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Difference between Open Source Software and Closed Source Software

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1. Open Source Software 

 Open source software refers to the computer software which source is open means the general public can access and use. In short it is referred as OSS. The source code of open source software is public. It uses the code freely available on the Internet. This code can be modified by other users and organizations means that the source code is available for anyone to look at. The price of open source software is very less and there is no so much restrictions on users based on usability and modification of software. Some examples of open source software are Firefox, OpenOffice, Gimp, Alfresco, Android, Zimbra, Thunderbird, MySQL, Mailman, Moodle, TeX, Samba, Perl, PHP, KDE etc.

Advantages of Open Source Software:

  • Cost: Open source software is generally free, which means organizations can use it without any licensing fees.
  • Customization: Since the source code is available, developers can modify and customize the software to meet specific requirements.
  • Community Support: Open source software has a large community of users who contribute to documentation, bug fixes, and improvements.
  • Security: With open source software, security vulnerabilities can be detected and fixed quickly by the community.
  • Transparency: Since the source code is open, users can see how the software works and what data it collects.

Disadvantages of Open Source Software:

  • Limited Technical Support: While there is a large community of users who can help troubleshoot issues, there is no guarantee of professional technical support.
  • Complexity: Open source software can be more difficult to set up and configure than closed source software, especially for users who are not experienced in software development.
  • Lack of Features: Open source software may not have all the features that are available in closed source software, especially for niche or specialized industries.

 2.Closed Source Software :

 Closed source software refers to the computer software which source code is closes means public is not given access to the source code. In short it is referred as CSS. In closed source software the source code is protected. The only individual or organization who has created the software can only change it. The price of closed source software is high and users need to have valid and authenticated license to use the software. As is issues an authenticated license so it also put a lot restrictions on users based on usability and modification of software. Some examples of closed source software are Skype, Google earth, Java, Adobe Flash, Virtual Box, Adobe Reader, Microsoft office, Microsoft Windows, WinRAR, mac OS, Adobe Flash Player etc. 

Advantages of Closed Source Software:

  • Technical Support: Closed source software usually comes with professional technical support, which can be helpful for organizations that need assistance with setup, configuration, or troubleshooting.
  • Features: Closed source software typically has more features than open source software, including advanced analytics, reporting, and data visualization tools.
  • Security: Closed source software often has built-in security features and can provide better protection against cyber threats.
  • Integration: Closed source software is often designed to work seamlessly with other enterprise software, making integration with existing systems easier.

Disadvantages of Closed Source Software:

  • Cost: Closed source software can be expensive, with licensing fees and maintenance costs that can add up over time.
  • Vendor Lock-In: Organizations that use closed source software may become dependent on the vendor and find it difficult to switch to another software.
  • Limited Customization: Closed source software may not be as customizable as open source software, which can be a disadvantage for organizations with specific requirements.
  • Lack of Transparency: Since the source code is not available, users cannot see how the software works or what data it collects, which may raise privacy concerns.

Similarities  between Open Source Software and Closed Source Software :

  • Both can be used to perform a wide range of tasks and support a variety of applications.
  • Both can be designed to work on multiple operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and macOS.
  • Both can be used to support mission-critical applications and services.
  • Both can be optimized for performance, scalability, and security.
  • Both can be accessed and managed remotely using a variety of tools and interfaces.
  • Both can be updated and maintained regularly to fix bugs, add new features, and improve performance.

Difference between Open Source Software and Closed Source Software :

S.No.OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARECLOSED SOURCE SOFTWARE
01.Open source software refers to the computer software which source is open means the general public can access and use.Closed source software refers to the computer software which source code is closes means public is not given access to the source code.
02.Open Source Software in short also referred as OSS.Closed Source Software in short also referred as CSS.
03.The source code of open source software is public.In closed source software the source code is protected.
04.This code can be modified by other users and organizations means that the source code is available for anyone to look at.The only individual or organization who has created the software can only modify the code.
05.The price of open source software is very less.The price of closed source software is high.
06.There is no so much restrictions on users based on usability and modification of software.There is so much restrictions on users based on usability and modification of software.
07.Programmers compete with each other for recognition.Programmers do not compete with each other for recognition.
08.Programmers freely provide improvement for recognition if their improvement is accepted.Programmers are hired by the software firm/organization to improve the software.
09.If the program is popular then very large number of programmers may work on the project.There is a limitation on the number of programmers/team who will work on the project.
10.It is purchased with its source code.It is not purchased with its source code.
11.Open software can be installed into any computer.Closed software needs have a valid license before installation into any computer.
12.Open source software fails fast and fix faster.Closed source software has no room for failure.
13.In open source software no one is responsible for the software.In closed source software the vendor is responsible if anything happened to software.
14.Examples are Firefox, OpenOffice, Gimp, Alfresco, Android, Zimbra, Thunderbird, MySQL, Mailman, Moodle, TeX, Samba, Perl, PHP, KDE etc.Examples are Skype, Google earth, Java, Adobe Flash, Virtual Box, Adobe Reader, Microsoft office, Microsoft Windows, WinRAR, mac OS, Adobe Flash Player etc.

Conclusion:

Choice between open-source software and closed-source software depends on the needs of the organization. Open-source software is a good choice for smaller organizations with limited budgets, while closed-source software is better suited for larger organizations that require enterprise-level features and support. Ultimately, both types of software have their advantages and disadvantages, and organizations should carefully consider their options before making a decision.


Last Updated : 24 Mar, 2023
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