This post was last Updated on by Himanshu Tyagi to reflect the accuracy and up-to-date information on the page.
Since the inception of personal computing, open-source software has existed. Even though there are so many proprietary applications that you can buy, it is used more broadly than ever before.
The GNU license structure defines open-source software as programs and applications whose source code is made available to everyone for modification and republishing.
Although many commercial applications have open-source counterparts, it is not advisable, from a sustainability standpoint, to replace proprietary software in your organization.
Also Read: 10 Best Programming Languages For Hacking
To improve your organization’s cyber resiliency and reduce your expanding attack surface, risk assessment platforms hosted by third-party specialists like cyberpion.com are adequate to achieve this.
Ten best practices for choosing open-source software before integrating it into your company have been collected by our team.
10 Best Practices When Choosing Open-source Solutions
1. Ascertaining the software’s reliability
The question of whether the program is intrinsically trustworthy should be considered while evaluating the items on this list of best practices. The history of the software has a significant influence on how reliable open-source apps are.
The verification of the application can proceed once a company has decided that the program will perform as promised and is secure to use.
2. Utilizing reputable sources
The software’s reputation goes hand in hand with its dependability. The reputation of open-source software is established mainly by word of mouth.
Consider Ubuntu Linux, which has a long history of being a dependable operating system. It has continuously matched client technological requirements, even compared to proprietary operating systems.
3. Gauging available user support
Because the community members who maintain and improve open-source packages tend to be technical and not user-driven, open-source software has historically been plagued by a lack of user assistance.
You should note that for some programs, user help may only be provided with a subscription and will cost money.
4. Availability of user documentation
The more prominent role players have recently begun releasing user guides and explanation materials to assist the end-user in switching to or integrating the software into existing infrastructures.
This assistance is crucial because it enables users to benefit from open-source software. Knowing the application’s history in detail can help you assess whether it is a good fit for your business.
5. Version History
An organization can determine how frequently an open-source application is maintained by examining its version history. Applications that are not consistently updated or testing and release dates may have been abandoned and are unreliable.
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6. Interoperability with existing systems
It should be evident that an open-source program would perform better in the long term if it is more compatible with your current environment. Incompatible program troubleshooting will frustrate users or result in unnecessary downtime.
7. Requirement of technical resources
Experienced personnel will always need to implement and manage such applications when implementing new software, whether proprietary or open-source.
An organization must calculate the cost of every new software and compare it to the potential return on investment before deciding whether to use it.
8. Software licensing model
When implementing apps, technical teams frequently neglect to understand application licensing. For the organization to fully understand each partner’s varied roles and duties, they must read and comprehend the application’s license.
9. Continuous development
It’s critical to establish whether an open-source application is receiving regular and focused maintenance while looking into it.
The organization shouldn’t be in the unfortunate situation of spending time and money establishing an application only to learn that it is not getting upgrades or maintenance.
10. The necessity of development model collaboration
In some cases, the open-source application development approach necessitates that organizations participate in the project on a developmental level.
This procedure could be as simple as providing minimal error reporting or as complex as providing application developers with fully processed datasets for analysis.
Evaluating the application’s reputability, compatibility, cost, and overall sustainability is crucial before implementing it. Open-source software might have many clones offering subtle differences in functionality.
Organizations need to keep this in mind. Finally, cyber security should always be a concern when implementing new open-source software. It is essential to distinguish what your organization needs from what the application offers.