Open Source is typically created as a collaborative effort in which programmers improve upon the code and share the changes within the community. Open source emerged in the technological community as a response to proprietary software owned by corporations.
The beauty of Open source software, as we all know that is unlike of proprietary software, is that it allows for collaborative development and gives license holders the ability to modify and distribute the software as they choose. The preference for Open Source software is backed by solid reasons such as
- Faster Learning curve
The distribution terms of open-source software must comply with the following criteria:
- Free Redistribution
- Source Code
- Derived works
- Integrity of the Author’s source code
- No Discrimination against fields of Endeavour
- Distribution of License
- License must not be specific to a product
- License must not restrict other software
- License must be technology-neutral
Open Source has carried its path from cost effective to Business critical platform. Some of the open source applications and platforms that have risen to prominence are :
- Drupal – Its open source nature and unique ability to combine content and community in a unified experiment made it a natural choice as the technology platform to support social publishing objectives.
- SUSE Linux – It is an operating system built on top of the open source Linux kernel and is distributed with system and application software from other open source projects and it is known for its YaST configuration tool.
- Red Hat Linux – It is an enterprise operating system due to its acquisition of open-source middleware JBoss. Red Hat provides storage, operating system platforms, middleware, applications, management products, and support, training and consulting services. The company’s customers are really paying for isn’t a copy of the software, which they can get elsewhere for free, but for the support they need to use it.
- Odoo(formerly OpenERP) – It is a suite of web based open source business apps which includes an open source CRM, Website Builder, eCommerce, Project Management, Billing & Accounting, Point of Sale, Human Resources, Marketing, Manufacturing, Purchase Management.
- ERPNext – It is a free and open-source integrated Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software developed by Frappé Technologies Pvt. Ltd. and it is built on MariaDB database system using a Python based server-side framework. It is an alternative to NetSuite and QAD and similar in function to Odoo, Tryton and Openbravo.
- Zimbra – It is a newer product that has a very rich Web 2.0 interface that provides more than just email and calendaring and includes mapping functions and email tagging.
- OS Ticket – It is a web portal to the customers to create, track and respond to support requests. It helps to create a knowledgebase of help content to help users find the information they need. It is also integrated with email where tickets can be created from email and also prioritize route incoming mail to appropriate personnel and departments.
The Government of India through its program Digital India has made it clear to adopt Open Source software in all e-Governance systems implemented by various Government organizations. Digital India program is poised to give Information Technology (IT) a secured position inside & outside India. Start-up enterprises have emerged due to Start-up and Stand-up India programme initiatives by the Government of India. These start-up enterprises, have now adopted a cost effective open source culture for managing their day to day yet business critical activities like email, document management, ticketing tool, ERP, CRM and other applications. In addition to acquiring these open source applications for their business needs, they are also looking at avenues to distribute these open source software to other start-ups and small and medium enterprises (SME) , thus opening up a new business model for them.
IT sector in India today has transformed India’s image from a slow moving bureaucratic economy to one of the biggest IT capitals of the modern world with all the major players in the world of IT sector having their presence in the country. India’s presence in IT today has been a constant development of its skills over a span of last 25 years. Now, this skilled IT community is also a major contributor in the field of Open Source technology.
Some of the organizations in India using open source software are PSUs like Indian Railways’ IRCTC, BSE, Open City Portal for E Governance, Spices Board of India, various investment banks and many more are in the process of adoption. Looking at the cost effectiveness of the open source solutions coupled with the Indian Government policies towards welcoming Open source, a paradigm shift can be predicted in the near future.
Vishal is lead Technology Consultant and founder member of Ranadive Consultancy Services Pvt. Ltd. He is carrying Engineering degree in Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering from University of Pune. He is a multifaceted professional with core competencies in Computational techniques, ERP & Business Consultancy. With more than 14 years of experience in his field