As many organizations, governments and administrations already do, using free and open source software means saving hundreds, thousands or millions of euros in licenses in some cases. Something that can be invested in R&D, improving facilities, personnel, and other types of investments that may be more necessary than the software itself. But economics is not the only reason to use open source software, there is more.
In this article we are going to make a great collection of all kinds of business software open source. Since many large companies are already using it and have seen the benefits of it, as well as some medium and small companies. It is the smallest ones that seem most reluctant to change and still tend to use Microsoft's Windows operating systems and proprietary software, either due to lack of resources for training and adaptation, lack of information, etc.
Table of Contents
- 1 Advantages of using free and opensource software in the company
- 2 Disadvantages of using free and open source software in the company
- 3 Free or open source business software for GNU Linux
Advantages of using free and opensource software in the company
Free and open source software has many advantages, not only economic, over the use of proprietary or closed source software. Not only the total cost of ownership or TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) is lower or null in the licenses of free or open source software, but technologically it is sometimes superior to have a faster advance if the development community and the interest is great.
The company will also have provider independence, getting rid of variations in design, price, functions, etc., being able to even customize the product and compile it to create a more personalized tool without having to wait for the supplier to do it, if it does. The same happens with bugs or security problems, they can be corrected in a more direct way than in proprietary software, in which case you have to report them to the company or developer and wait for a patch to be released ...
Not only at the code level, open software is usually more flexible and it can be customized on a much deeper level. And above all, having a zero license price or a much lower value than proprietary software, open software allows the company to make decisions with less risk, since if they choose a certain software and then it does not adapt to their needs or it is not what they were looking for, they could replace it with another without too much or no economic damage.
Regarding security, we have already said that it can be patched without waiting for the developer to release the solution. But it is also important anonymity, guarantee your data and privacy, know what exactly the software is doing and that is impossible in closed source software. In free or open source, you can read and review line by line if you wish, having a clear idea of what it does, but not in proprietary. And this when it comes to a company that may have customer data, patents, studies, etc., is frankly important.
Disadvantages of using free and open source software in the company
Although the advantages tend to outweigh the disadvantages, there are also some disadvantages to using this type of software in the company and one of them is the lack of guarantees Being altruistic or non-profit communities, although this is not always the case and although they do not have a guarantee, on many occasions, the software performs better than proprietary software with guarantees would.
On the other hand, there are not always unique solutions or integrated suites (best of suite) that satisfy all business areas and in some cases it will be necessary to have various software packages (best of breed strategy). Sometimes it is the company's own IT specialists or a group of contracted developers who must create interfaces that integrate everything in one so that it resembles proprietary solutions.
Sometimes you come across many open solutions that grow in number at a great rate, but do not mature enough fast being so fragmented, and this is a drawback that should be remedied by raising awareness in the community to come together instead of splitting up into small development groups and creating lots of redundant programs or meaningless forks instead of focusing on improving what already exists ...
You cannot generalize neither the advantages nor the disadvantages, sometimes there are proprietary solutions that are much better than open source alternatives, other times it is the opposite, etc.
Free or open source business software for GNU Linux
Once we know the advantages and disadvantages, we will move on to analyze by categories some of the solutions that currently exist for Linux environments. You will see that they are numerous, powerful and that they cover practically all the needs. I insist, although it is already quite well considered and they are numerous governments, and large corporations those who have opted for open software, such as NASA, CERN, Facebook, Google, Boeing, AMD, Nokia, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Amazon, Toyota, IBM, Cisco, Airbus, Virgin America, ESA, Tetrapack Grafobal , ACCEL Services, ...
In fact, a study assures that 98% of large companies already use open source software, but unfortunately, less than 30% collaborate in its development, a bad practice if we want these programs to continue their development. To make people aware of good practices and use, you have to start with schools. As Richard Stallman said, who we interviewed on this blog, closed software is like drugs, they offer you the first free dose at school, institute or university and then it will be difficult to avoid in your day to day or work ...
