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OSDial and Open Source

Speaking as the founder of Call Center Service Group, and representing our primary product OSDial, we are excited about bringing Open Source to not just small businesses looking to save on expenses but bigger corporations who are looking to take better advantage of what is available and doable with Open Source.

Open Source means that you can get the source code for the software and can thus customize it to fit your business, not adjusting your business to fit software.

Source Code is the reference to the code written by a programmer and consists of legible instructions in English. Once you have the source code you can customize the application as you need. Compare that to the normal executable code which is entirely illegible to humans. (It is compiled, or translated, into machine code that the computer can understand without it needing to translate it from English.) In other words, without the source code you cannot modify the application.

Executable code is normally what you end up with when you purchase a program in a store.

Simply speaking, Open Source comes from the idea that you are free to modify the software to fit your needs, and if you distribute the changes you need to give a copy to the author. All while recognizing the author and not removing any copyright notices etc.

It is not freeware which comes with no license or limits of any kind. Open Source comes with one of a number of licenses that are legally recognized across the world and has been tested in court. The license says that by using the code you have accepted the license. Thus if you don’t accept the license – don’t use the software.

Open Source is today, 2013, a very large thriving community where RedHat, one of the distributions of Linux the popular Open Source Operating System, and the leading source of Linux with corporate support, is a billion dollar corporation.

Another product, MySQL, was bought by Sun for a billion dollars, which in turn was bought by Oracle for 4.7 billion, primarily to control MySQL. A decade ago IBM spent a total of a billion dollars to invest into and take advantage of Linux and after a year said they got their monies back.

Writing off Open Source as non viable, unpatriotic, etc is usually what you hear from companies and people who are not able to change fast enough and who often have a vested interest in keeping users/customers “locked in” to them and their software. Software that empowers users to do what they need and want is seen as a threat to their, possibly, stagnated business model.

With closed source software you can not review how well written it is, making it easy to hide poorly written code. With Open Source the world can see how well you code. This leads to a lot more reliable code being available, thanks to not a small part to peer review.

Linux is a community developed Operating System contributed to by 1,000’s of people world wide. It is more reliable, secure and does not “lock you in” to any particular vendor and is largely available at no or little cost.

I hope this has given you a bit of understanding of Open Source vs closed source and why we are so excited about working with it!

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