Open Source for Business in Raleigh Durham Area

With the rise of computers came the rise of Open Source Software, which has bred entire communities around developing the best possible software. Open Source Software (OSS) and open source solutions open up the design and development processes for useful software and tools to the public, giving the software a dynamic nature and a multitude of well thought out updates over the course of the software development cycle.

In IT, the value of OSS is a significantly increasing factor because of these motivated and capable communities that constantly better their work. Many of the best OSS projects, such as RedHat Linux with headquarters located in Raleigh, NC, are used worldwide by everyone from small businesses and non-profits to large corporations and government services.

Allora develops, uses, and supports multiple OSS projects, for various purposes, such as hosting websites and email, groupware, content management systems, and other office applications. Our goal at Allora is to carry the essential spirit of openness behind these tools into our general business practices. We openly publish our methods, ideas, rates, and opinions in our best effort to do a true service to the community. By doing so we believe that we establish our credibility as IT consultants and as the best service provider for our own ideas. Thus, we hope to enrich ourselves through sharing with others - just like the essence of an open economy.

When it comes to the perspective of a business owner or a director of a non-profit organization the most important difference between commercial products like Microsoft or Apple and Open Source Software lies in its flexibility and support option:

  • Open Source products are 100% customizable. If there's something in the software you don't need or like, or if you need to extend some functionality - there are options to make this happen. This is never the case with commercial software. If a development team builds the product one way, it will be that way for all users. You can only customize what settings you've been allowed to tweak which is often a very limited set.
  • Popular Open Source solutions have massive followings and great supporters. Free forums exist where one can find answers to various questions explored previously by others, or even post your own questions, requests, troubleshooting and get direct support from developers or advanced users.

Allora's prime choice in the Open Source world is Joomla and its magnificient pool of extensions. Here are just a few projects involving Open Source development:

  1. - driven by Joomla and CiviCRM. This web-portal was built to integrate with a proprietary system of online courses and evaluations for teachers, and is a great example how Open Source can aid a non-profit organization that does not have millions of dollars to spare for expensive software and tools.
  2. - driven by Joomla and VirtueMart. A leading open source solution for eCommerce. Allora helped Counter Culture Coffee customize the shopping experience, and was able to integrate seemlessly with their shipping facility on the back end. This project was greatly simplified by an enthusiast who took some time to write and share code, an extension for VirtueMart, that was adapted for our needs and fit very well.
  3. - online database of Respite Programs throughout USA and Canada. Driven by Joomla and CiviCRM this web-portal provides information on nearly six thousands providers, each characterized by close to 50 parameters. Thank to Open Source, we were able to inject pages reflecting information specific to each state, as well as alter the default look and options for displaying the information
  4. AlloraNET - Lastly we mention our extranet system for time tracking, project estimates and communicating with our clients. Driven by a German Open Source solution, Phprojekt.