Build or Buy: Open Source or Enterprise Software

Greater numbers of IT decision makers choose open source software for many reasons, but these decisions often backfire when enterprise architects and development managers investigate the real costs of trying to build custom software solutions from disparate libraries of software components. Services that benefit from greater access to huge databases invariably discover hidden costs in building, debugging, customizing and protecting their systems. Companies need to build applications, justify the distinctive advantages of their unproven systems and manage specialized strategies for disaster recovery without strong support from dedicated technology partners. These costs often run hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars.

Enterprise Software Speeds Up Implementation Processes
Benefits of enterprise software solutions include using appropriate technology advances that expert coders debug, test and integrate into seamless business systems. Enterprise software choices often minimize installation and training times, offer strong analytic tools, streamline supply chain management and address end-user support. Other advantages of choosing enterprise software over open source code include the following benefits:

  • Companies can meet their engineering needs within minutes, and development teams never need to follow convoluted procurement cycles.
  • Enterprise software improves efficiency and offers strong security features that many industries consider essential to their operations.
  • Flexible licensing systems combine multiple licensing arrangements under single umbrella contracts.
  • To qualify as truly enterprise-grade, databases need to ensure ACID transactions. The ACID acronym refers to atomicity, consistency, isolation and durability, and transaction processing needs to satisfy its guidelines.
    • Atomicity: Data changes need to function as single transactions, causing simultaneous updates in related databases.
    • Consistency: Zero-sum totals must balance after inputting data updates.
    • Isolation: Transaction processes remain invisible until posted simultaneously in all related databases.
    • Durability: Changes in databases persist even after catastrophic system failures.
  • Finding, testing, verifying and hardening open source software entails many unanticipated costs for maintenance, internal development and generating user-friendly support processes. Enterprise software solutions eliminate these worries and expenses, and you have a support team ready to take your call and provide answers or fixes when needed.

 

Not Only Structured Query Language (NoSQL) But Also Custom Solutions

NoSQL databases often provide the best technology for today’s multi-structured data challenges. MarkLogic has spent years testing and debugging code so that clients enjoy functional software that system administrators, executives and users love. Choosing to implement an Enterprise NoSQL system solves the logistical problems IT developers face when trying to build their own systems from free or inexpensive open source elements. ACID-fulfillment guarantees, high availability, powerful administrative and management tools, and comprehensive training and support make the MarkLogic NoSQL database a great choices to save time, money and online reputations. Despite the purported cost savings of open source software, few major companies try to build their businesses entirely on software that might become a technological dead-end. Disadvantages of relying on open source software include the following risks:

  • Thousands of open source projects make it difficult to pinpoint exact matches for business needs.
  • Open source coders and programmers work voluntarily, and they might choose not to develop updates or enhancements.
  • Hardware support for open software usually lags because proprietary manufacturers don’t want to share their operational software.
  • Open source projects concentrate on the technology without planning how end-users will use it or solve problems.
  • Open source projects fail to meet legal-protection standards, and companies could face litigation if code fragments or patches infringe on patent protections.
  • Integration and testing work falls on the IT development teams — time and resources that could be spent to working to build applications that differentiate the business, instead.

Trust a House of Cards or Build a Solid Platform

Every business wants to save money, and the temptation to build a custom system from free code appeals to budget-conscious developers. (They often forget that their time is not free.) However, the risks of litigation, hidden development costs and time needed to implement functional systems, debug and test the software and train staff make building an open source IT system a risky venture for businesses.

Consider the advantages of licensing ready-to-use software to streamline operations, save money and upgrade IT capabilities to meet the challenges of rapidly evolving technologies.