Application fee and service structures


Open-source and proprietary software have many differences but they also have features in common as well. Open-source software is publicly shared in such a way that anyone may use and modify its source code within the purview of its licensing. Proprietary software is owned and copyrighted by an individual or company so the use/modification of its source code, and distribution of the software is very limited and protected by proprietary licensing agreement. In general, commercial/proprietary applications were more user-friendly and provide better customer support.

The table below shows some options you may see when you consider mapping/analysis applications. For the cloud options, the level of flexibility and complexity of operation increases as you go from SaaS to IaaS. We don’t mention about prices because they differ among companies and what features they offer, plus, they change their fee structures so frequently.

Application/Software TypesApproachProsCons
Open-Source Software (Project/Community)Shared with the community that is using and developing it so that it will fit the needs of a specific project or can be improved upon just in general. In some cases, there are multple developers involved.
Typically, this type of software is free and has greater interoperability among operation systems.

A pool of developers can modify or fix bugs fast.
Less specialized technical assistance offered, thus users must problem solve their issues through community support: documentation, wikis, and tools

Users should have a solid understanding of software development and coding.

Updates or bug fixes may not happen in a timely manner or they may drop the project.
Commercial Open-Source Software (COSS)Owned by an organization/company and software may be free; however, company typically gains revenue by providing better service, technical support, or consulting.Usually has a free version that you can test out before purchasing.

Some have an open-source philosophy with better interoperability among operation systems, plus, more customization options.
The software updates and support could abruptly end.

A user can contribute code toward the development of the software, but the copyright of the code contribution is transferred to the owner.
Commercial Proprietary SoftwareMore traditional closed-source software solely owned by the creator/ copyright holder.

Users must purchase a license(s), end-user license agreement (EULA) from the company.

Software agreements typically include a maintenance agreement and sometimes technical support.

The licensing may be offered as subscription-based service.
Good choice for users who do not have much knowledge in software development or coding skills.

User typically has a service lease agreement (SLA) with a software company so user has reliable and timely tech support.
A closed software choice, which means user cannot make programming changes to the software so customization for your specific needs has limitations.

It may have a high price tag.
Cloud SaaS (Software as a Service)A fully ready-to-use program.

Fully supported and maintained service and inflastructure by the service provider.
Some offer pay-as-you go program. (i.e., no big capital investiment needed)

Can easily scale in or out (size) for computing and storage needs.

Can create a database in a cloud server that you can access anywhere and reference multiple years/locations.
Must depend on third-party vendor for maintenance, support, and security of your data.

Some of a learning curve to fully understand how to effectively use a cloud computing service.

Must always have a solid and reliable internet connection available.
Cloud PaaS (Platform as a Service)
The computing and hardware are maintained by the cloud service.

The user has ability to customize applications.
Some offer pay-as-you-go fee system.

User can focus on computing and program developing needs for the applications used (i.e., provide flexibility.)

Fully supported services.
The user must have solid knowledge of computing, code/script writing and developing for the applications used for analyzing the data collected.
Cloud IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)
Most flexible of the cloud service types. User rents service’s hardware and uses Cloud and IT features but still has full control of hardware and applications being used
Some offer pay-as-you-go fee system.

Can scale in and out to fit the size and complexity of your computing needs

You have complete control of the hardware and applications to customize them to your project needs.
Much higher learning curve than other cloud services above.

The user must have a solid knowledge and skills for maintenance and support of networks and network security, computer programming (code/script writing) and developing for the applications being used.

Users are responsible formaintaining the inflastructure and applications.


Open-Source vs. Proprietary Software: Development, Licensing, Business Models, and More

Open-Source vs. Proprietary Software Pros and Cons

Santhosh PawarI, “Cloud Computing in Agriculture”, ARJSET, International Research Journal in Science, Engineering and Technology, Vol. 8, Issue 12, December 2021, DOI: 10.17148/IRJSET.2021.81265

Search Links

Search link for “open source” software agriculture drones 2023

Search link for software applications “agriculture photogrammetry survey and mapping” 2023 aerial drones

Search link for Agriculture Cloud SaaS Solutions UAV Data Collected for Mapping 3D Modeling Analysis 2023

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