Open Source Integration – How it helps Enterprises
Open Source integration technology is super interesting; great cost savings, multiple choices, and easy to adapt. Most importantly, great support and collaboration are found in the developers community worldwide. These are great reasons for enterprises to adopt open source technology more often over proprietary software solutions.
Transparency and code visibility are the features that attract IT professionals towards open source technology. Also, in commercial enterprise solutions, open source competes fairly with existing commercial high-end solutions.
From the name itself, it is understood that the source code of the open source software is freely accessible by all. This means the code can be updated, changed or modified. Reasons to change it include custom needs and improvement. Redistribution of the software is permitted and encouraged for development and innovation.
Business processes and technologies used to implement them have become very complex. Each task using a separate application or tool takes time and is difficult. And now, here comes the System Integration.
Integrating multiple platforms can be done through many technologies. Choosing open source alternatives to them has its own advantages:
- Open Source platforms are more cost-effective than their commercial proprietary counterparts. Generally, users do not have to pay the graduation costs, and commercial license cost is minimal and affordable. The cost of open source software lies in infrastructure and development primarily, resulting in the total cost of projects reducing drastically. End to end enterprise IT solutions are limited in numbers and are too costly for small and medium-sized businesses. So, as a solution to the problem, integrating different platforms to act like one is might be easiest and cost-effective.
- Open source software is owned by communities and developers and the source code is accessible. Developers can modify and edit the source codes according to their needs to build their own version of the software. The software can be used and distributed by anyone. The code of enterprise platforms like CRM, CMS, ERPs, Business, and email in open source is public. When you want to integrate these platforms, the platform code has to be visible. The platform code written by different vendors can be difficult to integrate because of the unavailability of the source codes. Developers, on the other hand just can modify the codes of the platforms written in Open Source technologies and integrate the systems easily.
- Users and developers of the project are not forced to buy a vendor license, after a certain period of time, nor are they locked into any certain vendor’s platform. Also, users are not forced to purchase modules that are not required for their project. Open source is always open to new technology innovations and advancements contributed by a large community of developers. Some open source communities like GITHUB, Open Source Friday, First Timers Only, Your First PR, Drupal community, CodeTriage, Up For Grabs, Contributor-ninja, 24 Pull Request etc. help developers grow, learn, share and contribute their code.
- No linking between platforms while performing on a single business process is the major problem of using multiple platforms. Human-made errors, time-consuming processes, and inefficiency of the systems can be fatal for a business. Therefore, integrating all the platforms to create a blended single platform is ideal. Integrated platforms are interlinked and they can read the data produced by the other.
How does Open Source Integration meet the requirement of Enterprise Solutions?
Enterprise solutions are complex and deployed on a very large scale. Managing and maintaining these applications are difficult as the unique installation, modules, features and packaging requirement for every other business. Open source integration has the power to meet all the requirements for efficiency and perfection. Yet, there are some challenges and these can be overcome by the customized open source solutions –
- Challenge 1: Integration of technologies
Very high-quality technology and advancement are offered by Open Source projects and each technology offers a solution to particular enterprise requirements. However, these technologies do not come in a complete package. They are available in parts, developed by a scattered group of developers all over the world.
Personalized and customized technologies and developments offer a complete package of these modules to get a highly integrated and performing platform. It provides an installation that is simple and acts like a product with warranty.
- Challenge 2: Unstable Software Releases
Another challenge that enterprises face using open source technologies is unstable releases of the software. The enterprise applications especially need the integration to have stable releases so that training cost for new modules is not increased due to changes repeatedly. Also, in IT industry, managers need to be sure that the developers are using the same set of modules and codes to track the issues and fix them.
Open Source integration projects work on continuous integration and fix the user issues very quickly, address problems fast to provide a stable release each time. The users and developers of the open source projects work together and stay connected to get continuous support and addition of a new set of the feature at each release. They are transparent about issues, and will not recommend the latest release until it is stable.
- Challenge 3: Service Quality
Big enterprises, especially with enterprise IT, have a very high expectation of standards for security, performance, robustness, availability, and support of the integration software. That means enterprises seek additional assurance for the quality of services they are getting.
The open source projects provide compact and high-quality services due to a great number of developers working together for writing codes, quality checks for both features and configurations, quality tests on different machines, applications, and platforms.
Customized Open Source Integration platforms provide a unique licensing so that developers can modify their systems according to the requirement. There are subscriptions and professional services and support are available to meet the requirements of complex integrations for new age businesses.
Open Source Email Platform
Pepipost has plugins that are installed in open source content management systems like WordPress, Drupal, Magento, Joomla etc. and emails can be sent easily through the CMS applications. Coding knowledge is not at all necessary for the end users. Emails can also be configured in Open Source CRM like SugarCRM, CMS, and cloud hosting like MODX or vBulletin etc.
Platforms for developers to start contributing in Open Source Community
The contribution is the last word in Open Source world. For developers, it is a great way to learn and get the advantage of gaining and sharing knowledge from the Open Source technologies. There are several projects to name with where a developer can find a bug and submit a fix to them:
These are some largest and popular communities. But, these are not all. There is a huge number of Open Source projects available to contribute to as a developer. Google Codes, Source Forge BitBucket are few among them.
The world of open source integration is vast and it is still in the growing phase. But more and more developers and service providers are opting for Open Source Integration for its high performance, tremendous support, excellent costs and most importantly freedom to use it as they like.