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Commercial and Open Source

Commercial and Open Source

When searching for a third party application of any type which you are wanting to use within your website, you will often come across applications which can be categorized fairly easy; these two categories are commercial and open source applications – commercial applications being ones which you have to purchase a license for so that you have proof of permission that allow you to use them, and open source applications being ones which are ‘free’ which means that you don’t have to purchase anything to be able to use them within your website. The choice of either an open source or commercial application can be a big one, since it can affect your ability to be able to accept any more visitors to your website, especially the part where you have chosen to use the third party application in the future; this is because some applications are only able to handle a certain amount of members or visitors that are able to use it, meaning that if this limit is crossed then the application in question will most likely be slow to use and might cause quite a bit of frustration for both you and your website visitors since the application will be more or less unusable – one further thing to add is that commercial applications can generally handle more visitors or members than their open source counterparts. Commercial applications generally come with guaranteed support, which makes them perfect for you if you are a webmaster who is in control of a website which has a fairly large user base, since in some situations you might require the expertise of someone who knows the application inside out, and who is more or less guaranteed able to help you solve the problem; open source applications on the other hand don’t come with any guaranteed or official support, which means that you will have to rely on the official documentation of the application concerned if you happen to run into a problem with it for some reason or another – in some cases there might be dedicated forums or message boards where you might be able to receive a good level of support and advice from experienced developers who have been using the application in question for a long time – however, both methods of support for open source applications are not guaranteed to help you solve your problem. Although open source applications are always available free of charge, it is recommended that you donate a small amount of money (if a donation scheme is being run for the application concerned) to the developers of the application, if you find it useful and good to use and that you don’t think that there are any major problems with it; this is because the developers of open source applications are normally giving up their free time to develop the application in question, and normally spend their own money where appropriate, but since the application is free, they never normally receive any money in return – only thanks from the community which chooses to use the application.

Scalability

Scalability is normally referred to as how many visitors or members a certain application is able to hold before it starts slowing up or before it becomes completely unusable; for example, commercial applications are more scalable than open source applications which means that they are able to cope with a large visitor or member demand and in most cases will never slow down or become completely unusable since they have built in mechanisms to help them cope if a sudden surge in demand. If you run a small website which doesn’t receive many visitors, and don’t expect the amount of visitors which you receive to rise by a large margin, then you should be fine with an open source application – this is because that although open source application aren’t as scalable as commercial ones, they are still scalable to a reasonable amount of visitors or members which should be above what you currently receive to your small website; commercial applications on the other hand are more tailored towards larger websites who receive thousands of visitors daily, which mean that they are highly scalable and able to cope with an increase in demand; this means that if you run a large website which receives thousands of visitors daily, then you should consider a commercial application since if your website was to experience a surge in demand then the third party application which you are using would be able to keep up with demand and wouldn’t slow down or become usable in any sense. In some cases, you might have originally chosen an open source application to use for your website, because at the time your website didn’t receive many visitors which means that you didn’t have the need for a commercial application since it wouldn’t have been any benefit to you – you might have then found that the amount of visitors to your website was starting to increase slightly, but over time the application which you had chosen to use wasn’t starting to slow down as it wasn’t able to keep up with the visitor demand; in this situation you would have to upgrade to a commercial application which was able to keep up with the demand of your website’s visitors, and wouldn’t slow down if there was a sudden surge in demand – if you were using an application such as a forum which contained large portions of content which couldn’t be manually ported over then you could utilize a third party migration tool that should be able to export and convert your database for use by the commercial application which you have chosen to use in place of the open source application that you were using to ensure that your visitors can still access the application concerned in times of high demand. One other thing about scalability is that you should always see how scalable the application which you have chosen to use is; this is because you might end up choosing a commercial application which isn’t scalable to the amount that you need it to be which might leave you at a dead end.

Support

If you are new to the web development world, and the idea of using third party applications to expand your website and the interactivity that your visitors are able to have with it, then you should always choose an open source application, since they are free and you can mess around with them and change them to your hearts content, although the amount of support available for them is relatively limited; on the other hand if you are an experienced person with a well established website who wants to expand it professionally, then you should consider a commercial application – this is because they are relatively scalable and normally come with official support which is provided by the company from which you purchased the application. Support is big thing for experienced web developers, since in some cases the source code of the application that they have purchased is encrypted, which means that they are unable to view and in turn change it for themselves; this means that if there is a problem with the code itself then they are unable to solve it since they don’t have access to the source of it so that they are able to change it for themselves – in this case they would have to source support from the company from which the application was purchased, and in turn notify them of the problem and receive the necessary support to ensure that they are able to solve the problem. On the other hand, if you are new the world of web development and like to solve problems yourself, then you should consider an open source application; this is because they are free and normally allow you access to their source code so that you can change the program to work the way that you want it to – this means that if there is a problem then you can easily solve it yourself, which is good since their is normally little to no support available for open source applications – the fact that there is more or less no support available for open source applications means that you should have a good amount of knowledge before deploying an open source application into a live environment where it is going to be used since you will need the necessary technical knowledge to fix the application if something was to go wrong with it. One thing to note is that the support available for commercial applications is only available at an extra cost in some cases; for example most commercial applications come with a years worth of unlimited free support via phone and email, but after that year you have to have a small amount to renew your right to have access to the support which is provided. On the other hand with support for open source applications, you should always ensure that the documentation for your chosen application is of high quality to ensure that you are able to familiarize yourself with the application without the need for trial and error; you should also check out the quality of the forum support which might be available for the applications which you are looking at before making a final decision.

Conclusion

In conclusion, your choice of whether to use either a commercial or open source third party application for your website is dependent on your need for support as well as on the size of your website, and whether or not you expect the amount of visitors that you receive to your website to increase or not; this means that if you are new to the world of web development, then you should consider an open source application that suits your needs appropriately, and if you are an experienced website developer who is running a well established website, you should consider a commercial third a party application which suits your needs appropriately. With the use of this article you should have learnt that if your website receives a large amount of visitors, or you plan on receiving a surge in the amount of visitors that you receive then you should consider a commercial application for your needs since they are a lot more scalable in terms of the amount of visitors or members that they are able to handle and process; you should have also learnt that if you run a small website that doesn’t receive many visitors, you should consider an open source application for you needs since they are free which means that you don’t have to fork out for something that most likely won’t be used much by either you or your website’s visitors. If you do choose to use a commercial application, then you should be prepared to pay at least $100 per year each year after you have purchased the application to ensure that you can still access the official support which is provided as well as to ensure that you are able to receive the necessary security updates to ensure that your install of the commercial application concerned is secure against hackers or any other malicious attackers. In terms of open source application support, you should be prepared to read the long documentation to ensure that you know your chosen application inside out; this then means that you should be able to customize the application to the way that you want it to be, and even fix any problems that you find with it if necessary – you should also check out the forum support that might be available for your chosen open source application to ensure that if the information that is provided in the documentation is not enough, you still have another source of support that is able to help you out in the case that you run into some sort of problem, you should also consider tutorials for the application concerned which might be able to set you in the right direction to fix a problem.

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