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Open source software is software whose source code is available for modification or enhancement by anyone.

Programmers who have access to a computer program’s source code can improve that program by adding features to it or fixing parts that don’t always work correctly.
Open source software licenses promote collaboration and sharing because they allow other people to make modifications to source code and incorporate those changes into their own projects.

So as the Open Source Initiative explains, “open source doesn’t just mean access to the source code.” It means that anyone should be able to modify the source code to suit his or her needs, and that no one should prevent others from doing the same. The Initiative’s definition of “open source” contains several other important provisions.

Advantage of Open Source

No License Cost: One key advantage of open source over the proprietary alternatives is that it simplifies your licence management issues, as no licence to buy even for commercial purpose.

No Vendor Lock-in: By its very nature, the source code of open source software is available to all, meaning that no one company owns the software. Any company can build upon open source software. It may be operated and maintained by multiple vendors, reducing both barriers to entry and exit. A customer can easily choose another vendor because they are not locked in to one vendor’s offering.

Reliability: Open source is peer reviewed software, which leads to more reliability. For example, infrastructure of the Internet is largely composed of open-source programs such as DNS, sendmail, Apache and languages such as HTML and Perl. They have proven to be both reliable and robust under the most strenuous conditions, namely the fast growth of the Internet.

Security: Open source enables anyone to examine software for security flaws. The continuous and broad peer-review enabled by publicly available source code improves security through the identification and elimination of defects 

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