Open Source Technology Offers Higher Education Institutions Collaboration and Freedom

Open Source Software (OSS) is a growing trend among many businesses around the globe that has seen significant growth in the last twenty years. The team at Creosen combines creativity, technology, and excitement to deliver full-service website design and development along with more advanced backend features or technical integrations such as open source technology.

What Is Open Source Software?

Open Source Software (OSS) is software that gives individuals and organizations the freedom to use, change and enhance a program’s source code. Open source applications have been, and are forecasted to be, instrumental for colleges and universities.

Why Is Open Source Software Good For Business?

Not only is open source software being used in higher education, other businesses are discovering the positive aspects as found on Opensource.com“6 reasons open source is good for business – Here’s why businesses should choose the open source model.” by Poortvliet, J. (2017, October 13).

  • A chance to carefully examine and test out a product. You get a chance to weed out vendors that are not being widely used and may not have what it takes to help your organization change and grow.
  • Multiple contributing resources to help you continue to make changes and grow your business.
  • You have more transparency to see that security measures are a high priority.
  • Better customer service is delivered from its wide variety of contributors.
  • Support can come from the vendor or from its many users offering better customer support.
  • Licensing is more customer-focused “ensuring you get to use the software however you need and without arbitrary limitations, for as long as you like.”

Another great source is found on Open Source Initiative, “7 Things You Should Know About…Open Source Projects in Education” by Masson (2017, September 20) explains what OSS is and how it works in higher education institutions.

 

What Open Source Software Technologies Are Widely Used?

Drupal is one of the most used platforms in “7 out of 10 top universities and educational institutions around the world.” Drupal allows colleges and universities to work “under one main umbrella” while allowing departments to act independently with specific customizations made for specific, departmental needs. It has other quality features that have set this application at the top of the OSS platform.

  • Quality student/faculty security features that guard against hacking attempts.
  • Big savings with one application that can be customized for use across all IT needs.
  • User-friendly with a host of templates that can be used across the organization to retain unity.
  • Great user access control and adaptability to define responsibilities.
  • Content easily duplicated and shared throughout an organization.
  • Mobile access is available through Drupal 8’s “mobile first” version.
  • “110 languages” are available with Drupal.
  • Collaboration features offer faculty and students a vast array of “manuals, handbooks, procedural documents and other content for their research.
  • Other great features are offered such as “social media campaign and great workflow modules.”

WordPress once used by bloggers has become a full-featured CMS, application platform and more. It has now become more versatile and user-friendly open source application for higher education.

  • Extremely inexpensive to use.
  • Simple to modify to suit your institution’s needs and requirements.
  • Flexible with “over 25,000 free, public plug-ins” that allows not manipulating the core code.
  • Great user access control and adaptability to define responsibilities.
  • An extensive network of users offering great support.

PHP is an open source, programming language that is used to develop websites that you can use as an interface to connect to a database. Drupal uses the PHP language as well as WordPress is written using PHP.

Magento is an open source, e-commerce platform that is written in the PHP language. A module has been developed that imports Magento products into the Drupal software that adds a live cart icon. You also have the capability of integrating a WordPress Blog into your Magento platform.

Understanding the advantages of using open source technology can seem overwhelming. Once you see the potential freedom and flexibility these software applications deliver, your educational institution will have exciting advantages through the collaborative strengths and advances from many users.

Creosen, LLC has the knowledge and expertise to help you integrate these successful, open source, technology tools into your institution’s present information technology framework. We focus our talents on local government, small to medium size businesses, universities, colleges educational institutions and nonprofits. If your institution is ready to learn more about the freedom and flexibility from open source technology, we are here to guide you through the process.