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.

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.

Difference between Open Source Software and Closed Source Software :

S.No.OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARECLOSED SOURCE SOFTWARE01.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 closed 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.

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Lesson 7: Open Source vs. Closed Source Software​

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Open source vs. closed source software

Almost every piece of computer software is created using source code, which is the technical blueprint that tells a program how to function. When creators release their finished product to the public, they must decide whether to make its code open source or closed source.

Watch the video below to learn more about open source and closed source software.

What is open source and closed source?

With closed source software (also known as proprietary software), the public is not given access to the source code, so they can’t see or modify it in any way.

But with open source software, the source code is publicly available to anyone who wants it, and programmers can read or change that code if they desire. Keep in mind that you don’t have to read or modify any code in order to use an open source product.

Which type is more common?

The vast majority of apps, games, and other popular software is closed source. However, there are open source options for many types of programs. If you want an open source alternative to Microsoft Office, you could use LibreOffice. Instead of using Windows, you could try an open source Linux operating system. Other common open source examples include the Firefox web browser and WordPress blogging platform.

What are the pros and cons?

One of open source’s biggest advantages is that it’s usually free, although some features and technical support may cost extra. Also, because the code is available to anyone who wants it, public collaboration can fix bugs, add features, and improve performance within a relatively short amount of time.

However, open source software isn’t perfect. It may not be as user friendly as closed source software, and if you run into trouble it may be difficult to find technical support, especially for less popular programs.

Closed source software is more likely to be a stable, focused product, and if you need support customer service is typically easier to access. However, closed source software often costs money, and if it has any bugs or missing features you’ll have to wait on the creator to address the problems.

Now that you understand the difference between open and closed source software, you can take advantage of the type that best meets your needs.

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5 Differences Between Open Source and Closed Source Software

Looking for software for their companies business owners often face a difficult choice between closed source and open source software. The thing is that the choice is not always obvious, as each of the software has its particularities with a mix of advantages and disadvantages.

In this article we will get open source vs closed source explained and speak about their differences, but before it let’s clarify what open source and closed source software are.

Open source software (OSS) refers to the software which uses the code freely available on the Internet.  The code can be copied, modified or deleted by other users and organizations. As the software is open to the public, the result is that it constantly updates, improves and expands as more people can work on its improvement.

Closed source software (CSS) is opposite to OSS and means the software which uses the proprietary and closely guarded code. Only the original authors of software can access, copy, and alter that software. In a case with closed source software, you are not purchasing the software, but only pay to use it.

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For better understanding the peculiarities of open source software and closed source software, we have made a comparison of five basic aspects: pricing, security, support, source availability, and usability.

#1 Price Policy

Open source often referred as free of cost software. It can, however, have costs for extras like assistance, additional services or added functionality. Thus, you may still pay for a service with OSS.

Closed source software is usually a paid software. The costs can vary depending on the complexity of the software. While the price can be higher, what you get is a better product, full support, functionality and innovation. However, most companies provide free trials to convince the purchaser that their software is the right fit.

#2 Security

The question of security is very controversial as each software has two sides of the coin. The code of open source software can be viewed, shared and modified by the community, which means anyone can fix, upgrade and test the broken code. The bugs are fixed quickly, and the code is checked thoroughly after each release. However, because of availability, the source code is open for hackers to practice on.

On the contrary, closed source software can be fixed only by a vendor. If something goes wrong with the software, you send a request and wait for the answer from the support team. Solving the problem can take much longer than compared to OSC.

When it comes to choosing the most secure software, the answer is that each of them has its pros and cons. Thus, it is often a challenge for firms that work in a particular industry.

#3 Quality of Support

Comparing open source and closed source software support, it is obvious that CSS is predominant in this case. The costs for it include an option to contact support and get it in one business day in most cases. The response is well organized and documented.

For open source software, such an option is not provided. The only support options are forums, useful articles, and a hired expert. However, it is not surprising that using such kind of service you will not receive a high level of response.

#4 Source Code Availability

Open source software provides an ability to change the source code without any restrictions. Individual users can develop what they want and get benefits from innovation developed by others within the user community. As the source code is easily accessible, it enables the software developers to improve the already existing programs.

Сlosed source software is more restricted than open source software because the source code cannot be changed or viewed. However, such limitation is what may contribute to CSS security and reliability.

#5 Usability

Usability is a painful subject of open source software. User guides are written for developers rather than to layperson users. Also, these manuals are failing to conform to the standards and structure.

For closed source software usability is one of the merits. Documentation is usually well-written and contains detailed instructions.

Best Examples of OSS and CSS Shopping Carts

The market is full of open source and closed source shopping carts. The basic difference lies in the price. Open source shopping cart systems are free, whereas for closed source programs you will have to pay. With payment, you get customer support and confidence. Because open source shopping carts are free, they don’t have such an option. However, their community on different forums is very active and always ready to help.

The benefits of open source solutions are primarily flexibility and scalability. You have full control over every aspect of your site’s design, thanks to the open source code. When your business expands, and your monthly sales increase, you can embrace it without being charged more for increased sales volume.

Closed source software is easier to work with for beginners or those who don’t know how to code. Also, closed source websites are easier and faster to set up out of the box.

The top open source shopping carts are Magento and OpenCart, and  BigCommerce and Shopify are popular closed source platforms.

Closing Remarks

Each of the platform types has its own philosophy, methodology, advantages, and disadvantages. There is no univocal option as it depends on business needs. We hope this article will come in handy for you to make the right choice for your business.

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Written by Jane