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Top Advantages and Disadvantages of Open Source Software

updated on Dec 07, 2017
Top Advantages and Disadvantages of Open Source Software In below, we have worked out a comprehensive review to unveil the main advantages and disadvantages of open source program that is free for people to use in their business, which is its greatest advantage. Note that although open source software has a great major impact on your entire organization, it has some disadvantages as well since it is developed by a non-profit community.

Read the following parts to learn the top advantages and disadvantages of open source software in detail.

How Open Source Software Works

Generally, the open source software, tools, scripts or programs are free to use for your online platforms or even businesses. The developers choose to make the source code of the software available online publicly. This can do good to the overall software community as other developers can easily see how the software works.

In addition, users can use, modify and share the open source item to everyone. As the end user, you can take advantage of it for your personal projects, for your online business and anything others without even paying a dime. After all, the software is developed under the open source license, which grants you the right and freedom to redistribute and to use it. There are no limitations and boundaries at all.

Actually, from the business points of view, there is no big difference between the open source software and the commercial one. However, you need to mention that the open source product does not require you to pay for it. Even, if you have the proper experience or knowledge in the programming languages, you can be the co-developers. This means you can give the suggestion about how to improve the software, report the buggy things or even make the modification on your own.


Lesser Hardware Cost & Lower Software Cost

Since Linux and open source software solutions are easily portable and compressed, it takes lesser hardware power to carry out the same tasks when compared to the hardware power it takes on servers, such as Solaris, Windows, or workstations. With this advantage, users are able to get conceivable results by using cheaper or older hardware.

What's more, you are capable of cutting your expenses down by using open source products, because you can save on licensing fees and maintenance fees. You just need to pay money for documentation, media and support.

High Quality

Advantages and Disadvantages of Open Source Software - QualityMost open source programs are with high quality, which are well-designed and can be efficiently used in coding. Besides, it continually evolving in real-time as developers add and modify it, which means it can be better quality, more secure and less prone to bugs than proprietary systems, because it has so many users poring over it and weeding out problems.

In addition, when you use this kind of software, the source code is available. Al the things make it extremely popular with organizations.

No Vendor Lock-in

Using open source software also means that you are not locked in to using a particular vendor's system that only works with their other systems. Therefore, IT managers in organizations adopting this kind of software are able to avoid constant frustration when dealing with vendor lock-ins. Besides, they also can keep far away from lack of portability, expensive license fees and inability to customize.

Furthermore, open source solutions are not dependent on the company or author that originally created them. Even when the company fails or the author is no longer interested in supporting the particular product, the community can continue to keep it alive and event improve it.

Integrated Management & Simple License Management

Advantages and Disadvantages of Open Source Software - ManagementOpen source software uses technologies, such as common information model and web based enterprise management, by using which webmasters are able to benefit from integrated management. Besides, these high-end technologies enable users to integrate and combine server, application, service and workstation management, which results in efficient administration.

When you use open source programs, you would no longer worry about licenses for it enables you to install it several times and use it from any location. In this way, you are free from monitoring, tracking and counting license compliance.


No Free Support

Of course, there are many disadvantages of the open source programs. The most obvious one is that an open source product can tend to evolve in line with developers' wishes than the needs of the end users, which could cause some problems for the users. If they don't know how to use the particular product, they will have to either spend some much time on it or to pay for the support.

Lower Security

Advantages and Disadvantages of Open Source Software - SEcurityIf your company is using open source CMS to transmit or house sensitive client data, security might be a concern as well. However, open source products are not secure enough, so many enterprises take smart position of not using them for mission-critical operations like financial and medical records.

High Maintenance Overhead

As the source code is freely available over the Internet, there will be more and more user suggestions for bug fixes and patches. This may lead to numerous patches, which makes source code more complex and potentially lead to structure quality issues. In addition, any structure problem leads to higher cost of maintenance.


From the comprehensive review above, it can be concluded that open source software has its own advantages and drawbacks, which may be very useful in particular situations, but requires more technical skills than commercial proprietary systems, so you may need to spend time in training employees to the level needed to use it.

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