Why or why not?
With open source software, the code is made available to the user, giving the user the ability to change or modify the application to suit the desired objectives. With the ever-changing requirement for e-commerce businesses, it is paramount to have the ability to change or fix bugs once they are discovered rather than purchasing new software or developing whole software again. With this kind of software, any time you find an application that is interesting, all that one has to do is to take the code and to modify it to suit the business model. The aspect of having a competitive edge can also be realized since one can redistribute modifications and improvement made to the software. Since no one has the absolute authority of controlling the software, it introduces the aspect of innovation as each business is trying to have a competitive edge over the other (Webappers, 2010).
In your opinion, do you think that the future of e-commerce applications is leading for all applications to be open source?
Yes. An example of one in the market is the OsCommerce which supports many features including multi currency support and object oriented php backend.
Why or why not?
The cost of acquisition is almost zero and the security features are better due to the transparency of development whereby several people are involved in examining and testing thus tendency to achieve high quality standards. There is no risk of abandonment as many people will be involved in the development of the same.
Is this good for the future of e-commerce?
Yes. This is good for the future of e-commerce. The fact that a common platform will be provided whereby different applications can interface easily at no or little cost is a positive aspect. The common computing environment will provide a common protocol that will see the different applications working together. The alternative is having closed source software, which will mean purchasing very expensive application with no outright guarantee that they will interface and work effectively. An example is the Zencart, which in essence is a ‘child’ of the OsCommerce. Zencart has been integrated easily with phpBB (Biometric news, 2009).
Biometric news (2009). The trend towards the use of open source in E-commerce: Technical and business implications. Retrieved on 4 June 2011 from http://www.biometricnews.net/Publications/Open_Source_E-Commerce.pdf
Webappers (2010). 15 best free open source Ecommerce platforms. Retrieved on 4 June 2011 from http://www.webappers.com/2010/07/09/15-best-free-open-source-ecommerce-platforms/