The open-source methodology has been with us for decades, allowing developers across the globe to share their expertise by contributing to projects such as Node JS, Apache, PostgreSQL, and ASP.NET.
The power and versatility of open-source libraries and APIs are increased when developers utilize integrated development environments that provide native support to these libraries. Through automated code completion, open-source application components can aid in rapidly building production-ready applications.
Defining Open-Source Software
The term: open-source software, describes the kind of software that was designed to be publicly accessible, implying that anyone who wanted to, could view, and even modify the code of an application.
Open-source application projects are typically developed in a community of developers operating in a decentralized and collaborative way. Peer reviews are central to the open-source community, and often, ensure that high-quality applications and components are built before being distributed.
These projects are typically hosted on an online repository, like GitHub, for example. This allows many members of a particular community to develop components and fix bugs asynchronously, each developer contributing their skill and time for the sake of the project.
The open-source community has grown to much more than just developers in the last few decades. It has become a culture of collaboration across all the various components of the software development lifecycle. Improving not only the code but also the interfaces and compatibility with other services and tools from the community.
Why Open-Source software is so popular?
In a body of work published in the International Journal of Engineering and Technical Research in 2016, Joshi Mayank stated that of all the software being developed on the planet, 78% of software companies utilize open-source components to build their software.
There are clear factors that influence the popularity of open-source utilization.
Organizations need their software solutions to be developed in an agile manner to allow compatibility with new needs that might arise in the market. Open-source software provides this capability. Instead of waiting on the sidelines for a major software house to develop solutions, development teams can take it upon themselves to develop their custom utilities and APIs.
Open-source code sets provide developers with the flexibility to start a project without having to negotiate terms and conditions before testing the viability of available solutions.
Organizations who are active in the global software industry understand that the cutting edge attracts business. It should then make sense that the speed at which open-source tools can be implemented from download to testing and deployment, is a great advantage. Allowing developers to build software that meets the standards of international clients in shorter periods.
Highly Scalable at Low Cost
Open Source can, for the most part, be a cheaper alternative to similar proprietary solutions. Apart from its ability to outshine proprietary solutions in capability and quality, Open-source solutions are ideal for new organizations that are just starting up. These smaller organizations are typically on a tighter budget and saving money today is key to their growth tomorrow.
If the product does not require any assistance, developers can utilize and implement the community version perpetually. Developers, also have the opportunity of experimenting with many alternatives, identifying the one that works for them, and then scaling up with a proprietary solution. A good example of this is MySQL. The community version can be utilized under an open license, for an unlimited period.
Cyber Security Transparency
Because of the responsiveness of the open-source community, commercial open-source solutions are more secure. This is due to the many reviewers that exist in the open-source community and the transparency with which code changes and bug fixes are made. Because of its free nature, open-source solutions are also widely used and scrutinized in production environments.
The benefits of open source as well as the advancement it has brought to the global software industry are truly remarkable. Mature developers understand that taking full advantage of open-source code and platforms will enrich their applications while driving down both costs to implement and cost to maintain. It is noteworthy that not all open-source applications and code sets are created equally, and that developers still need to follow the SDLC before simply plugging any open-source software into production environments.