Open Source vs Proprietary Software: Which is Right for You?

There are a lot of digital signage companies out there, but only a small number use software to run their systems that is classified as “proprietary”. We believe it is the gold standard in the industry, and we thought you might like to know why.

There are two basic types of software used to run any computer system – one being “open source”, the other, “proprietary”.

Open source software is just what is says – open. defines it as “pertaining to or denoting software whose source code is available free of charge to the public to use, copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute.” Because it is available for free to programmers to use to build their software project, it is generally your cheapest option when having a new program or app created for your business. This is where we mention the old adage, “You get what you pay for.”

For many kinds of web applications, open source works fine, but it can become a problem when the original code used to create your program gets mangled. At best, you could end up with a program that displays unattractive content, at worst, you could find it difficult to perform simple operations in your system and lose potential marketing space as a result. And this is where we mention another adage, “Too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth.”

On the opposite end of the spectrum from open source, Proprietary Software is owned by an individual or a company, maintains restrictions on who can use it and how it can be used, and its source code is a carefully-guarded secret. We at Aurora Digital Signage created our own software system to use in our digital signage business. We maintain it ourselves, we add to it when needed, and when there is a bug, we know where and how to fix it. Promptly. If you have a problem with your open source program, you’ll be looking through forum posts and chat logs to find an answer, wasting valuable time in your day… with Aurora, you can just pick up the phone.

Many companies use open source software because there are no legal contract negotiations required to get started on a new project. For us, the needs of our customers are always at the forefront of our development plans, and the priority hierarchy always starts with you, our customer. We own the code, and we can enhance it or tweak it anytime we want. Easy.

For further reading on the topic, here is a collection of articles compiling some of the biggest pros and cons of open source software.

Give us a call to discuss your marketing needs, and how our proprietary software can enhance your visibility and brand in your single location, across the state, or around the world. Call today toll-free 855-742-9039.

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