Generally speaking, ‘open source software’ is software where the source code is made freely available for use — it may be redistributed and modified from it’s original state without charge. Normally, open source software is created as a collaborative effort and is continually updated and improved upon by a community of programmers who have an interest in the software.
From software that runs on a desktop computer to software running on a website or web server , open source software is often a compelling alternative to commercial software. When it comes to web design & development Apache, PHP, and MySQL are commonly used “open source” web software solutions.
Many hosting plans come equipped with Apache, PHP and MySQL pre-installed and available for immediate use; this means that a website built using PHP and MySQL and hosted on an Apache web server should be easily transported across web servers and/or hosting accounts. Moreover, most open source content management systems (CMS) run on Apache, PHP, and MySQL.
The Benefits of Open Source Software
Cost Effective: Open Source Software is often distributed free or under the General Public License. Reasonable and inexpensive prices are charged for commercial organizations. The cost saved can be spent on other development and support.
Transparency: Because you can access the source code, you can always find out how the code is working. It enables unlimited tuning and improvement of a software product. In addition, it makes it possible to port the code to new hardware and to adapt it to changing conditions such that it integrates perfectly with your existing systems.
Reliability: Open Source Software generally offers good reliability and stability. This is due to a worldwide group of contributors who help to debug the software. Any bugs found will tend to affect the product on a more superficial level and require less recoding.