Businesses generally look for SaaS or open source when looking for software solutions. In this articles, we give an overview of SaaS & open source solution & details when one should be chosen over the other.
What is Open Source?
Open source solutions are softwares whose source-code are freely available. These are really helpful when an organization is looking for a free solution & have a team of developers free to customize the code according to their needs.
Great examples of open source softwares are Linux, MySql, Joomla, phpBB, myBB etc.
Broadly, open source softwares can be categorized into two categories: Development tools & business tools. Development tools, like C++, Java, MySql etc, are the basic building block of software development & are generally backed by a non-profit research institute or a group of enthusiast.
The other category, business tools fulfills various business needs like email, CRM, defect management, content management, HR management etc.
What is SaaS?
SaaS stands for Software as a Service, are in general cloud-based software solution backed & managed by for-profit organizations. SaaS solutions generally operate with pay-as-you-go subscription-based model.
In terms of quality & ease of deployment, SaaS is far ahead of open source solution.
When to choose Open source?
While both has its advantage and disadvantage but when it comes to development tools, open source has certain advantages:
- Flexibility: Developers really open source solution because of their capability to customize the underlying code. Open source solutions are pretty good at fulfilling developers needs.
- Quality-code: Using open source methodology produces better-software, if there is a bug in the code, it can be quickly identified by the community.
- Reduce business risk: Business can reap-cost benefits. By using open source, they can avoid lock-in & heavy investment required for buying software. Open source solutions are also easier to customize to fulfill business needs.
When to Choose SaaS?
SaaS comes handy when you are looking for business utility solutions. Also, when you want software solutions for important but not critical business goals.
- Cost: Internal-cost for developing a business utility tool is pretty high. Apart from the cost of development, there will be bugs & lot of iterations before the solution can be deployed. Most SaaS solution providers also take care of hosting, which is an extra cost saved.
- Maintenance: Maintenance of SaaS software is taken by the vendor, reducing unnecessary work for your IT/development team.
- Quick Deployment & removal: SaaS is quick & easy to deploy. Open-source requires some work before they can be deployed.
- Experimentation: SaaS is ideal for experimentation. Deploying open-source require a lot of early investment before deployment, which cannot be recovered in-case you decide to discontinue.
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