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Why to choose an open source project management software?

You are looking at different project management software solutions and are comparing them to find out which one to choose? OpenProject is the leading open source project management software that supports your project management process along the entire project life cycle.

Open source is on everyone’s lips and its strategic relevance for the software industry is undeniable. This is also demonstrated by the following deals: IBM bought the biggest open source company Red Hat, Microsoft is investing heavily into open source projects and took over GitHub. Also, more and more public institutes and cities are opting for open source software.
Before we go into more detail, let us quickly look at the definition of open source software. Open source means that it gives access to its source code or parts of it and allows usage, modification, additions and distribution. Its aim is to foster effective collaboration in software development. The Open Source Initiative gives a comprehensive definition here.

You often hear that open source is more secure, cheaper, fosters collaboration and enables faster go-to-market. The following explains you in detail why you should consider an open source project management software over a proprietary solution.

Community

Open source software solutions manage to gather a community of developers and users around them. They are not only fans but actively involved in testing, developing and promoting the product as well as support. A diverse global community can generate more ideas, report and fix bugs, develop and troubleshoot faster than internal teams working on proprietary solutions. OpenProject has a global, active community that is in constant exchange with the internal OpenProject team.

Security and reliability

Everyone has access to the open source software code. Thus it can be more thoroughly reviewed by the community and errors spotted earlier and issues solved faster and more diligently. On top, because the community is working on the code guided by experts, it can be more robust due to more testing. OpenProject can be installed on-premises and thus provides full control over data, the product and its operation.

Stability

As the code of an open source software is public, users will even be able to work with the software in case the original developers decide to stop working on it. This is especially important for long-term projects. You will not get locked in which could happen with a proprietary software. With open source there is no vendor lock, you are not reliant on the provider to develop the software, you have the flexibility to either develop the software yourself or choose any contractor to do it for you. OpenProject’s code is available on GitHub.

User-centricity

An open source software puts the user at its heart. Decisions are made to make it most useful for the user. We at OpenProject are using the community and our customers e.g. to get feedback on what new features they are looking for. We then accordingly evaluate the feature requests and their relevance and include them into our roadmap. Moreover, the user can get help and advice from not only the OpenProject team but also from the community. A constant exchange for best practise sharing or issue solving is facilitated.

Customization

As everyone has access to the open source software code, there is the opportunity to do custom development if you need something that does not exist yet. Open source allows you to develop your own addition to the software. Or you could contact the community and collaborate on a new development. In contrast, with proprietary software you would hardly have the chance to get a custom development and if so, it could be very expensive. OpenProject provides a powerful API to facilitate customization in every way possible.

Transparency

With the code being available and visible, you know what you are getting, the scope as well as all limitations can be identified before implementation or upgrades. You get what you see is not necessarily the case with proprietary software.

Faster developments

Thanks to a talented community working together, more new developments and also solutions for issues can be created faster as the code is openly available. The developments also need to be open source so that the whole community benefits and a feature only gets developed once.

Costs

Open source solutions can be cheaper. The cost savings start with acquisition, but span to deployment, support, and maintenance. OpenProject is available in three versions. The Community Edition with a large set of features comes for free. Additional premium features are available with the Enterprise on-premises and Cloud Edition.

Overall, open source offers a lot of advantages for users as well as IT managers. Compare our OpenProject open source project management features here to check if we can offer you the best solution.

We recommend this article if you want to go into more detail about open source vs. free software.
You will find more information about the importance of open source for the software industry here (article is in German).

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