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Open Source Document Management

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The Proliferation of Open Source Document Management Options

As the Internet community has grown, so has the popularity of open source software which is free for everyone to use. This is well received by most developers who love the chance to have a crack at free programming code and the ability to modify it for their own use. In the past, it has found grudging acceptance in the business community who believed it to be inferior.

However, with the growth of many companies who produce this kind of product, more applications are finding their way into corporate offices as they discover that this software many times is of equal value to the paid variety. That makes the decision to purchase a paid version a lot harder since the quality of both programs is approximately equal on many occasions.

Take Into Account Pros and Cons

A business has to take a look at the differences between these two products and decide whether the open source variety will meet their needs over the long haul. The free version has many benefits including access to the developer and the forums that support this product. The source code can also be changed to meet the particular needs of a firm. Since many people also use this code, it has been shared and modified by a number of users, creating a good reputation in the community.

Of course there are drawbacks to using open source web document management and it may not be the correct choice for many industries, including ones that have more strict regulations. One of the hardest adaptations for business is the fact that open source means that many people are involved with the project. This means that although ideas are freely shared, sometimes the discussion can get way too technical for the basic computer guy to follow. This can become irritating when it is a simple answer that is being sought.

Open Source Development and Upgrades May Take Longer Than a Commercial Option

There is also a lag time between the date a bug is reported until somebody posts a solution since they are often disregarded. This is not the case with a commercial application where help is supposed to be available around the clock.

Another issue that users may have with open source software is the fact that many times the version is not the newest one and it may not be supported anymore. Since this is definitely not the case with a commercial application, it might be in the best interest of enterprises that are under strict regulations to purchase a paid program. These products don’t need to be upgraded as often as the free variety and might be the way to go in this case.

For companies who depend on the free flow of data—especially in the transmission of files, open source web document management software is definitely much slower than comparable paid programs. For companies that depend on the movement of information and documents quickly, this can prove to be quite a hindrance as time means money. There has also been a reputation for less than sterling support for hardware and since this is part of the process, this can be frustrating too. These are just some of the issues that a company must address before deciding to make use of the open source software for document management.

There May Be Security Issues With Open Source Document Management Software

Another problem when using this code is that it is also open to hackers. For a firm trying to maintain confidentiality, this can be a major blow if their software has holes in it.

For companies under strict regulation this might not be the best product to use. However as quality increases and the code is tightened up, it may be viable in the future as an alternative to the paid applications.