PIM Saas vs Open Source: questions to ask yourself when choosing

PIM Saas vs Open Source: questions to ask yourself when choosing

When considering a PIM project within your company, a number of questions arise. Who will be in charge of the project? What objectives PIM strategy? How will the platform be used? When it comes to PIM , the range of possible solutions is quite extensive. However, one point seems to distinguish them: the technology used; Saas or Open Source. How do you choose your development method? What are the benefits and limitations?

Saas vs Open Source: what are the differences?

Software as a service (SaaS) platforms operate on a monthly or annual subscription basis, and allow users who have paid for their license to access the platform from anywhere. Often, the price of the subscription depends on the number of people using the solution but also on the features purchased in the license, or not.

Open source software is, as the name implies, "open" and therefore open to anyone who wishes to access it, use the platform and make changes to the development code. Open Source platforms are often designed by communities rather than companies and are often less expensive than SaaS software.

When it comes to PIM solutions, SaaS and Open Source differ from PIM in a number of ways. Firstly, in terms of software deployment . In the case of PIM Saas, the software is hosted in the cloud, and all users of the solution can simply access it via the Internet. In contrast, PIM in Open Source requires local installation and management. The company is responsible for the infrastructure.

Cost can also be a differentiating factor between PIM in Saas and PIM in Open Source. For PIM in Saas, initial costs are generally lower, as there is no need to invest in servers or dedicated human resources. Costs are often based on a subscription or commitment model. For PIM in Open Source, even if the solution itself is free of charge, costs can be higher due to expenses linked to infrastructure, maintenance and the deployment of updates, for example.

To help you see more clearly, comparisons PIM exist to detect, according to your priorities and several criteria (ergonomics, connectivity, international deployment ...), which is the ideal PIM for your company.

What are the advantages and constraints of each?

  • Theimplementation and configuration time before you can use your PIM is often longer in Open Source than in SaaS, if you are not familiar with coding, unlike SaaS platforms that are already ready to be installed and running. 
  • In addition, the SaaS platform provider is responsible for the security andhosting of the platform, an additional lightness on your side! 
  • Open source software requires some maintenance on your side, while SaaS providers also take care of the maintenance. 
  • Regarding support, SaaS software usually has the advantage on this side, because this aspect is their responsibility: they have to make their software work properly and to update it. On the contrary, for Open Source software, you are responsible for your own support because you have done the installation and development of the platform yourself.

PIM Saas Open Source

  • Again, security is guaranteed with SaaS software. You don't have to worry about hosting and servers. Since the provider is responsible for the operation of the platform, the same goes for security. In Open Source, since you are responsible for hosting the software, you are also responsible for its security. You therefore need a dedicated team that can ensure the security of the software and prevent possible flaws and/or threats.
  • Customization is a challenge taken up by Open Source platforms since the code can be modified by anyone. If you have the skills, you can modify the features of the software but also its functionality and design. Nevertheless, SaaS software allows you to make modifications and customize the front-end (the customer interface) of the solution and to modify certain features. Some SaaS platforms also offer you the possibility to access certain plugins or extensions.
  • Once again,integration is an element included in SaaS applications, either by the provider itself, as at Quable with its Quable Air methodology, or by integration partners. For open source platforms, the integration is done manually on your side, but if you have the appropriate resources, you can integrate your PIM in a personalized way, choose the plugins, the extensions...etc.

Saas or Open source: for which objectives?

Your choice of PIM in SaaS or Open Source depends mostly on your IS objectives and your overall objectives as a brand. If customization and personalization of your solution PIM is a key point for you, then Open Source seems to be preferable. On the other hand, if you don't want to be responsible for the maintenance, security and support of the solution, although it seems more expensive in terms of development, then SaaS is the way to go. In the long term, the PIM in Saas is then advantageous from a financial point of view. If the simplicity and the speed of the implementation of your PIM are crucial objectives for you, the Saas mode is to be recommended, on the other hand, if the international deployment is the priority of the moment, a PIM in Open Source will perhaps have a light advantage on this side.

Are you interested in PIM in Saas? Do not hesitate to ask for a free demo.

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Content Manager

After experiences in retail, luxury and EdTech, Romane became Content Manager at Quable and specializes in writing about e-commerce, tech and the SaaS world in B2B.