Open Source for Business

Open Source for Business is a complete step-by-step guide to managing open source software by promoting, developing, and integrating it into your business’s strategies. This book introduces open source technology in context, provides valuable advice on managing these resources while balancing costs, and explores the various ways to incorporate open source in the long term. Chapter 1: Why Open Source? Chapter 2: Introduction to Open Source Chapter 3: Developing Open Source Software Chapter 4: Managing Open Source Projects and Resources Chapter 5: Using Open Source Business Model

Open Source for Business is for any company, organization, or individual who wants to reap the benefits of Open Source Software (OSS) but doesn’t know where to begin. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or new to OSS, Open Source for Business offers practical advice and information on how to get started taking advantage of and contributing to OSS.

Open source CRM software options

Commercial customer relationship management (CRM) software is available from niche vendors, software as a service providers such as Salesforce.com and large software vendors such as Oracle. Here are three open source alternatives:

  • The SugarCRM Community Edition (Windows, macOS, Linux and UNIX) is the free, unsupported version of a comprehensive CRM product that includes sales force automation, marketing campaigns and customer support.
  • OpenCRX (Windows, macOS and Linux) is designed for organizations that need multifunctional, enterprise-wide coordination of sales generation, sales fulfillment, marketing and service activities for customers, partners, suppliers and intermediaries.
  • The multi-platform Fat Free CRM is a Ruby on Rails-based CRM platform that features group collaboration, campaign and lead management, contact lists and opportunity tracking out of the box.

Odoo

This is an integrated open source business software that includes modules for project management, billing, accounting, manufacturing, inventory management, purchasing and billing. All of these modules communicate with one another seamlessly to ensure easy information exchange.

Pros:

  • It makes ERP simple
  • The interface looks much like Google Drive which means anyone can use it
  • It is a web- based tool which makes it accessible on any device

Cons:

  • The download version needs to be installed via source code which can be a little bit intimidating

Open source communications and telephony software

Private branch exchange (PBX) hardware used to be very expensive, but software-based PBX releases bring the price of PBXs down. The open source PBX market is dominated by Asterisk software.

  • AsteriskNOW (Linux) is an easy-to-install IP PBX that comes with the FreePBX administrative GUI. The Asterisk project is sponsored by Digium, which also offers a commercial version of the PBX.
  • Elastix (Linux) is based on Asterisk telephony software, but it also integrates fax, instant messaging and email functionality from other open source projects. Features include voicemail, fax-to-email, support for softphones, virtual conference rooms and call recording.

Dolibarr

This is an open source business software that is tailored to help small and mid-sized business keep track of invoices, contacts, invoice orders and payments. It comes with a very easy to use and clean user interface.

Pros:

  • It is use and comes with a lot of great modules that work very well together
  • It has an online demo to help you test-drive before installation

Cons:

  • There are some modules that will only work with purchased add-ons

Open source content management systems

Content management systems power websites — and many of the world’s largest sites use an cross-platform, open source CMS such as the following:

  • Big-name sites such as The Economist, Examiner.com and The White House use Drupal. Features include user account registration and maintenance, menu management, RSS feeds, page layout customization and system administration.
  • WordPress started as a blogging system but has evolved into a full-blown CMS with thousands of plugins, widgets and themes. It’s the most popular blogging platform on the Web and powers about 20 percent of the top 10 million sites on the internet.
  • Second only to WordPress in implementations, Joomla is used by organizations including Harvard University and Citibank. Thousands of extensions, both free and commercial, are available from the Joomla! Extension Directory.
  • Java-based OpenCMS offers a browser-based work environment (including a WYSIWYG editor) as well as asset, user and workflow management.

CUBRID

This is an open source business software that is optimized for use on web applications. It offers a number of different features, each designed to help with data organization on your business. It is particularly useful when you have to keep track of large amounts of data and it is very easy to use.

Pros:

  • It comes with multiple granularity locking
  • An online backup ensures the safety of your data
  • It has GUI tools for drivers for developmental languages
  • Comes with 24/7 support

Cons:

  • It doesn’t work with Apple systems
  • It also doesn’t have a script debugger

Open source ecommerce tools

Ecommerce software packages, such as the three cross-platform products listed here, include everything from product presentation to shopping carts, checkout and payment processing.

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  • OpenCart is a turnkey shopping cart for small and medium-sized retailers. It includes order management and multiple payment gateways, provides the capability for customers to leave product reviews and ratings, and offers lifetime free community support. (Commercial support is available through an international partner network.)
  • PrestaShop is a popular and easy-to-use platform that offers product displays, translations, marketing, localization and taxes, and product export to eBay. Support is available as a paid service. Training is offered in France.
  • An older ecommerce platform that branched from osCommerce, Zen Cart is aimed at developers and advanced users. Features include discount coupons, gift vouchers and multiple payment options.

MariaDB

If you are looking for a much more advanced database management tool, this open source software is the one to choose. It is used by some of the biggest tech businesses including Google, Facebook and Wikipedia. As you probably can already guess, it is primarily designed for business that need to keep track of large databases.

Pros:

  • It is highly scalable and easy to integrate with other services
  • Offers real-time access

Cons:

  • It is missing an optimizer trace
  • It may not be easy to use especially for beginners

Conclusion

Open Source for Business explores the open source way of creating, collaborating and delivering software.

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