Open Source solutions are well-known in the IT environment. The dynamic development of free, open-source applications spends sleepless nights at providers of paid, licensed software. However, target users are still wondering what the phenomenon of Open Source products is, whether it is worth trusting them, and why someone is actually sharing their work for free.
As we based our work on open-source solutions like Sylius or Shopware, we will try to dispel some doubts related to open-source software.
Open Source is based on the idea of free software. It means that everyone has the right to launch, copy, distribute, analyze, modify, improve and develop existing products. Nowadays, it is gaining more and more followers. However, its opponents have a lot to complain about, starting with moral and financial issues and ending with a lack of professionalism and questionable software security.
So, what is the truth? Let’s take a look.
1. If the software is open-source, does it mean that there are many bugs and its users are an easy target for hackers?
The main reason for this is to compare the design process of licensed products to the fairly free development of open-source software. Advanced open-source projects are focused on the readability of the code. It facilitates its further modification and speeds up the error search process. Because developers from around the world can participate in the process of improving the application via the Internet, the dynamics of product development is really impressive. Thanks to this, it is rapidly expanded with additional functionality.
The source code is public, and its users check it with very high accuracy. It results in immediate detection and correction of errors. For this reason, the reliability of open-source applications is very high, compared to programs whose code has access only to its creators.
The openness of the code allows its complete verification in terms of security and prevents fraud by the software supplier.
2. Does open-source mean FREE?
There is no additional license fee for open-source software. What’s more, the user can decide for himself whether he wants to pay additional costs for the implementation service or not. If you are not familiar with programming, there are some costs you may pay.
What are they? In general:
- Implementing open-source solutions
- Development – if you need to increase the number of available functionalities
- Technical support
3. Does open-source offer professional technical support, or does the user rely only on community help?
Nowadays, not one programmer, but often a large corporation, takes care of comprehensive solutions. It means that technical support for users of open-source products is at a very high level. In the case of popular products, there is no problem finding a company that will professionally carry out implementation, training and provide appropriate technical support.
4. Are open-source products difficult to integrate with other programs?
Open-source applications, thanks to the use of commonly known modern technologies and code transparency, can be easily combined with other systems.
5. Is open-source software valuable? Why share your work for free?
If someone wants to develop and verify their product quickly, they can share their code and ask others for support. Thanks to this, the application will be developed incomparably faster. As for the financial profit of companies offering open software, as mentioned earlier, it obviously includes implementation, consulting and product training. Open-source is a new way for reliable, high-quality and affordable software, whose idea is to achieve a specific goal in such a way that everyone will be as successful as possible.
Since more and more users see the benefits of participating in the development of open software, it can be said that open-source is the future of all IT solutions.
Advantages of an open-source solution
- Price – no license fee
- Individual adjustment – modifications of the sales platform according to your preferences
- Extensions – a vast number of modules that make it easier to achieve your goals
- Website appearance – you can adapt existing templates to your needs or implement an individual graphic design
- Community – if you have a problem that you can’t handle, you can get help from friendly enthusiasts of a given platform. The largest providers of open-source solutions have their official space where developers support the development of the system, and users exchange ideas and report bugs. There are also unofficial places like groups on Facebook or internet forums.
- Updates – regular system updates that guarantee the security
- Development – thanks to having full control in building your store, you have greater development opportunities in the case of open-source platforms than in the case of SaaS solutions.
Disadvantages of the open-source solution
- Implementation costs – if you don’t have programming knowledge, implementing an open-source platform involves the costs mentioned above. Depending on the platform and implementation methods, the costs may range from several thousand to several hundred thousand EUR
- Updates – sometimes are not automatic and you should do them yourself.
- Hosting – for the proper operation of the system, you should usually buy a dedicated hosting for the given platform.
- Add-on compatibility – when choosing specific solutions for a store, make sure that they will be compatible with each other and will not cause website instability.
There are many specialists on the market, but also active community members who can help with the implementation and technical support of the online store. If you feel we can help you in your case, don’t hesitate to contact us.