What Is Open Source?
Free and open source software (FOSS) typically refers to software that is accessible via a license granting users the freedom to copy, modify, study, and distribute the software's source code. Applications classified as FOSS usually may be obtained without prohibitive licensing requirements or costs. Companies providing open source software are commonly known for providing support, implementation, training, and customization services.
How Open Source Helps Companies
The common pragmatic arguments for open source software focus on cost savings, security, stability, development efficiency, and extensive support communities. Companies interested in open source applications appreciate the benefits of non-restrictive licensing barriers, lack of vendor lock-in, dedicated support options, interoperability between systems, and the future-proofing of their IT investments.
Misconception: FOSS applications cost nothing.
Reality: Vendors do sell open source applications. While these systems may ultimately present cost savings, much depends on maintenance, implementation, and other cost factors.
Misconception: FOSS applications are too risky for mission critical uses.
Reality: Open source software is relied upon for mission-critical servers, enterprise applications, and embedded devices.
Misconception: FOSS isn't ready for the enterprise.
Reality: In fact, there is a growing segment of enterprise applications that are free and open source software. Some mature applications are visible in TEC's evaluation centers.
Misconception: There's nobody to call when you have a problem.
Reality: Most companies providing FOSS applications model their businesses around providing support, implementation, and customization services.
Free and Open Source Software Risks
Risks include costs that may be associated with migrating from present proprietary systems to new open source applications. Despite the large quantity of existing FOSS projects, not all are mature, and there may be additional research requirements to observe before selecting the right solutions. Because many companies can provide services (implementation, support, etc.) around the same FOSS applications, selecting a provider may be more involved.
Why Use the Open Source Evaluation Center?
- Evaluate sources of support for migrating servers or desktop systems to GNU/Linux.
- Understand how different open source enterprise software companies provide their services
- Compare enterprise applications that support open source platforms