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Open Source Software

We are committed to Open Source software. What is it and why should this matter to you?

If you don't know the relevance of Open Source software, that's fine. This page is for you. The intention not to provide detailed and necessarily complete explanations; it is simply to make you aware of some of the opportunities and benefits of choosing Open Source over Closed Source solutions. There are many resources on the Internet that go into more detail and we really would prefer this to be considered an introduction.

Firstly, for the reader who does not appreciate what "Open Source" refers to, it is straightforward to understand. When software is developed, programmers write in a language that is more human-readable; what they write is called "source code". Think of the source code as the "heart" of your software. The ability to control the direction of the development of your software lies in your ability to control the source code. Without the source code, your options are limited. Open source is about ensuring that this source code is open to all. This means that users are in control of their software, not the developers.

People often refer to Open Source software as Free Software. There are distinctions and we won't explain them here. It is important to note that the "Free" in "Free Software" does not refer to the price (though it could). It is about freedom of the user to look at the internals of the program they are using, understand (should they wish) its functions and to make changes to suit their requirements.

Naturally, not everyone is a software development expert so some people may argue that these freedoms are not worthwhile. We, and many others, disagree. Freedom that comes with Open Source allows for significant collaborative effort. It drives innovation and allows some of the greatest minds in software development to reach more people without necessarily attaching a cost. If you use and support Open Source software, you are very much in control and can act as a significant influencer, should you wish.

When we develop software, we use Open Source tools. We do still used closed source tools (such as Delphi) but wherever possible we are committed to making the source code available for all software that we develop. Sometimes, clients request that their source code is not released to the general public. If they are funding the delopment, we are happy with that. We do, still, ensure that each client has access to the source code that makes up their system and this is done without additional cost.

Day to day, we use Open Source operating systems, office software, virtualisation software, collaboration and messaging software and more. This has very much been at the core of what we have been doing for the last eight years. If you want to take more control, believe in the freedom that comes with Open Source software, but are not sure how to start, contact us and we would be delighted to help you start your journey.

Micro Data Systems Ltd
60 Blakestone Drive,
Thorpe St Andrew,
NR7 0LF.

Tel: +44 1986 232040
Email: enquiries@microdata.systems