Of course to say that open software must be accompanied by an open operating system such as GNU / Linux, with the consequent improvement that this entails and the savings (eg: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro - € 199). Now, once we are aware of its use, these are the alternatives:
Office automation, communication and design:
|LibreOffice / CalligraSuite||Microsoft Office||Complete free office suites.|
|Evolution||Microsoft Outlook||Agenda or personal information manager|
|GIMP||Adobe Photoshop||Professional photo retouching.|
|Inkscape||CorelDraw and Adobe Illustrator||Vector drawing software.|
|Scribus||Adobe InDesign and QuarkXpress||Publication and layout of books.|
|Telegram /Ekiga/Gizmo/Tox||Skype and Whatsapp||VoIP and video conferencing.|
|Day||Microsoft Visio||Professional diagramming software.|
|Asterisk-PBX||3CX||PBX telephone system.|
|FreeMind||MindJet MindManager||Brainstroming and mind maps.|
|TimeTrex / hour||Replicon/Tenrox Timesheet||Time management.|
Personnel management, accounting, resources, logistics, sales:
|GNU RedFoX / Dolibarr / OpenERP + TinyERP (now Odoo) / OfiPro / Tryton||Microsoft Dynamics / SAP / NetSuite||Business management or ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning)|
|Sugar CRM / dolibarr||SlesForce.com / Microsoft Dynamics CRM||Commercial management and CRM solutions (Customer Relationship Management)|
|Alfresco /OpenProDoc||Microsoft SharePoint||Enterprise Content Management or ECM (Enterprise Content Management)|
|Simple Invoices / InvoicePlane / InvoiceScripts / Silver / Siwapp||FreshBooks/Bill.com||Billing systems.|
|Openbravo POS / Lemon POS / Floreant POS / Chormis POS||AccuPOS / PointSalte / Epicor Retail Store / Retail STAR / POSitouch||Commercial space software.|
|OrangeHRM||Halogen Software / iCIMS / Ascentis||Human resources management.|
|OpenProj/Planner/ ProjectLibre||Microsoft Project / Oracle Spring||Project managers.|
|GNUCash / Money Manager EX||Quicken||Accounting.|
|ZenCart / PrestaShop /osCommerce||Big Commerce / Volusion / Yahoo Merchant||Electronic commerce|
|Pretty BPM||Intellect BPM||Business process management or BPM (Business Process Management)|
|NVU / Kompozer web design||Adobe Dreamweaver/Microsoft Expression Web||Web design.|
|Webalizer AWStats||-||Make reports of web pages.|
Computing, cloud, web, security and technology:
|PostgreSQL /MariaDB||Microsoft MySQL / OracleSQL||Databases.|
|Apache||Microsoft IIS||Web server.|
|Subversion / Go /svn||Autodesk Vault / Microsoft Visual Source Safe||Version control.|
|WordPress||Contegro/Sitecore||CMS (Content Management System) or content manager system|
|Docker||KVM/Qemu/Xen/VirtualBox||VMWare/MS HyperV||Virtualization and containers|
|Areca Backup / bacula / amanda||NovaBackup / HP StorageWorks EBS / NetVault / Simpana Backup and Recovery||Backups.|
|Endian Firewall Community / Spread Lite||Check Point Security Gateway / SonicWall Network Security Appliances / Cyberoam Security Appliances||Firewall systems.|
|Plant / E-Box Platform / ClearOS||Windows Small Business Server||Email and groupware.|
|ownCloud /Syncthing/SeaFile||DropBox/Microsoft OneDrive||Cloud storage.|
Engineering and science:
|BRL-CAD / FreeCAD /FreeCAD||Autodesk AutoCAD||Computer aided design or CAD.|
|KiCAD / Electric VLSI / FreePCB / gEDA / Icarus Verilog / KtechLab / Oregano / Verilator / Xcircuit||SPICE /||EDA environments for circuit design and simulation.|
|GNU Plot||GeoGebra/Microsoft Mathematics||Graphs of functions and data.|
|OpenFOAM /SU2/HELYX/REEF3D/Typhon||Autodesk Simulation CFD||CFD software (Computational Fluid Dynamics|
|TANGO Control System / SCADABR.||SIMATIC WinCC||SCADA system (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) and HMI (Human Machine Interface)|
|GNU Octave /Euler/FreeMat/Scilab/Sage||Matlab||Mathematical software.|
|Astropy / Celestia / Cartes du Ciel / KStars / NASA World Wind / Stellarium||The SkyX / Starry Night||Dedicated software for astronomy and planetariums.|
|ADMB||-||Statistical nonlinear modeling software.|
|EICASLAB||-||Suite for forecasting.|
|Avogadro /Molekel/Open Babel/QuteMol||Q-Chem / Crocodile Chemistry / ChemSketch||Chemistry software.|
|CERNLIB||-||A series of libraries for physics.|
|Luxury /TeX Live (LaTeX)||Authorea / Inlage / WinEdt||TeX editors to create academic documents thesis technical books etc.|
|GNUHealth||SYSINF||Hospital information management or HIS|
|CARET / InVesalius||-||Anatomical reconstruction software.|
|3D slicer||View Imaging||Medical image analyzer.|
|Moans||-||Biomedical oriented environment.|
|OpenDental||-||Software for dental clinics.|
Please leave your comments, doubts, criticisms, contributions, etc. If you have a program to add or need some type of specific contribution for your company, do not hesitate to comment.