Tag Archive for 'open-source'

29
Dec

Open Season for Open Source

A recession is no time to pay through the nose for software. So in these tough economic times, with proprietary software vendors increasing the licensing fees and locking in their customers, open source is king.

The idea behind open source is simple: find a relevant solution that already exists, use that as a starting point and customize from there. After all, most of what you’re looking for (e-commerce, CRM, content management, social networking, blogging) has already been done. Thousands. Of. Times.

But the strength of open source is also a challenge—in an infinite sea of alternatives, how do you find what you’re looking for?

That’s where an open source guru like Caxy comes in. We’ve vetted hundreds of options, learning firsthand which ones work and which don’t. So when a client comes to us with just about any request—the latest content management interface, for example, or a more flexible e-commerce system—we instantly pull up the top 1% of open source material and go from there.

Here’s an example. One of our University clients needed websites for each of its four locations, but only budgeted for two. So we found the open source software that best matched what they needed (with features like photo galleries, updatable calendar and contact forms) and developed one site for them. When they signed off on that, we took that same system—sans licensing fees—and duplicated it to create the other three sites. We could have done 30 more sites, with barely a change in the cost of implementing the software.

But back to the economy. The last time things took a downturn (2001-02), Linux established itself as a widely-accepted enterprise operating system, and vendors who got on board early reaped the benefits. This time around there’s a bigger focus on databases and higher-level software apps, but the principle is the same: don’t start from scratch. Depending on the scope of your project, a head start can mean real savings. Sure, saving $10k on a million dollar job isn’t a big deal, but saving $10k on a $50k is a real dent.

So if you’re on a project that’s not a brand new, earth-shattering, clouds-parting genesis of a concept, find yourself an open source specialist whose budget goes to customizing, not software. We happen to know a good place to start.

Caxy is a custom development shop specializing in open source technology, notably interactive PHP and Flash. Founded in 1999 on the mean streets of Chicago, our master coding ninjas are currently conquering CodeIgniter, Drupal, Wordpress, ExpressionEngine, SugarCRM, jQuery, prototype & more.

Rackspace is proud to name Caxy VIP Partner of the Month for December.