Founded in 2001, XSOLI (eXperts en SOlutions LIbres) was born following the realization of an important fact: software is rarely used as originally designed and any modifications to meet a company’s needs requires an in-depth understanding that often transcends the information given by the provider. With the source code unavailable in most cases, it becomes difficult to overcome the product’s limitations, or to correct any problems associated to the company’s technological environment.
On the one hand, there is proprietary licensed software:
- where each installed copy is registered and often limited in the number of users;
- where the source code is not accessible;
- where the possibility of understanding the product’s important details is limited by its official documentation;
- where the capacity to modify the software to individual needs is limited by the provider.
At the other end of the spectrum, there is Free/Open Source software, which offers:
- the freedom to operate the software for any purpose;
- the freedom to examine the software’s operation and modify it to your individual needs;
- the freedom to redistribute copies;
- the freedom to improve the software and to publish your improvements.
Let’s examine how each of these freedoms is an asset for your company.
The Freedom to Operate the Software for Any Purpose
Seeing as the price is often established on a per-user basis, licensed software may not be cost effective for some tasks, which could have otherwise benefit from them. For instance: a developer may occasionally require graphics software, but seeing as the license is expensive, he must find other, less effective solutions.
Free software therefore offers greater simplicity because there is no limit to the number of users. No more complex calculations regarding licensing per workstation, user, or CPU.
The Freedom to Examine the Software’s Performance and Modify It to Your Individual Needs
In order for software to be useful, it must meet your needs. The more complex a task, the more likely it is that the software will not live up to your expectations. Since licensed software does not come with the source code, a different product must be found, or an individual solution must be developed for each company. In both cases, the cost could easily become astronomical.
This problem is nonexistent in the world of free software because you have the source code. You can therefore understand it in detail and answer any undocumented questions on the performance of the software. You have the right to modify it, to add more features, to improve existing ones, or to alter their behaviour so that they may be perfectly integrated into your company’s platform.
You are not familiar with source code? No problem, our developers are available to assist you.
The Freedom to Redistribute Copies of the Software
Licensed software can rarely be distributed, except under very specific circumstances (where you must provide an original intact copy). However, you may have to cooperate with other companies or clients who do not have the necessary software. You then have to refer them to the provider of this product, which requires additional work and occasionally additional costs for your partners.
When you use free software, you can distribute it yourself, if you so desire: include it on your CD-ROM, for example, without any fear of consequences.
The Freedom to Improve the Software and Publish your Improvements
It is generally impossible to make changes to any licensed software and even less so to publish any changes made. Even if the company has access to the source code, it remains isolated from other users of the same software, and unable to cooperate with them; publication therefore remains prohibited.
When you use free software, you may make the necessary changes required by your company. However, whenever a new official version is launched, you must re-apply your original changes. Why not make the changes available and have them integrated into the original version? You will save time in the future and you will have contributed to the technological improvement of the product.