Open Source – Your Gain
The definitions of the term Open Source vary and it is important to note that it means more than just 'open source'.
From our point of view there are several very convincing arguments which make us use OpenSource Software. We would like to share some of them with you:
Due to the access to the source code, Open Source software stays adaptable at all times. It is possible, therefore, to implement features which are more complex and company-specific.
Security holes are quickly detected and eliminated due to the vast community. Furthermore, bugs can be repaired directly due to the open source code.
Stability and Performance
Open Source systems have a far bigger community than commercial systems. They are, therefore, tested more extensively and optimised based on the operating experience.
The support of commercial webapplications involves various costs. If the source code is open, however, developers and users can exchange ideas and programmings among each other. Usually, a commercial support is also available. This can be helpful if problems have to be solved immediately.
In the case of commercial licensing, it is custom to pay a licence fee and, depending on the firm, also a annual maintenance charge. What is more, further adaptations to the system are charged additionally.
Open Source, usually, does not charge a licence fee nor an annual maintenance charge. However, further adaptations to the system are with costs.
It is due to this, that a different cost trend arises between Open Source and closed source software. In this case two cost categories can be distinguished:
The acquisition costs are the costs which arise with the purchase and the adaptation of the software. In the case of Open Source software, the licence fees are omitted.
The environment of a software is in constant change, e.g. due to new market conditions or new technologies. A software does not only have to be freed from bugs but also has to be open to the implementation of further functionalities. These costs are about the same with closed source as with Open Source.
Switch costs arise when the provider is changed. This can occur, for example, if the provider is no longer on the market or in case of insuperable differences. As the source of Open Source software is always available, the provider can be changed without additional costs. As the source is not available with closed source software, it can't be used by the new provider and all the previous investments have to be added to the switch costs. This result is popularly known as the 'lock-in-effect'.
Of course there are also great differences in the quality of Open Source software. In order to wholly profit from the advantages, it is important to chose the right software together with experienced developers.
Für unseren Internetshop waren wir auf der Suche nach einem kompetenten Partner, der auch komplexe Lager- und Produktstrukturen im Shop abbilden kann. Customweb überzeugte uns vor allem durch ihre lösungsorientierte und pragmatische Umsetzung.
Ursula Jacquet, Geschäftsführerin (Minnetonka Schweiz)