Open Source Software in Corporate world

Personally I am a big fan of open source. My programming skills come from playing with such softwares. In the corporate world, I have seen companies adopt mature open source softwares, usually supported by well known companies. Most of them are either deployed for internal network or behind the DMZ; not so much in the public zone for commercial purpose.

Here are some quick pros and cons

Pros

  • Very low cost in acquisition (mostly none)
  • Most of them are based on open standards and hence are compatible with similar products as well as commercial products that follow open standards.
  • Community and Developer support available with no extra cost. Some companies that develop open source code may charge a nominal maintenance and support fee.
  • Most of them, especially those available in the market for some time, are reliable, robust and secure because it is tested by global community who are users, testers and learners.
  • Users can hack into the code and do necessary adjustment to fit their need. Most licenses allow this, however some impose conditions such as “creative commons”.
  • Many a times, open source is far much better in quality and performance.
  • Knowledge of what’s happening in these softwares is known to everyone.
  • Always go for open source software that is supported by big companies such as Sun, IBM, etc.

Cons

  • Initial releases are not reliable. Wait for couple of mature releases before adopting an open source
  • Single person written open source software may sometimes go through many releases and it would be hard for us to keep up with it.
  • Bug fixes get delayed.
  • Some of the software may get slower with new release. This happens usually with softwares that are written by single or few programmers.
  • Some of existing legacy hardware may not be supported by certain softwares.

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