Ensuring your development teams have the tools necessary is critical to the success of the project overall. While a variety of tools and solutions can be purchased off-the-shelf, these solutions may not be ideal for the situation in which your developers are working. In order to provide a wider range of options while still keeping the associated costs under control, consider open source instead.
Open Source Software Development
Open Source Software (OSS) provides full public viewing and modification rights to the source code that allows the tool or solution to function. This allows a person or company to take a piece of OSS and adjust it to suit their precise needs at the time. The base code or a framework is provided in order to facilitate further development, including the creation of unique solutions to solve specific issues.
The development activity may be limited to the efforts of a single person or team, or may be a large-scale effort by multiple developers who are working collaboratively toward a common goal. Some development teams contain individuals from various companies, or even countries. Since the focus is on sharing information and skill sets, the end result can be as sophisticated, if not more so, than traditional proprietary software.
Benefits of OSS
The level of transparency and collaborative development style allow various OSS tools and solutions to be both highly accessible and highly adjustable. This can speed up initial development time tables when an appropriate framework can be selected from those that are currently available, and then customized to your ideal use. This can apply to entire software solutions, as well as specific development tools.
Further, most open source options are created with the intent of being freely shared. Often, licenses associated with OSS specifically state that the code, when modified, must be given freely, including the source code. Not only does this create a large pool of highly customizable solutions, it also ensures that no one is charging for, or profiting from, collaborative development efforts, resulting in a large selection of cost-saving solutions for use by your company or development team.
OSS and Security
While the idea of open sources may make a software solution seem less secure, sometimes the opposite is true. Since the source code is widely available, it allows a greater community to spot any vulnerabilities and create patches quickly. Additionally, vulnerabilities are often found in commercial solutions as well, demonstrating that even those considered to be closed source are not invulnerable when it comes to an attack.
Determine Which Tools are Right for Your Team
As with much of the tech industry, the ideal solution of yesterday may not meet the needs of today. In order to be better equipped to thrive, speak with your development teams directly. Find out what options are working best for them, and if certain OSS solutions could improve their overall performance by providing solutions your commercial offerings currently lack.
If you are ready to begin bringing in more OSS tools and solutions into your business, and you need a programmer with the skills necessary to modify solutions from the open source space, the professionals at ITStaff can help you find the skills you need today to meet the requirements of tomorrow. Contact us to get started!
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