Deploying Free or Open Source Software in the SMB


I have over the last few months written on various open source or free solutions for the small and medium-sized business. Rather than rattling off a list of such applications, I have tried to point out the various advantages and pitfalls, as well as situations where it makes sense - or not - to use them. Your mileage will obviously vary, but it would certainly be prudent not to shut the door completely on open source or free software.


Honestly, it is truly interesting how many robust, cost-free alternatives exist that are perfectly suited for an SMB. So just in case you missed the blogs, I have listed them below for your convenience.




In Reasons for Using Open Source Databases in Your SMB, I highlighted a couple of reasons you would want to tap on two popular open source databases instead of buying commercial implementations.


Web Programming


Moving on to the area of Web programming, I came up with a list of reasons why PHP programming might be just the solution for your Web project and elaborated on them in Advantages of Web Development Using PHP. For the sake of a balanced argument, I went on with Disadvantages of Web Development Using PHP, in which I drew on my actual experiences working with PHP to highlight some of its weaknesses.




Open source solutions are hardly limited to databases or Web systems only. In Leveraging Open Source Solutions for Networking, I highlight how it is also being implementing in core networking equipment. In addition, I shared briefly about my experiences with the IPCop firewall.


Productivity Software


OpenOffice 3.0 Released to Rave Reviews was written late last year, and OpenOffice 3.1 has since been released. However, the earlier blog does provide some important background for those who have not heard of it. Of course, productivity software is more than just Office suites, and I also suggested a possible replacement for Adobe's PDF Reader in A Free Alternative to Adobe Reader.


Finally, folks facing strong resistance towards change in their SMBs might want to consider settling for a partial or gradual switch. Find out more about this idea in Do a Partial Switch to Open Source Solution.