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April 17, 2013 / by Daniel Huchthausen / In Insides

Open Source. More Business

+++This post was migrated from our former blog about SCM-Manager Universe. Therefore, the design is slightly different and some information might not be 100% applicable to Cloudogu EcoSystem. So don't be alarmed; enjoy reading.+++

Open source an option for my business, too? What advantages does open source have? And where are its limits?

Find out about the advantages and disadvantages of open source, and discover the risk-free solution to make open source software useable to your business.

Open Source Advantages

Advantage
Explanation
(Haken) Continuity Developers that are interested in a particular open source software, will always use effort to enhance the software.
(Haken) Costless Of course, open source software is without license fees, it is free for use.
(Haken) Flexibility Because open source software mostly uses common standards and is based on an open architecture, it is very flexible and easy to extend.
(Haken) Highly compatible Typically open source software is highly compatible to a variety of systems, because the developers and assistants are using differently configured systems.
(Haken) No exclusive rights Open source software can be used by everyone who wants to use it. The development of open source software is not particularly for one customer.
(Haken) Problem- oriented In general the development of open source software is problem-oriented and therefore highly service-oriented. This orientation results from the common reason why an open source project is started. Mostly, someone has a problem he needs a software solution for, which does not exist. He starts developing the solution and maybe other developers join him.
(Haken) Variety of developers Often an open source project is run by some key developers and numerous assistants. Everyone can participate and contribute ideas to the project.

Open Source Disadvantages

Disadvantage
Explanation
(Fehler) No concrete contact person and office hours Most open source projects are being worked on during the developers and assistants leisure time. Thus there are no concrete contact persons or office hours. Hence you do not have a guaranteed response time. If you are lucky, you will get an answer to your request very fast. If you are out of luck, it can take days before someone responds to you.
(Fehler) No guaranteed continuity Because most people are participating in open source projects during their free time, their interest might change and they stop working on the project. Therefore the "support" of open source software can cease from one day to another.
(Fehler) Collaboration problems There can be problems in the collaboration of open source- and closed source software, because the closed source software does not use common standards.
(Fehler) More research required Because there is no official documentation for most open source software, users have to search for information in various panels or wikis to find the information needed. This can consume a lot of time.

More Business

After having pointed out the advantages and disadvantages of open source software one can conclude that most of the disadvantages result from the highly time-consuming work for the person in charge of the software:

  • No concrete contact partner means that one has to look for a place to present a certain issue.
  • No reliable office hours means that it is not certain when a presented issue is being processed.
  • No guaranteed response time means that it is uncertain whether someone even starts to process an issue, therefore one has to check up the status frequently.
  • High research effort means that if one wants to solve an issue on one´s own, one has to look in lots of different places to find the answer.

If you use open source software in a private environment these aspects might be less important. But using open source software in a business environment, where time is money, the lack of fix response times means less productivity and therefore higher costs. This is where professional support for open source software comes into play. It combines the advantages of open source, like for example flexibility, compatibility and problem-oriented design with reliability in terms of a personal contact partner, fix office hours, guaranteed response times and a reduction of time effort. Of course this compensation is at the cost of the most obvious open source advantage, costlessness. Customers of professional open source support can delegate all software related issues to their contact partner. This way customers can concentrate on their everyday work while the solution for their software issue is being processed.

The SCM-Manager support by TRIOLOGY GmbH provides you exactly that!

Best regards,
your SCM-Manager Support Team


Daniel Huchthausen

- Consultant -

When he is not exploring the wilderness, Daniel keeps himself busy with topics such as quality assurance, testing and PM methods.


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