Open Source Software is software that is free to use, modify, and redistribute. The definition of open source software is not regulated or standardized by one single instance. However, it can be said that there are some features and benefits associated with open-source software. Developers are allowed to modify the code, so they can add new features or fix bugs in the original program. On the other hand, Commercial software such as iSLIM, Library Management System is a type of software that is developed and owned by an organization (Algorhythms). These are developed to suit the needs of the educational institutions, organizations, meeting their goals and requirements. A wide range of features is offered for different types of businesses such as customizable features for specific needs, affordable prices for different levels of commercial software packages, and more. Let’s understand the key differences between iSLIM and other open-source software available in the market.
Price sensitivity is an important aspect that drives organizations to go for open-source software over commercial software. However, is the cost of software saved by Open Source a major cost-saving? The Oracle Corporation says, “While minimizing capital expenses by acquiring free open source software is appealing, the up-front cost of any software represents only a small fraction of the total investment in the lifecycle of the project.”
Open Source Software is free! What about other costs involved in the process? Before a company can even consider installing software in their organization, they need to know what the total cost of ownership will be. Software installation and maintenance/support need technical expertise. The costs associated with hiring an expert can add up pretty quickly. In addition, not every company has the in-house talent to set up and maintain software. This often requires outsourcing these tasks to a third-party service provider. If you go for open source software, get ready for the challenges or additional expenses for outsourcing service providers.
Software Training & Operational Guidance
While iSLIM, the online library management system automates the tasks of libraries, which can make their work more efficient, quality training to staff is a must for the effective utilization of LMS. When you choose commercial software, your team gets proper software training and operational guidance. Whereas, lack of training affects the software usability and staff productivity. There could be many parameters affecting Open Source usability.
What happens if the updates may stop? Using free software is not a wise decision as Updates may stop coming and you may be stuck with the old version, not knowing how to proceed. Users of Library Management System may be facing a critical decision: whether or not to migrate their LMS. The decision to migrate an LMS is never an easy one. When it comes to open-source LMS, the decision becomes even more difficult. Migration is unavoidable and unpredictable in open source LMS. The Obsolescence of technology forces migration. On the other hand, the migration is easy to and from iSLIM. The migration process is as simple as 1-2-3. It also has a lower cost of maintenance and upgrades.
Security is one of the most important things to consider when choosing a library management system. In open-source, you need to be very conscious of data conversion. It is open for all so that data security is the biggest chunk for you. Ineffective data conversion can result in redundancies and inaccurate data. Library management systems are typically implemented as software with publicly available source code so that it can be easily modified as needed. However, this software often has significant security repercussions such as vital documents, employee records, which makes it difficult for organizations to implement the system without fear of being hacked. On the other hand, Commercial vendors are mostly prepared for Security Audit that takes place in enterprises prior to purchasing a software system. Algorhythms is proud to say that iSLIM has passed a Security Audit covering Cross-site forgery, SQL injection, caching of webpages, etc. at leading corporates such as Infosys Technologies, HDFC Ltd, Kotak Bank, etc.
People make the mistake of choosing an open-source web-based LMS because it is free. Free software is not always better than commercial library management software. Remember that open source LMS will require more effort on your part to customize and maintain. Commercial LMSs are better in terms of features and usability. This is because they can afford to invest in customer service, development, interface design, better customer support, marketing, etc. They also have better security/privacy policies. Algorhythms is proud to be India’s leading Library Management System provider. If you require the best LMS system– may it be a web-based or cloud-based library management system, get in touch with our team today. We are here to make your library management bliss!