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Assuming your business has decided to make use of a Product Information Management (PIM) System, there are two main options on how to invest; Open-Source PIM and SaaS PIM. This article will compare the two options and outline the pros and cons. If you are unfamiliar with PIM and you want to know more about What PIM actually is, feel free to read our "What is PIM?" page or our "PIM for Beginners" blog.


What is Open-Source PIM?

Open-source software is computer software released under a license. The copyright holder grants users the rights to use, study, change, and distribute the software and its source code to anyone and for any purpose. This means it is usually distributed for free, however, it will require specialist IT knowledge to manage the software.

Advantages of Open-Source PIM

  • Being able to edit the source code of any software means you can tweak and adapt it specifically for your needs, and make updates to the software whenever you would like to.
  • Open-Source software is generally offered for free. This entices businesses as the initial cost is likely going to be less than the licensing fee of a SaaS PIM.

Disadvantages of Open-Source PIM

  • While Open-Source software is usually free, the long-term costs are usually higher than those of SaaS software. This is because a specialist IT team will need to be hired to handle implementing, updating, and maintenance of the system.

  • They are generally harder to use. SaaS PIM systems are built to be used "straight out of the box" so to speak. They have a more user-friendly UI. Of course, we pride ourselves on being one of the simplest and most efficient PIMs on the market.

  • There won't be any included training or customer support with an Open-Source PIM system unless you are paying extra.



Advantages of SaaS PIM

  • Seamless implementation. Getting off the ground is easier with SaaS as they are designed to be ready to use easily straight away. Our data experts will also be there to help with free setup and training.
  • Allows you to focus time and money on building a rich product information database rather than on building and maintaining the PIM itself.
  • SaaS systems provide security and ongoing customer support for you, meaning you don't have to ever worry.
  • SaaS systems generally offer better usability and scalability. OneTimePIM was built with ease of use in mind, even for people without a data background.

Disadvantages of SaaS PIM

  • You don't have access to the source code, so there is less customizability. However, OneTimePIM regularly releases updates based on clients' feedback and allows for a huge range of flexibility.
  • The initial cost can seem daunting to some business owners when compared to Open-Source systems but generally, Open-Source systems cost more in the long term. Furthermore, implementing a PIM system will save resources and money by improving productivity.

So what do we recommend?

Obviously, as a SaaS PIM provider, we are going to recommend SaaS PIM systems. However, Open-Source systems have their place too if you have the resources and IT expertise to support them. When deciding between the two options you should certainly be aware of the pros and cons of each, and not jump to conclusions based on the seemingly cheaper initial price of Open-Source systems. Our PIM has no hidden costs, no extra fees and fully included setup and training!

SaaS systems allow for easy implementation and simplicity of use with the opportunity to easily scale your business. This is ideal for businesses that don't want or need the highly customizable coding options available with Open-Source systems or don't have the IT capacity to use one of these systems.

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