Business Utilization Of Open Source Software

1955 words - 8 pages

Open Source 2

Business Utilization of Open Source Software

Open source software is used in many businesses and is used in more ways then people realize. The idea behind open source is the development of high quality, reliable and low-cost software. Some of the organizations using open source software include Travelocity, Wikipedia, and the US Postal Service. Some the widely used applications include Apache web service, Vyatta, 7zip and Open Office.
Open system vs. closed system. Closed systems such as Microsoft products are the property of the company who developed and is protected under patents or copyright laws. The codes and languages that the products are based on are kept secret and the source codes are not visible. With closed source it is also illegal to copy, redistribute or change the code in any way. Open source however, is the opposite. Open source software must fall under certain licensing conditions and the codes are able to be viewed and changed by users and developers in order to meet there needs. There are pros and cons to both open and closed source though, for instance with a closed source application support can be more easily obtained and updates can be quickly distributed. The cost of these applications and software can be much greater then that of open source. With Open Source programs and software can be freely downloaded but the support is what the user may need to pay for. For instance you can download a program for free but in order to get some updates you may need to pay a subscription fee or a fee for support.
In order for something to be considered open source it must fall under ten standard licensing conditions. According to Wikipedia they are

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1. Free Redistribution: the software can be freely given away or sold. (This was intended to expand sharing and use of the software on a legal basis.)
2. Source Code: the source code must either be included or freely obtainable. (Without source code, making changes or modifications can be impossible.)
3. Derived Works: redistribution of modifications must be allowed. (To allow legal sharing and to permit new features or repairs.)
4. Integrity of The Author's Source Code: licenses may require that modifications are redistributed only as patches.
5. No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups: no one can be locked out.
6. No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor: commercial users cannot be excluded.
7. Distribution of License: The rights attached to the program must apply to all to whom the program is redistributed without the need for execution of an additional license by those parties.
8. License Must Not Be Specific to a Product: the program cannot be licensed only as part of a larger distribution.
9. License Must Not Restrict Other Software: the license cannot insist that any other software it is distributed with must also be open source.
10. License Must Be Technology-Neutral: no click-wrap licenses or other...

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