Open-source software is definitely an option for small businesses. In fact, most companies are using open-source software, but they may not even realize it. If your Web site is running on the UNIX platform, it probably uses Apache Web server software or the PHP scripting language, both of which are open-source technologies.
The term “open source” is commonly used to describe software whose source code is readily available to the public to use and modify. Because you can modify the code and adapt it to your particular needs, open source is a good solution for small businesses trying to save money. You don’t need to invest in a commercial solution that may come with superfluous bells and whistles. Also, you’re not tied into a company’s upgrade cycle and the additional license and support costs typical with a lot of commercial business software.
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Peter Adams Technology Expert AllBusiness.com