Open Source and Open Standards in E-Commerce Essay

Introduction

“ First they ignore you, so they laugh at you, so they fight you, so you win. ” Mahatma Gandhi was one time heard stating these words. They absolutely describe the development of unfastened beginning package ( OSS ) for the past 15 old ages. Software created by voluntaries and distributed on-line, was ab initio ignored and no-one was ready to swear the dependability of these package developed by swots. Questions that arose were ; is it secured? What sort of support is available? Who do you hold responsible if your plan clangs?

OSS is non a new phenomenon. Many big companies have abandoned utilizing proprietary package in favour Open Source Solutions. In fact, it is estimated that presently about half of all web waiters are utilizing Apache, which is an unfastened beginning package.

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Harmonizing to assorted definitions, “ Open Source Software ” is a computing machine package for which the clear beginning codification is made available to users to utilize, alteration and better the package and to redistribute it in modified or unmodified signifier.

OSS licensing allows a user to entree the beginning codification, modify, usage, transcript and administer the package along with the associated rights.

Some of the common unfastened beginning bundles are: Apache, Firefox, Gnome, OpenOffice.org, Thunderbird. Some of the operating systems that fall under the unfastened beginning household are: FreeDOS, GNU, Linux, OpenSolaris, ReactOS. Java, Open64, Pearl, PHP and Ruby are unfastened beginning development package.

Many non-profit organisations have been formed to advance unfastened beginning package. Some of which are: Apache Software Foundation, Open Source Initiative ( OSI ) , Linux Foundation and Mozilla Foundation.

Benefits of Open Source Software

  • Reliability – Dependability of a package would intend the absence of defects that could do informations loss, failures and / or wrong operations ; otherwise known as “ bugs ” . Bugs and defects are normally fixed rapidly wherever possible, this being made possible by the handiness of the beginning codification. Unlike the “ closed-source package ” , where all defects/bugs have to be reported to the seller. It so goes through the internal procedures before it is released as an update.
  • Stability – package is a tool to execute the undertakings expeditiously. Unless the concern procedure alterations, the demand to alter a package does non originate. Software sellers need a gross watercourse to maintain their concern traveling whereas the client does non hold any desire to change/upgrade the package that works absolutely. Sellers so come up with tactics to carry client to upgrade their package more or less volitionally. Typical tactics include retreating support of the older version or presenting new characteristics. With unfastened beginning this can be avoided. Having entree to the beginning codification can let a concern to take to back up itself. However, some care and upgrade attempt will ever be needed.
  • Review – Software users have to by and large swear the seller when they preach that their package is secured, adheres to criterions and is flexible to future alterations. Since the package is a “ close beginning ” there is no manner to formalize the statements. However, with unfastened beginning, users can take to officially inspect or carry on an audit on the package.
  • Control – This is something end-users do non hold over their codification. You do n’t purchase proprietary package, you merely lease it. This is one of the factors that makes OSS popular. Companies and end-users are interested in commanding their ain fate and OSS makes this possible.
  • Cost – Most unfastened beginning package available in the market is available free of royalties and fees. From a concern point of position, the entire cost of ownership ( TCO ) is more of import than the cost of the package. A solution with the lowest cost is normally the most desirable. Some of the factors that make unfastened beginning to hold a low TCO include:
    • About zero purchase monetary value
    • Minimal or no ascents, cut downing direction costs
    • No demand to maintain path of licence seats in usage, cut downing administrative costs
    • Zero exposure to viruses and hence extinguishing informations loss and downtime
    • Barely any security breaches and hacker onslaughts, cut downing administrative undertakings
    • Ability to protract life of older hardware and retaining public presentation
    • And most of import, it provides security against ;
      • Collapse of package sellers and
      • Withdrawal of support for the older versions.
  • Support and Accountability – This is one of the most of import factors when sing package acquisition. One of the inquiry that arises when person wants to see unfastened beginning is “ Who do I name for support? ” Experts believe that though the support mechanism and answerability for unfastened beginning is different, it is by and large better than proprietary package. The usual “ End User License Agreement ” will disclaim all liabilities and duties for any serious defects. This understanding is normally a one-way street. Open beginning package besides has a similar disclaimer including fittingness for intent. But for those who have adopted the unfastened beginning package want to look at the practical benefits of increased dependability and security over the options of being able to action. If a package is every bit dependable as MySQL and Linux, support ceases to an issue.

Pitfalls of Open Source Software

  1. Lack of Support
  2. Version Control
  3. Security
  4. Poor Documentation
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