The Pitfalls of Open Source Software

Open source software is often a good option because it can provide companies with a way to take a piece of software that has already been developed and make adjustments to fit their needs. Sounds great, in most cases, it is functional, customizable and adjustable. It is built by passionate and talented developers that want to share it with the world. However, there are many instances when open source becomes a liability and simply a frustration. Custom software solutions are a better option when the users want a solution with better maintenance and support. Let’s see why and when OSS is not the best way.

Support

The custom software provides more advanced support than the usual open source software, that makes use of uncertified and incompetent forums that could pose enough threat to the system. Sometimes, you may need a fast and reliable answer, and you may not get the correct answer for days in these forums or groups. With other words, due to the fact the software is free, there is a lack of support and a large reason about why OSS is not always the best option.

The upgrades can mess the software

As newton said every action has an equal and opposite reaction. When open source software changes or gets upgraded many of the times it is redeveloped upon the improvement. Due to this, endpoints (the area that your system calls) are often changed. This leads to updates crashing your system. Your applications can’t function and due to the point above, lack of support may cause a long time to get an answer.

In many cases, custom software is better

OSS in many cases is a great option. But, custom software is much better in some cases. Let’s see why the custom software is the better option

  • The custom software requires little or no additional cost after the initial payment
  • It provides easy access to labor to manage software infrastructures from time to time.
  • The support is much better and responsive
  • The software comes with a mapped out set of predictable professional solutions which the software producing company takes full control of
  • There are lots of shortcut solutions to complexities encountered with the software
  • Better maintenance than the open source software
  • No unexpected updates that will cause crashes or slow down the apps

Dedicated team that creates and maintains the software

The companies that build custom software have a team of developers that are always committed to the task of resolving any issues with the software. Custom software organizations ensure that their applications stand the test of time because that is their job. The software is adjusted to your own needs with the various custom solutions, unlike the open source.

Security problems

When security is a key point for an organization open source software can raise concern. OSS don’t often use security mechanisms and are more open to hacking, while the custom software if built correctly guarantees security. Unlike the open sourcing software that takes time before you access its module and solve the security problems if any, the companies that produce custom software know how best to handle it in a short period of time.

At the end of the day, OSS is still a viable resource that is used in many custom solutions. It is important that when developing a product, the team producing the product understand the OSS being implemented along with the custom software code. It would be a lie to say that OSS isn’t used in custom development, but knowing when to use it and when not to is just as important as having the knowledge of how to build custom solutions.

 

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Rey Ortega
Rey Ortega

I'm a passionate creator of technologies for businesses. After years of leading software teams & delivering products to market, I founded Grata Software, a software consultancy, that helps businesses innovate and build disruptive products on cloud platforms. At Grata, I am the CEO & Head Solutions Architect.