Open source is the type of software that is typically free and distributed under the Open Source License. Many companies use the advantages of incorporating open source tools and solutions in their development process. Unlike commercial software, utilizing open source methodology provides significant benefits in terms of development cost, flexibility and quality of the end products and reduced development time. An increasing number of developers are attracted to open source tools due to their generally high quality, great flexibility, ability of customization and readiness of the open source community to assist with controversial issues. Here are some of the major benefits of using the open source technology:
Rapid source code evolution
One of the most outstanding advantages of open source is its rapid evolution. Once written and distributed, one application can virtually travel around the world a number of times and turn to a highly functional and scalable giant very quickly. This way any open source software develops, enhances, upgrades and is constantly debugged by the global community of its supporters.
For instance, WordPress as we know it today would never become such a powerful and versatile platform without suggestions and tips of the valued community. Just in the same way, Drupal that was initially created as a small informal system has evolved to a powerful CMS with enormous number of modules added by the community members that extend Drupal's basic functionality to a great extent.
Ability of customization
Another valuable advantage of open source code is its ability of customization. Unlike commercial proprietary software with hidden source code, open source code is easily available for modifications, enhancements and adaptation to user's specific needs. Any open source based website, blog, eCommerce platform or application can be customized by developers and adapted to meet customer's individual requirements. Open source software can be also integrated with a variety of third party tools and applications to improve and enhance it's functionality and features.
Cost of development
Most of open source software can be obtained for free or at a very low cost which makes it more economically beneficial as compared to the traditional proprietary software. Though in many cases people also require additional services connected with the software acquisition such as installation, professional customization, maintenance, support and training, general cost of open source software development proves to be lower than that of proprietary software. For many individuals and companies this is often an important issue and the main reason for adopting open source solutions in their development practices.
At QArea, we have been successfully utilizing a number of open source systems and tools to deliver highly functional, customized, scalable and cost-effective solutions to our customers.