In the context of IT, Open Source means that the source code can be seen, used and changed publicly by anyone. Therefore, Open Source products are usually free of charge. 

The best-known Open Source solution is the Linux operating system, which has established itself as the operating system of servers. However, among the top 5 of the Battery Open Source Software (BOSS) Index are also software solutions as NodeJS, Git, Docker and MySQL.

In the figure on the left, we have mapped some Open Source products that we use in our daily business and deploy in projects. 

Open Source products can be divided into four central areas:

Why Open Source?

TIMETOACT uses Open Source software in many projects. The advantages of using Open Source software usually outweigh the risks. Economically, Open Source is a good solution, because it is usually free of charge. The most commonly used license for Open Source software is the MIT license, which tolerates commercial use and further development.

While there is no guaranteed support, there is a huge community especially for the large software products shown here. Most problems can therefore be solved by simply googling. The mostly short release cycles may scare off some customers, but this can also be solved. Many products offer a stable long-term version. An example of this is the Extended Support Releases (ESR) of Mozilla Firefox, or the Long-Term Support (LTS) versions of NodeJS. These versions are released at longer intervals and are supported for much longer.

The probability that such a large project will suddenly no longer be developed is very small. This risk is higher for smaller products that have not been on the market for long. It should not be forgotten that there is no single company behind Open Source products. Even if a company dissolves or withdraws from the market, the product would still be developed.

Advantages:

  • No dependence on a single company
  • Use mostly free of charge and no conditions attached
  • Insight into the source code ( prevents unwanted mechanisms like backdoors )
  • Possibility to extend source code
  • Mostly large helpful community
  • High degree of maturity of the application due to constant development

Disadvantages:

  • No free support from the manufacturer
  • No guarantee for further development

We are also happy to advise you on the subject of Open Source and help you find the right solution.