5 Open Source Myths

Photo of Debbie Hoffman by Debbie Hoffman

Open source software is becoming so popular most people likely use it daily without even thinking about it. For example, if you’re using Firefox to browse the internet or WordPress to publish your blog – you’re using open source tools. According to the 2017 Open Source 360 Survey conducted by Black Duck Software, 60% of businesses report an increase in their use of open source in the last year. Despite the growth of organizations taking advantage of open source benefits, there are still many misconceptions surrounding open source software. Here are 5 concerns about open source software and why they should be considered myths:


Open Source Myth #1: Open Source is Free

People commonly refer to open source as free, but the “free” is more about the freedom from proprietary software constraints than it is about the monetary cost. There is no cost for many open source software products, but in many cases, the “free version” is not the most up to date product. Full versions of Payara Server and Payara Micro are both available with no licensing fees, meaning the version you download today is production-ready, and when you’re ready to add support services for the Payara Platform - there is no need to download a new version or migrate anything.


Open Source Myth #2: Only Small Companies Use Open Source Software

Open source software has been used commercially, by organizations of all sizes, since the 1990s. Maybe you will recognize some of the following names - all companies that use open source: Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Facebook, IBM, BMW. In fact, many large companies use the Payara Platform, including the BMW Group, Papa Johns Pizza, and SWISSCOM.


Open Source Myth #3: Security is a Problem with Open Source Software

Many companies shy away from using open source software because they fear it is less secure than proprietary software. When the source code is openly available to anyone who wants to use it, there is an increased fear of risks associated with black hat hackers. Instead, open access to the code makes early detection of security vulnerabilities possible and ensures a more secure product in the end. All Payara Platform users receive regular quarterly releases with new features, bug fixes, and patches to improve security. Payara Support Customers can choose to receive monthly patches and fixes with our Features Stream or keep a feature set for 12 months with the Stability Stream to increase stability and consistency of your production environment.


Open Source Myth #4: You Can’t Get Support with Open Source Software

In the mid-90s when open source first appeared on the scene, the developers had to rely on the community and other users for support. Today, third-party support for open source software is common. Some open source developers also provide support for their products. The Payara Platform has a variety of support options available for enterprises in need of comprehensive maintenance and support. Customers of Payara Support can receive help migrating to the Payara Platform with Migration & Project Support services with a flat fee charge regardless of the environment size. Customers running the Payara Platform in production can choose between a 10x5 support model or a 24x7 support model – with unlimited support tickets, access to the customer-only knowledgebase, video training, and monthly patches and fixes.

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Open Source Myth #5: Open Source is Not Compatible with Proprietary Programs

Most enterprise-class open source software runs on both proprietary operating systems (like iOS or Microsoft Windows) and open source. Open source software implements the same open industry standards that allow interoperability as proprietary software, and in some cases, open source software will integrate with other systems even better than proprietary systems. The Payara Platform plays well with others – and support customers receive full support for a growing number of integration components as well: Mavin plugins, Docker images, Cloud Connectors and IDE connectors.


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