What exactly is open source?
Maybe you’ve heard of both open source and open-source software? These are just different names for the same thing. In this blog post, we will explain what open source is, its benefits and why we chose to work with it.
Open source or open source-software means that the source code of the program is available for anyone to improve, change, share and use the code in their projects. There are many different open source CMS’s on the market today, you may have heard of Joomla, Drupal, Wordpress or Umbraco, which we work with. Working with open source means that developers get full access to the source code and usually without having to pay any license fees to the code creators. It also means that developers all over the world can help to review and improve the source code and therefore the quality of the code is better.
Let’s look at some of the benefits of open source
No license fees
That's right, open source usually doesn’t cost anything in itself. But if the software is free and the customer does not pay any license fees for their open source CMS, what do they actually pay for in the projects then? Well, in the project, they are investing in the expertise of the developers. Even if the basic code is free, a lot of work is required to get the best possible result. This means that the customer only pays for what is actually done in the project such as installation, work with content, design customization, functions on the website that suit their company, integration, operation, support, training in CMS or upgrades needed in the future. So instead of spending a large part of the budget on paying large license fees, you can spend the money on development that provides a much greater value for clients.
High security is a priority
Security on the web is of course highly important and it’s often where open source over the years has had its weakness. Reports of hacked websites are dominated by systems created on open source platforms and this is often an argument in itself for choosing a licensed system instead. The costs of a possible infringement can be high in the end, which is why high license costs can feel reasonable to pay instead.
But this is not true for all open source systems, there are differences between the various technical platforms on the market, as well as differences that lie in the system’s architecture and how the website is structured. For Umbraco's part, there are very few reported hacked websites and Umbraco HQ works hard to ensure high security in the system. Among other things, they continuously use an external security company and also take help from the community to find and remedy shortcomings.
We have also made the analysis that it takes a little more competence to build a website based on Umbraco than on some of the competing systems, which leads to higher competence among the suppliers and safer solutions.
Freedom, flexibility and tailor-made solutions
With open source you don’t need to feel any limitations in the projects. Since the code is available for anyone to modify, you can easily make adjustments for both functions and design so that the project is unique to the customer and its needs.
You also get more freedom and can tailor your digital business solutions. You don’t have to choose between pre-selected PIM systems, business systems or similar services, you can simply connect the system that suits you and your company best. It also means that it is very scalable and that companies can easily grow with an open source solution. Which is a huge advantage both to us and our clients.
An entire community that solves problems together
As we have mentioned previously, one of the advantages of open source code is that you as a developer can help others in a completely different way and actually make a difference. You become part of a community where everyone works towards the same goal. Developers all over the world collaborate to find improvements to the code and to find quick solutions to various bugs. Problems usually take a long time to solve, but with the community, the time between the problem occurring until there is a solution in place, is much shorter. If it’s not an open source code, the owner of the code must make the improvements themselves and solve the problems that arise because the code is not available to everyone, which can take a much longer time.
Why we choose open source
Why do we choose to work with open source? This is a very good question which we get from clients from time to time. For us, the benefits are great and important, it’s specifically the benefits we mentioned earlier in the blog post that are the reasons why we work and have worked exclusively with open source for many years. Keywords such as security, flexibility, transparency and financially advantageous are simply the reasons why we believe that open source works best for both ourselves and our clients.
Do you want to know more about open source and what it can do for your company?
Get in touch, we’d love to talk to you!