software companies, but a multiple development of software for different platforms (Windows, Linux, MacOS).
- There is a high amount of developers, therefore development is fast.
- The application is stable and secure.
- The software solutions are specifically adjusted to the companies that use them.
- In general it is still necessary to use commercial software for special applications, given that no OSS-software is available in this area. Though with Zope and Plone you can get special applications to fit specific project requirements.
- There is risk of a project being discontinued, if no developer is interested in further development. With Zope and Plone you have a group of companies supporting you, so the risk of project cancelling is less.