These types of software solutions don't always solve the same problems. In fact, most open-source software is geared towards different niche solutions.
However, because it is accessible to the general public, it is typically very easy to obtain and incorporate into digital solutions.
Now, it is important to remember that just because open source software is free to use, it doesn't mean that just anyone can use it. Open-source software refers to lines of code (and its variations) that are available.
So, depending on the type of this software, you'll likely still need a qualified software developer to inspect that code, customize the software to your specifications, and integrate it into your current operations.
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Very often free source software is used as a synonym with open source software.
Though similar, these two are different types of software.
Both of them offer similar licenses but share different ideologies.
Richard Stallman introduced the concept of free source software back in the 1980s. Its main goal was that all users have the right to operate, copy, share, study, change, and improve this software.
Open source software, on the other hand, was introduced in the late 1990s by a group of individuals as a reaction to the limitations of free source software.
The main difference they presented was that they changed the emphasis from freedom to security. And, they also brought other pragmatic benefits like transparency and cost savings.
All free source software can qualify as open source software. However, not all open source software can be free.
For instance, Open Watcom is an integrated development environment whose license cannot be modified and used privately.
Conversely, Velo by Wix, a full-stack development platform that allows brands and development agencies to create advanced websites and web apps, is an open development platform, so there’s zero cost involved.
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Open source software licenses allow users and commercial companies to run, modify and share different sets of software code.
In other words, these licenses are legal contracts between the creator and the user. They imply that anyone with a license can use the software under specific conditions.
They are mostly available free of charge and sometimes may have restrictions.
For example, users may be confined to preserve the name of the authors. Or, it may also happen that they are not able to redistribute the licensed software under the same license only.
There are over 200 licenses of this type.
Here are the most popular:
MIT license (MIT): The users who are MIT licensed can use open source software code according to their preferences and without any restrictions. This license is also GPL-compatible meaning that users can modify the original code without affecting the resultant derivative code of the original permit.
Apache License 2.0 (Apache-2.0): Those who have issued an Apache license can freely run, modify and share software code. However, they must follow the terms of the Apache license which has strict rules, especially to redistribution. Thereby, users have to provide unequivocal statements verifying that files have been modified. And, they also need to include notices in their original work.
3-clause BSD license (BSD-3-Clause): The developers who own a BSD-3-Clause license also need to include the original copyright notice, disclaimer and several other conditions that are mandatory. This license is very similar to MIT. However, the main difference is that it provides a clause that protects the original creators of the software.
GNU General Public License (GPL): Those who write software code under GPL, must release it as open source. In other words, all the users are obliged to release the full source code and all the rights to change and share the entire code.
Common Development and Distribution License 1.0 (CDDL-1.0): All the users who own a CDDL can reproduce and distribute any original and derivative work. However, they cannot make any trademark, copyright or patent changes included in the contract. When developers share a modified form of the source, they must make it available under CDDL. However, if the form does not contain the original code, they don’t have to release it under CDDL.
Before you start using any open source code, understand the types of licenses and its rules to stay compliant.
The Most Popular Types Of Open Source Solutions
Here are some of the most popular types of open source software:
1. Open Source CRM
CRM (customer relationship management) software allows companies to manage customer interactions and meet their requirements easier.
In other words, it helps businesses improve customer care which is essential in boosting client satisfaction and bringing profitability.
This software makes it possible to stay organized and boost your productivity as well. There are different open source examples for CRM and they are usually free to download.
However, they do require technical ability to use and are customizable to your needs.
The best free open source CRM solutions in 2022 are:
Open source project management software is important in enhancing the business’ performance since it makes collaboration easier and delegating tasks simpler.
3. Open Source Video Games
Most of the open source video games are free to use and modify. Developers and game designers can freely share them across platforms.
Many of these games are also incorporated in Linux distributions by default. And, users can download and install the more popular ones on other platforms like Mac OS and Windows.
Some of the open source video games may be under restrictive licenses as well.
Here are the best open source software examples of video games in 2022:
Battle for Wesnoth: This game can run on Windows, Android, Mac and iOS. It is a turn-based tactical strategy game that offers a large variety of maps, units, classes and campaigns.
OpenTTD: This software video game is available on Windows and Android. It is actually a replica of Transport Tycoon Deluxe that has new features. Developers are able to create complicated rail networks while allowing the players to find their own solutions and designs.
Xonotic: This game can run on Windows, Mac OS and Linux. It offers a variety of weapons to choose from and uses thrilling actions that game developers can modify to make it more exciting.
4. Blockchain Open Source
Blockchain open source is a software that users run to record transactions between two parties.
So, every time someone makes a transaction, the information is documented on a spreadsheet to which all the participants have access to.
However, its downside is that it cannot be modified and users actually agree via consensus to add data on the platform.
What’s great about this software, on the other hand, is that it is secure.
Blockchain software mainly targets the financial sector. But it is also widely used by eCommerce businesses, in online voting, e-governance, etc.
These are the most popular blockchain open source software examples of 2022:
Ethereum: This software brings businesses and users together while helping them to make smart contracts. Its development team constantly makes significant improvements to the protocol to increase the support and user experience.
Hyperledger: This platform focuses on improving the wide-array of cross-platform blockchain technology. It helps enterprise-level businesses in more secure globally conducted transactions.
Ripple: This software also helps businesses manage various financial transactions. It connects corporates and banks with different service providers around the world while ensuring the security of data.
Open Source Software Takeaways
Open source software matters to developers in building a career while allowing them to work on some of the biggest platforms around the globe.
However, it also unlocks the doors to innovators who like to contribute to open source projects.
Last but not least, it makes the lives of many individuals and businesses easier by providing them with customized solutions.
And, the best open source software examples we’ve provided above are just proof of how beneficial this software is.
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