Things To Review Before Opting Open Source Software In 2021

Free and open-source software are developed to be publically available with source code. Let’s review critical factors for the choice of open-source software.

open source software

Overview

You are landed in the right place if you are wondering to adopt software to boost your business. In this rapidly growing world of technology and innovation, there are many factors that can become stoppers such as cost, time, skills, resources, and many more. On the other hand, it is an expensive deal to developed software from scratch to meet the business requirements. Here comes the open source software. Open source software(OSS) is publically available to everyone with all the source code and documentation under a license. It could be built by a single developer or a group of developers who then make it public. Once the visibility of the free software is public, other developers can contribute to that software for enhancements.

Further, the open source community is very vibrant and supportive who has developed along open source software list. There are discussion boards where collaborators and the users come together to share solutions and thoughts. There is a wide range of OSS categories that cover most of the business aspects. Of course, there are some things to consider prior to going for an open source application that we will discuss in this blog post by covering the following points.

Community

This is the most important factor while going to opt for an open source solution (OSS). It becomes very hard to manage the software if there is not enough support available. Most of the developers tend to maintain the reliability of the software. Therefore, you should always prefer free open source software (FOSS) that has vibrant community support so that if there is any serious issue that occurs, that should be resolved.

Documentation

The next critical aspect in choosing open source applications is documentation. Most of the open source software (OSS) come with detailed and comprehensive documentation. However, it is still not the case with every OSS. The software with less or no docs can put you in trouble. Sometimes, developers write the user manual into another space other than the software site. So, always make sure that you have opted for an OSS with complete documentation.

Portability

This characteristic is equally important as the others such as documentation, security and etc. You need to make sure that the open source software (OSS) is portable and environment-friendly. It is easily set-hosted and comes with complete source code files. Portability has nothing to do with the installer but the software files. Self-hosted software enable developers to gain complete control over the development, production state, and security.

Git Stats

It is a very basic yet important activity before going to choose free software. Always review the Git repo of a particular product thoroughly. It includes the number of forks, stars, and other stats that show the popularity of the open source tools. Also, check the issues section of the Git repo to make sure that no serious issue is attached with this open source application.

Licensing

This factor is inevitable when it comes to selecting free open source software (FOSS). While exploring the Git repo stats, do check the license of the product regarding permissions. Go through the terms and conditions written about the usage, development, and distribution of the OSS. Some of the licenses are open source but not free. Therefore, you have to choose free software that is completely open source and free.

Extensibility

The biggest reason behind opting for an open source tool is its extensible nature. Free software must be configurable, scalable, and easy to expand. The open source community provides the best ways to keep the software flexible regarding every aspect so that the users do not get panic at the time of any revision or addition of new functionality. In addition, users can find a number of plugins, REST APIs exposed by most of the popular open source tools such s Content Management Software, Blogging Software, Rapid Application Development, and many more.

Security

Last but not least, the security of any software cannot be compromised at any cost. However, you need to analyze the software architecture critically to make sure there is no security breach. It was a misconception in the past that open source software (OSS) are vulnerable to external threats. Therefore, it is not the case at the current point of time as the maturity and popularity are increasing with the passage of time.

Final Thoughts

This brings us to the end of this blog post. We have gone through the important practices that should be followed while choosing an open source software (OSS). We have seen many of the tech giants are adopting free open source software (FOSS) to meet business needs. However, this widespread indicates the robustness and efficiency of the open source applications. There is a long open source tools list mentioned in the explore section below. Moreover, you can find many OSS at containerize.com that are all free, open source, and come with self-hosting capabilities. I would recommend you to choose an open source solution for your business that meets your business requirements.

Finally, containerize.com is writing articles on further open source products. Therefore, please stay in touch for regular updates.

Explore

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