Open Source Vs Closed Source LMS: Which one is better and why?

open source vs closed source LMS

Of the multitude of questions, while going for a Learning Management System (LMS), this one query takes much of your debate and attention. Because you grow or shrink in business with the learning platform you initially choose with. For you put all your eggs in one basket – Open Source or Closed Source LMS. Hence, the ball is in your court to go with the best technology that fits the bill for your organization’s Learning and Development (L&D).

So, let’s see what these platforms mean and what they are better at and why. Understanding their definitions helps you avoid jumping into unnecessary and avoidable conclusions.

What’s in the name?

Open Source Software (OSS): a computer program that is freely given under a license to examine, to change, and to improve the original code (or Source Code) for any application by anyone. The key trait of Open Source technology is to collaborate and to distribute.

For example, WordPress (Content Management System) and Moodle (Learning Management System).

There will be periodic code lock-ins in this platform to release the Source Code with updates. In this content, Moodle LMS is the perfect example. Moodle releases its versions biannually. So, when an individual or a team wants to contribute they need to keep the code lock-in dates in mind for the upcoming version. Like that, the process of code enhancement goes on and on perpetually.

Closed Source Software: a computer code that is locked for free use. If you want to use this platform you need a license (by purchasing) for the individual, team or, organization who developed it. This kind of platform is purely commercial and is also called as “Proprietary” software. In other words, only those who wrote the software program can access to alter the Source Code for any purpose. If others do it, it’s a punishable crime under the laws of the land. The nature of Closed Source technology is limiting by itself, especially in the improvements arena.

In the LMSs, for example, Docebo is a closed source platform. And they are many such LMSs ( or other closed source technologies such as MSSQL) in the market.

How good is Open Source LMS?

The OSS offers many blessings in disguise. Unless otherwise, you look beyond its surface level, you may miss them from noticing. Look at a bunch of aspects from this platform discussed here below.

Highly Customizable

Being an Open Source LMS means a lot to the organizations across the spectrum of business and industry. In business dynamics, one fit doesn’t suit all. You need to tailor-make the application to suit your organization’s specific learning needs. In this arena, you can give a tick to Open Source LMS like BizLMS which is a corporate training LMS. You want to add a module or delete one, customize the same to incorporate what achieves your organization’s economic goals.

Heightened Security 

With each improvement or update of the platform, the security enhancements increase to the next level. If you consider the Moodle platform, for example, it is the first LMS to be compliant with the Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI), which secures the integration of learning applications (or tools) to your LMS. The additional security layers will be added to the same by your LMS vendor, such as BizLMS, to heighten the security.

Handling Budget

You can literally heave a sigh of relief! As mentioned in the above paragraphs, you can grow or shrink with the LMS you choose with. The Open Source LMSs like BizLMS offers everything you look for in a learning platform at an affordable price tag. There will be no question of shelling out extra bucks for unnecessary modules or tools.

Happily Collaborating and Improving

There is no question of discontinuity or instability with open source platforms. They perpetually improve themselves. As a community – of developers, admins, users, and anyone in between – contribute to its improvement, and that goes a long way. So, there is no question of service crippling when a proprietary closes shops. Additionally, the platform improvements adhere to the Open Standards.

Helming the affairs (Control of Data)

The open-source software puts you at the helm. For example, you can install the Source Code on your premises. That means you have the remote with you to control your data flow. You know, in this information age, data is as good as diamonds. It’s that precious and must be secured. BizLMS helps you do exactly the same – your data is your data only!

Why does Open Source LMS come at a cost?

It’s a misconception that open source LMS comes for free of cost.

Though it’s the OSS, you have to pay to get the fully-customized platform tweaked to suit your requirements. Indeed, the charge is not for the software, but for software services and support such as customization ( and it may include even redesigning of the User Interface), installation, and bug-fixing after you get the platform.

So, the bottom line here when it comes to choosing your LMS is to consider the Open Source LMS for flexibility, affordability, and security reasons. Bet you won’t regret your decision for good for going with the Open Source LMS like Moodle.