An open source portal is a free software program available to anyone via the Internet. The entire program can be downloaded for free, and the programming code is visible. Open source licensing is developed using the work from a variety of programmers and developers.
The solution is free and the code is non-proprietary. Revenue for the software firm is based on other applications built to support or enhance the basic functionality that is provided for free, or through sales of a business version. The great benefit in open source software is that the code is available, allowing anyone to create new applications or submit changes to the existing program.
A web portal is a multi-function website that includes public and private sections, personalized content, and data retrieval and submissions tools. These tools are available from the user perspective and may be enhanced or hidden by the software programmers or system administrators. The quality of work found in an open source portal platform is comparable to commercial systems, both in user experience and back end system logic.
The system management tools available in open source portal software programs include discussion forums, file and link management tools, and calendars. The user and administrator manuals are posted on the website with the software, providing sufficient information to understand existing functionality, define business processes, and provide end user training sessions. There is also a range of administrator tools, allowing a central role to hide or activate various functions.
When selecting an Internet portal software, many firms include open source products. In a business environment, the software is not free, but cost is typically based on the number of licenses or volume of user data. The benefit of an open source portal solution is the access to an increased number of programmers and developers who will be able to work with the tool. Open source programs are typically written in the most common languages. The use of a common language makes resources easier to find and not as costly as the more exclusive languages.
Security is very important when selecting a computer software product, and portal technology is no exception. Many firms build in enhanced security features to reduce the impact of hackers and malicious programs. Open source programs are a popular door for skilled programmers with bad intentions to access a business system. If you select an open source solution, hire a security expert and implement his or her suggestions to minimize the risk.