Almost all computer programs are implemented using source code. Source code is a technical blueprint created by the IT help desk to instruct a program on how to operate. When releasing a finished product to the world, IT service desk management must select whether to make its code open or closed source. The issue is that the option is not always obvious, as each software has its distinguishing characteristic with a mixture of pros and cons. There is no ideal option because it depends on a company’s requirements.
This blog will discuss critical distinctions between open- and closed-source software to ease your decision-making. But first, let’s understand what open-source and closed-source software are.
Open-Source Software (OSS)
This software employs internet-accessible source code. The code is copyable, modifiable, and erasable by other users, organizations, and the IT desk help firms. As OSS is accessible to the public, it is constantly updated, enhanced, and expanded by the IT service desk management as more individuals contribute to its development.
Closed-Source Software (CSS)
It is the reverse of Open-Source Software (OSS) and refers to software that employs proprietary and highly guarded code. Only the software’s original creators or IT service desk management firm can access, copy, and modify the software. In the case of closed source software, you do not buy the software but rather pay to utilize it.
Both open and closed-source software are pretty different from one another. So, let’s understand their key differences to ensure we make a better decision while choosing the type of source code for software.
OSS is frequently referred to as cost-free software. However, some IT service desk management firms may incur additional fees for assistance, additional services, enhanced functionality, and IT desk help support. Thus, you may have to pay for OSS services.
Typically, a CSS is a paid product, and the expenses can vary based on the software’s sophistication. For a premium price, the IT service desk management provider offers a superior product, complete IT desk help support, functionality, and innovation. However, most businesses offer free trials to persuade customers that their product is the best option.
As any software has two sides, the subject of security is highly controversial. The code of OSS is viewable, shareable, and modifiable by the community, allowing the IT service desk management firms to correct, upgrade, and test problematic code. Each release is followed by a comprehensive review of the code and a speedy correction of any defects. However, the availability of the source code allows hackers to practice on it as well.
In contrast, a CSS can only be modified by its vendor or IT service desk management firm. If there is a problem with the software, you can request the IT desk help support team and wait for a response. Compared to OSS, resolving the issue may take significantly longer.
When discussing security and protection, each source code has advantages and disadvantages. Consequently, it can be a barrier for businesses operating in specific industries.
Comparing IT desk help support for open- and closed-source software, it is evident that CSS is dominant in this instance. The cost for closed-source software includes the ability to contact IT desk help support and receive assistance within one business day, and the response is documented correctly and structured.
On the contrary, such an option for IT desk help support is unavailable for most open-source applications. The only IT desks that help support alternatives are forums, informative articles, and hired IT service desk management services. However, it is not unusual to have a low response rate when using this service.
There are no limits on modifying the source code of open-source software. Individual users can create whatever they like and profit from innovations created by other users in the community. Because the source code is readily available, software engineers and IT service desk management can enhance existing programs.
On the contrary, CSS is more restrictive than OSS because the source code cannot be modified or inspected. However, such restrictions may add to the security and dependability of CSS.
Usability is a problematic issue with most open-source software. User manuals are written for developers as opposed to non-technical users. Additionally, many manuals do not adhere to the industry standards and structure. Usability is among the benefits of all closed-source software. Typically, documentation is well-written and offers thorough instructions.
Examples of Open and Closed-Source Shopping Carts
There are numerous open and closed-source shopping carts in the market, and the primary difference lies in their price. While the open-source shopping cart systems are free, you have to pay for the closed-source solutions. With CSS, you receive IT desk help service and assurance, whereas this option is not available in the case of OSS. However, the forum community for open source is highly active and always willing to assist.
The primary advantages of open-source technologies are their adaptability and scalability. Thanks to the open-source code, you have complete control over all aspects of your website’s design. When your business grows and your monthly sales increase, you are not charged more for the higher sales.
On the other hand, closed-source software is more user-friendly for novices and those who cannot write code. Additionally, closed-source websites are easier and quicker to set up.
Magento and OpenCart are the leading open-source shopping carts, while BigCommerce and Shopify are popular closed-source platforms.