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.
Open Source's popularity is booming. According to Forrester, 80% of developers have used Open Source technologies.
Open Source developers have designed and engineered countless software solutions, from relatively simple infrastructure components, to entire application suites and enterprise systems. Some examples of Open Source technologies include the Linux and Android operating systems, the Firefox Web browser, the Thunderbird email application, and all products developed and actively supported by OCI. Many businesses and governments are realizing the myriad benefits of Open Source software, including:
- Freedom. Open Source technologies provide organizations a level of control that they don't have with COTS solutions. Open Source software may be tailored to meet specific user needs, enabling rapid innovation and risk mitigation. Users of Open Source technologies 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 technologies 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 technologies are largely a product of collaborative effort by the Open Source community. Open Source technologies 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 technologies are designed and developed to be interoperable, scalable, predictable, and secure.