Open Source Calculator

Is Switching to Open Source Optimal in Your Situation?

What does this website do?

This website lets companies calculate whether it pays for them to switch to Free and Open-Source Software (FOSS) solutions.

This is done by estimating the one-time switching costs such as employee training expenses, setup cost, and the acclimation period in which your staff gets used to using the new software. These costs will be added to the yearly expanses such as licence fees and salaries payed the maintanance-programmers.

How to use the calculator:

Go to the next section (Price Calculator) and fill in the required costs and amounts. Then click on the button titled "Calculate Financial Results". You will be shown the cost estimation over the next 20 years in the Results section.

It is recommended that you input values conservatively. For example, if you are unsure whether the number of maintanance programmers nedded for the new solution is 2 or 3, go with 3. That way, you can be more confident in the results.

Sharing your results with someone else:

You can share your results (see turquoise button) by either just copying the URL or by sharing the link via email. Make sure to double-check your data before sharing the results.

If you got sent here via a link:

The values needed for calculation already have been filled out for you. You can double-check them in the Price Calculator tab. Then click on "Calculate Financial Results" to receive your projection.

Old Software

Input the number of programmers that are working to maintain the current solution.

New Software

Input the number of programmers that would be required to maintain the new solution.

General Data

Input the number of employees working at your company.
What does one employee cost you?
What does one programmer cost you?

One-Time Cost

Input the number of days you assume your employees will be completely inactive because of training & inactivity.
Input the number of programmers needed to implement the new solution.
Input the months will take those programmers to implement the new solution.

Nothing was calculated yet. Go to the previous section to input data and receive results.

Commercial Software

Common Advantages

  • A lot of work is done for you
  • Feature-complete
  • May have better synergy with other commercial software Info-button

Common Disadvantages

  • High cost
  • Dependance on external factors Info-button
  • May or may not include backdoors and telemetry
  • May not synergize well with software outside the proprietary ecosystem Info-button

Open Source Software

Common Advantages

  • Low cost
  • Freedom from external factors Info-button
  • Data security Info-button
  • May have better synergy with other open-source software

Common Disadvantages

  • Extra staff may be required to implement or organize features
  • Two free solutions may be required to substitute for one commercial one. Info-button
  • Proprietary solutions may refuse to accept open standards Info-button
The examples used in this section refer to Microsoft Office and Libreoffice.