Open Source Development

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What is open source?

Open source software development refers to freely accessible code written and maintained by communities relying on a peer-review and open feedback process. The code is available for the public to view, use and modify as seen fit. Users share and build upon one another’s source code.

For example, the source code of the Linux kernel, the largest open source project in the world, is forked by many companies to develop their own distributions on top of it. Kubernetes, an orchestration platform that esynergy has used in its solutions for clients, was initially started at Google and is now an open source project maintained by an active community.

Open source softwares are released under licences, stating how its users can use and share the code. At esynergy, we advocate the use of open source softwares where essential, to bring in its full benefits.

History of Open Source Development

In the 1950s and 1960s, software was developed by researchers working collaboratively with peer reviews and an open feedback process. More and more software was developed independently by companies, and in later years by communities which used these working principles to collaborate on writing software, which are now called open source projects.

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Why do businesses use open source development?

The majority of Fortune 500 companies use open source software. Walmart, ExxonMobil, and Verizon have all open sourced their projects and contributed to other open source projects. There are many benefits in open source projects that businesses may find attractive.

Reduced costs

Anyone can use open source software for free. The cost of proprietary software is not borne by businesses. Rather than writing the code from scratch, developers can simply modify it.

Transparency, flexibility and improved collaboration

As the code is maintained by an open source community, peers actively work on and improve it. They also provide support to developers using the code. It removes the need to get locked in with a vendor because there is no single author or company owning the software.

Transparency is also achieved, as any changes made to the code or its releases can be tracked by anyone.

Faster Time to Market

Open source software does not require purchase orders, contracts, or negotiations. Unlike commercial software installations that are oftentimes lengthy and cumbersome, open source software is generally download-and-go. Thus, development cycles are shortened, reducing time to market.

Better security and reliability

Anyone in the world can use the software as stated in the licence. Generally, the code is available for public scrutiny. This means bugs, vulnerabilities, or any issues in the code base are caught and rectified quicker, making the software more reliable and secure.

esynergy has experience in helping organisations achieve their business objectives and successfully execute projects using open source technologies, further enabling ownership and decreasing reliance on expensive, proprietary tech.

Open source software development what to look out for?

Sometimes the sheer size of the open source projects makes it difficult for any sensible inspection. For example, in recent times, Log4j, a widely used open source logging utility, contained exploitable vulnerabilities.

It is important for businesses using open source projects to have a good understanding of the code base and what it does.

At esynergy, our open source consultant engineers have experience understanding, using and contributing to a wide range of open source projects enabling our clients to avoid the downsides of open source softwares.

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