This article is a general beginners introduction, which discusses the value that Open Source computer software can bring to the Enterprise. Now maturing as a technology with a high number of IT Professionals backing it, Open Source software can surely only get better? With huge amounts of resources being invested into development the future looks great for this technology. We hope you enjoy this mini guide to Open Source Software (OSS).
What is Open Source Computer Software
Open Source software can trace its origins back to 1983 with the launch of the free software movement. The term “Open Source Software” (also called OSS), emerged in 1988, because Open Source Software is not always entirely free of charge, but is virtually always available at a low/minimal cost.
Open Source computer software is computer software that has been developed and is available either free of charge or at a very low price. This software is available to anybody, private and/or enterprise to download. Once downloaded the software can be copied, modified and redistributed without incurring any fees.
Open Source software now includes some of the most popular software in use in the world.
Example Open Source Software in use
Application Software – A wide variety of application software is available from open source vendors. Included in this category are popular browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Chromium.
Graphics Editors are quite popular “Open Source” applications, examples including Blender, Gimp and Inkscape.
Operating System Software – Open Source software comes into its own with Operating System Software. The massively popular family of Linux systems (including Red Hat Enteprise) feature. Also included is Android a popular operating system for mobile devices, smartphones and tablet computers. Haiku is another popular operating system developed in C++ that resides
Programming Languages – A variety of programming languages are all available as Open Source products. Examples of this include Perl, PHP and Python which are all really well known programming languages.
Server Management Software – Open Source also delivers in the field of Server Management Software. The popular Blogging tool, WordPress is Open Source. Also Wikipedia operates on MediaWiki, which is an Open Source software tool. If you are looking for a Content Management System (CMS), then tools such as Drupal, Moodle and TYPO3 may appeal to your needs. If you work in Information Technology, you will have heard of Apache, this is a popular HTTP Web Server, which again is based on Open Source standards.
Open Source software is now a perfectly credible alternative to commercial software for enterprises. Infact Open Source for enterprise software has been credible for some years now. Invest your resources carefully though, Open Source “add-ons”, do cost money. It’s a myth to think that Open Source projects are free, they can be labour intensive and also licensing fees may be needed for certain add-ons in the project.