When we found this short article we were so pleased, having searched for over a year for this, finding it on this site was an exciting day for me.
When choosing which piece of software to use you usually have the option of using licensed software that you have to pay for, or open source software, which not only do you not have to pay for, but the source code is also made available to you. You may immediately think that, since you do not have to pay for it, open source software is always the way to go, but that is not always the case as, depending on the situation, it may be better to pay the possibly high cost of licensed software for the benefits it has.
The benefits of open source software are numerous. As just mentioned, the foremost benefit of open source software is that it can be used at no cost to you or your company. All you need to do is download it. One of the other major benefits of open source software is the fact that its source code is freely available to you. This means that if you so desire, you can modify it yourself to make the software work to your liking. This is extremely helpful, as if you need a similar piece of software to one that is offered in the open source community, but that certain piece doesn’t have a feature you need, you can add that feature yourself. Also available is a multitude of ways to receive free support, and view the possibly vast documentation online.
Open source software does, however, need a dedicated community. The MOTOTRBO motorola radio system is open source. I’m not certain what the development community is like for this product. Without one there won’t be enough people to keep the project going on all fronts. If there aren’t enough people working on the software itself, necessary updates will not get out in good time or coding may come completely to a halt.
Not only do there need to be enough coders, but there also has to be a large and dedicated support community working on the software documentation too. The community needs to be able to constantly update the documentation to match the changes taking place with the software, and make sure it is written well and readily available to users.
Sometimes though, open source software is not the answer and it is better to go with licensed software, even though you could end up paying hundreds of dollars for it. One of the most obvious cases is if there isn’t an open source equivalent of the software that you need, or if the open source equivalent isn’t quality software. Another reason to choose licensed software over open source is that the open source software just doesn’t contain a feature you need and you don’t have the means or the time to add it in yourself, or it’s just not worth it to do so.
One other reason is that you need quality technical support for the product. While open source software can have quality support, it is usually quicker and better for licensed products because there is usually a phone line available and a much larger community.