So, you’re just beginning to evaluate Koha.. for some that are in the beginning phase of investigating Koha this can be an unnecessarily slow process. I say unnecessarily because of the newbies inherent over thinking of “open source” and how they heard it can be “dangerous” because “the code is open”. Well, I’m overly, exceedingly, happy to tell you that thought and information is INCORRECT!
Koha is as safe an ILS as any proprietary software. (Geez, I hate making any comparison of something so simple and beautiful to something so, well, not simple and non-beautiful). The truth is any open source software that is as well written, maintained and supported as Koha is always the best choice. The issue is really one of how it is being protected both internally and externally. Internally, as with any system, you need to make sure you apply the accurate amount of stealth in rights and permissions to staff and make sure that patrons stay well within their patron categories including our wonderful volunteers. Externally, as with any system it’s always the responsibility of IT or the library sysadmin or the well qualified support service vendor to ensure the necessary protection is in place to keep the system safe. Now that makes sense, agreed? I mean, explain Sony getting hacked using proprietary software? And what about all of those hacked Microsoft systems? What about China recently hacking into our government systems. All these proprietary systems being hacked into has got to be telling you something.. am I right? It’s not open source that’s the issue it’s what’s being offered for means of systems protection.
Here’s what you need to know about Koha being Open Source.. Koha’s code is safe code and yes, it is open source under a GPL (General Public License). What the GPL means for anyone currently using or considering Koha (or any open source software) is there’s an inherent guarantee that you’ll never need to worry about Koha becoming a proprietary system with an associated cost; you’ll never have to worry about doling out a great deal of money for a license.. continually; you’ll never have someone telling you that you can’t modify the code and guess what, you’ll always have a say in the direction of its development. Ahh, the world of open source. It’s where all software began and if you’re one to notice trends it’s where it’s all going to end up (just consider all the free or inexpensive software available on hand-held or smart devices).
So come on. Open UP! The world is whole lot brighter out here.. in the OPEN!