The very fundamental difference between open source and proprietary software is the availability of the source code. Open source provides the source code along with the software and users can read and modify it at will. With proprietary software, you cannot view the source code and any customization needs to go back to the developers who created the software. Open source is highly customizable and hence very popular these days. It gives businesses the scope to do something unique and innovative with it.
So, why is open source web development so popular? Why are more and more companies turning towards open source code for their web requirements? Here are a few reasons to consider:
All software, however expertly developed is has bugs. The good thing about open source is that anyone who understands the source code can fix the bugs. The code need not go back to the proprietary developers to be fixed. For proprietary software, only the original developers have the right to change the code.
If you require any kind of customization in the features for proprietary software, the code needs to go back to the original developers. You cannot outsource this task. Closed source applications also have limited customization features as the flexibility in coding is limited. Open source applications on the other hand provide you with excellent customization features and you can out source this task to anyone who has the knowledge of the programming language used in the code. Since the source code is available, you can modify any part of it.
This is becoming an increasingly difficult problem to handle. When you purchase particular software or decide to use a particular technology you are practically locked in. It gets difficult to change vendors and change the providers. That’s where open source software seems so charming! You can hire open source web developers and easily switch your technology providers as they have access to the source code and can easily read and modify it.
If the proprietary software vendor decides to discontinue products or charge extra for upgrades and support, you are left with n choice but to follow. With open source software, you can easily hire new talent and begin from where the previous team left off. There is never going to be a support problem as talent is readily available!
Most open source software is available at low or no costs! So, the developers or team of developers can afford to provide you with open source web development services at lower rates. When the cost of the original software itself is sky high, the total cost of ownership also increases significantly.
To sum it up, different businesses have different requirements. But if you wish to have a wide range of features and customizations at lower costs, open source technologies will definitely help. You will no longer be at the mercy of some provider somewhere and get unique, flexible and reliable web solutions for your business requirements.