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What is open source software?

What is open source software exactly and how does it work? Open source software is used for a number of things and it is beneficial because users can alter the source code, which means you can personalize it. Some of the common open source software programs that are commonly used are Microsoft Access, Excel and Word. When you purchase software, it comes in a version known as "ready" so you can alter the program but not actually alter the code. This means you won't see the source code so you can't accidently ruin the program. The open source software is one that can offer access to the coding so you can alter it and change it to be more like your companies needs.

The reason why you want your source code hidden is so you don't end up losing the program or having your programs compromised in some way. When other people get access to it and they have access to your company in some way, it can end up causing a security leak and will provide you with a very difficult situation that you need to worry about. Open source software can be quite beneficial to the program as it does allow you to alter the code so you have more control over the programs. It depends on your needs as to what open source software you need. You also need to consider the operating system you are working with in order to determine what type of source code is needed for your system.

Here are some of the best features to find with open source software:

  1. Freely distributed - this means that the program can be sold in a package for you to use. The program doesn't have a restriction on it so you do have the full use of it for your needs. The one thing you do need to be careful about is that you cannot distribute it as you want because you will have fees.

  2. Redistribution and Source Code - of course this is the best thing about the open source software as you want the source code with the compiled code so you can alter it for your companies needs. Modified software still has restrictions and you have to read the license of the original program to note that you likely won't be able to use it for your own selling purposes.

  3. Free License - the license will have terms and conditions so you cannot resell the product but you really do have a lot of control and access over what goes on. Find out the free license because you have the technology that you need to provide your customers with the right software but sometimes you do have restrictions on how it can be used. The free license usually means you don't have limitations.

Open source software is available for free, which is how many people are able to get things like virus programs and other enhancements for their computers. Just know what type of software you are really getting so you don't cause a virus outbreak or something else to occur.

When you use open source software you do need to be aware that you have no tech support that comes with it. The tech support isn't available so it's a make or break system that happens and you need to figure it out on your own. Look at the types of open source software and make sure you aren't getting one that is malicious or one that will end up causing you to have a virus outbreak to your company computers.

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