It is clear that free open source software can cut any business’ cost significantly. However, many companies and businesses still stick to expensive commercial database software instead of switching to open source software due to the question of reliability and performance, because if it fails in that, then the fall out could possible entail bigger losses.
Still, the tide is changing with EnterpriseDB CEO Ed Boyajian quoted as saying that the “situation is changing very, very fast” and that “open source use is getting stronger”. However, he does acknowledge that “in the database space it can be very costly to move from one platform to the other” which is why they have made a version that is compatible with Oracle technology. This means that applications can then run on both on Oracle and Postgres, so that no rewriting of code has to take place.
With transitions costs cut by this, and the significantly cheaper price of EnterpriseDB, there is now a reliable open source database software available for enterprise needs. Still, it’s up to the business execs to decide whether the financial rewards is worth the investment that switching will still require.
Chamilo, and open source e-learning and collaboration software with a mission of helping improve software tools for education, is holding an international Chamilo User Days event this October in Madrid. The event, called Chamiluda Madrid 2013, aims “to give more opportunities for e-learning and Chamilo experts to meet, share ideas and good practices.”
Chamilo is still needs to be able to come up with a final list of speakers for the event, which is why they have launched a call for papers. All Chamilo users are invited to send in paper suggestions for a “chance to present their ideas, use cases or developments”. Topics that will be entertained and considered include:
1. Specific use case of one Chamilo tool (or combination of tools)
2. Exceptional installations that prove Chamilo is high-load ready
3. New education with technology tendances likely to affect the future of Chamilo
4. Any entertaining topic related to Chamilo that might make people laugh *and* think
Selected entrants will get the financial benefit of one free ticket to the Chamiluda Madrid 2013.
WordPress, Mozilla Firefox, and Open Office are just some of the most commonly used open source software nowadays. WordPress is considered to be one of the most popular blogging spot catering to hundreds of users. This blog platform is widely used for varying purposes including that of related to business. Online shops are very much evident in WordPress and nonetheless, appear to be an effective means of advertising products and services. On the other hand, Mozilla Firefox is a commonly used web browser involving about 20% of the total users. It is known for not only paving way for convenience in browsing but also, its reach makes it possible for users to attain every detail of information needed. Open Office, as well, is widely used. One can create spreadsheets, documents, and presentations through it. Nonetheless, its usage can now be considered as high quality and great as that of the more popular, Microsoft Office.
Open source is advantageous to its users mainly because it involves minimal cost thus allowing free use and even modifications. It as well involves convenience in distribution making it possible for the majority of the online community to enjoy its involved benefits that can contribute to the ease in one’s daily consumption of the Internet. Another is that open source is known for involving a secured usage. It is often said that the wide reach of such source leads to risks, viruses, and lack of security but actually, the opposite happens with open source. This kind of source goes with secured usage mainly because there are numerous users that enable easy access and fixing of arising issues allowing anyone to easily fix bugs or remove viruses. With all those being said, definitely open source will continuously be appreciated and supported by the majority and nonetheless, its benefits and usage will always be considered vital and essential.
Free Open Source Software, also referred to as the FOSS, is a product of the most commonly used software namely free software and open source software. There are several confusions brought by the rise of FOSS and it helps to first understand how the two involved software individually works. Taking one at a time, free software, in simple terms, is software that is free of cost. Online users are given that freedom to easily access, edit, download, and use such kind of software. Usually, its access is attained through readily available source codes that make its usage possible. On the other hand, open source software can be considered more specific in a sense that source codes are made available but involving a license. This license is primarily owned by the host thus giving them the right to decide on whether allow other users to access and use the involved software. These two types collaborated then led to the existence of the Free Open Source Software.
Open source and closed source seem to be continuously compared. What exactly are the differences of these two types of source? There are four bases of comparison namely software development, profit, security, and reach. Definitely, software development with closed source is considered to be of great quality knowing that competitors are inevitable. On the other hand, open source involves shared software thus reducing the involved quality. Open source paves way for greater profit mainly because of the fact that more incumbents are present more specifically, its usage is more open to the online community resulting to more earnings and profit for the host. Security of open source is as well considered to be of greater consideration. Comparing to closed source, open source is believed to be “safer” because it allows more users to use, edit, and fix any arising problem. Lastly, the reach of open source, without a doubt, is wider thus not limiting the maximization of its involved benefits.
Canonical released the latest version of Ubuntu, Ubuntu 13.04, last week giving Ubuntu users a choice between that and Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS.
So what’s the difference between the two, and which one should your download for your desktop?
Ubuntu sums it all up with these words, “Ubuntu 13.04 gives you all the latest features, while Ubuntu 12.04 LTS comes with extended support.” The Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS release (LTS stands for long-term support) comes with “guaranteed security and support updates until April 2017″ while the Ubuntu 13.04 will only be supported for 9 months. This means that if long term support is important to you, then it’s quite clear which version you should go with.
On the other hand, Ubuntu 13.04 has better features for enterprise solutions due to the built-in Grizzly release of OpenStack in this version. Of course, OpenStack can be downloaded by Ubuntu 12.04.2 users as well. Still businesses that are into open source and are investing in their cloud infrastructure, whether the business be dealing with financial instruments or retail, would do well to take advantage of the features offered by Ubuntu 13.04.
We have already touched on how open source software can be used by businesses for a whole variety of applications, including financial applications. So if open source financial software are secure enough for businesses, then you can bet that there are great open source software you can use to help you with your personal finance.
KMyMoney is one of the best personal finance manager for Linux users, although versions for Mac and Windows users are also available. It is licensed under the GNU General Public License and it is FREE. Unlike many free personal finance software, KMyMoney is not a crippled version and has tons of features and is even often compared to the popular (not free and not open source) personal finance software, Quicken.
KMyMoney has all the bells and whistles of a commercial personal finance software including expense categorization, multiple currency support, intuitive budgeting, credit card and debt tracking, report generation, and even online banking support via QIF, OFX and HBCI. Best of all, it is easy to use, especially if you are already familiar with the usual personal finance apps.
Image via KMyMoney
The proliferation of the term open source and freeware has laymen confused between the two. This is not surprising since many opensource software are distributed as freeware. However, there is a vast difference between open source and freeware although both kinds of software are used for all kinds of applications, from gaming to debt consolidation.
Freeware refers to any kind of software that is distributed for free. The platform used for these software nor the licenses used for them do not matter. It is an all-encompassing term for any software you can get without having to pay a single cent. Of course, many freeware are distributed as such only on a trial basis with use beyond the said period to be paid for and extra or premium features needed to be bought.
Open source, on the other hand, refers to the kind of license a software has. There are different kinds of open source licenses although they all primarily share the same ideal, which is to “open” the software’s source code so that others are free to use the software and even modify them.
Image via Bilal Kamoon
People who are not familiar with the concept of open source mistakenly think that “open” is equivalent to lack of security and so hesitate to use it for their business needs. The fact though is that open source software is just like proprietary software in that it may have the usual bugs and vulnerabilities, with the level of security varying from one app to another.
If you have shied away from using enterprise-class open source software in the past due to security reasons, maybe it’s time for you to try them out. You might find the right alternative for you and realize that you’ve been missing out on great business solutions software that has all the perks of proprietary software plus the perks of open source.
For a good idea of the kind of open source apps available to businesses, you can check out this list (101 Great Enterprise Open Source Apps) from LinuxPlanet. There you will find all kinds of business apps, from accounting and financial apps to business process management apps.
Image via ProcessMaker