“In the world of community software, open source communities develop and improve ideas organically, based on concepts and practices that work. Driven by innovation contributed by individuals, open source simply means that a system is available to any who wish to contribute. It provides the fastest possible rate of improvement for ideas.”-Lawrence Lessig, Professor and Director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, 2012
Open source refers to a development model in which a program’s “blueprints” are available and accessible for use, modification, and enhancement by other developers. Some examples of open source products include the Linux and Android operating systems, the Firefox Web browser, the Thunderbird email application, and all of technologies developed and actively supported by OCI.
Open source's popularity is booming. According to the Forrester Research Report (Development Landscape: 2013), 76% of developers have used open source technology.
Open source developers have designed and engineered tens of thousands of software solutions, from relatively simple infrastructure components to entire application suites and enterprise systems. Business and government are quickly coming to realize the myriad benefits of open source software, including:
Freedom. Open source solutions provide organizations a level of control that they don't have with commercial off-the-shelf offerings. Software can be tailored to meet specific user needs, enabling rapid innovation and risk mitigation. Users of the solution are no longer locked into a commercial vendor's limited feature set, release schedules, and licensing costs. With no run-time licensing fees, users can have as many copies as needed—often with zero additional cost.
Reusable, modifiable, extensible. By having access to the source code, users of open source solutions have the flexibility to evaluate the software or system as their needs inevitably evolve. Developers may then modify, extend, and add features to the software… as needed.
Ongoing community support. Open source solutions are largely a product of collaborative effort by the open source community. Open source products are constantly used, scrutinized, tested, improved, updated, and documented by the open source community, backed by universities, government agencies, and private organizations. Thanks to this growing and able community, open source products are designed and developed to be interoperable, scalable, predictable, and secure.
OCI has been building, using, and contributing to open source products and solutions for over 20 years. We have built and actively support a suite of open source products, including OpenDDS, TAO, and QuickFAST.
Wondering if open source will work for you? Contact us.