There are two common views behind the value of open-source commerce platforms: unlimited customizability and free to use (given an appropriate license). While these statements are generally accurate, they come with nuances as well.
Are open-source platforms the most customizable?
The short answer is that open codebase doesn’t necessarily mean ease of customization. In a nutshell, typical open source provides a means of modifying its behavior with access to the core, which can create a technical burden and issues:
- Non-trivial upgrades due to merge conflicts, incompatible business logic, and data migrations.
- Limited or non-existing community support.
- Maintenance and security fixes must be applied manually.
- You would have to fork and maintain the Dashboard, another large codebase.
- Your custom business logic is tight to specific programming languages and stack.
Plugin architecture, on the other hand, also has challenges. Users should seek platforms that are extensible and decoupled by design rather than open to modification. Saleor is designed to be extensible via API with all its configuration options.
Is open source free or cheaper?
There is a common notion that self-hosting is cheaper than SaaS, but it comes with a hidden cost:
• Platform upgrades require DevOps effort to stay updated with releases of new features, bug fixes, and security patches.
• Developers need to manage their environments to get the latest data from production.
• Scalability infrastructure needs to be in place to ensure that the business is not losing sales.
• Depending on project or team expertise, self-hosting can be more expensive than SaaS.
Benefits of open-source
Our codebase, roadmap, and development process are open to everyone.
Our users own their data and have control of the platform, even when using our cloud infrastructure.
Relying on closed-source vendors means your business is subject to policy changes, price changes, and even shutdowns.
We respect user and customer privacy, and being open allows anyone to examine that.
Ability to experiment
Running software locally enables developers to run, test, debug, and experiment with data without restrictions.
Open source allows anyone to view, audit, and patch the code. Adherence to security is not contingent on the vendor's ability to hire dedicated engineers.
Open source enables us to build a thriving community of developers and advocates.
Users can learn about the platform beyond documentation and tutorials.
Our approach to open source
We mean business
Our core, dashboard, apps, starter kits, docs, everything is open-source and has commercially unrestricted license.
One license, equal opportunities
There is no Enterprise edition or Community edition core product. We want to put the best tools in the hands of every business.
We have a thriving open to contributions, but our project is employee-driven with a centralized decision-making process which provides a predictable roadmap and has focused vision.