Open source knowledge management solutions are applications that are agnostic in terms of operating systems, hardware platforms, browser type, and mainframe architecture. It means the KM solution can run on different environments and is not client-side dependent. Most open source KM applications are encoded in Java or Flash technologies. Majority of these applications also are stand-alone tools or utilities and rarely contain multiple functions.
The clear advantage of open source KM is its interoperability. Companies using different IT systems can still interface with each other and share knowledge practices and databases. Companies that have lots of telecommuting employees can use web interfaces to accommodate their remote personnel. And documents encoded in different programming languages can still be useful for companies.
Just as in any open source program, the major benefit of this type of application is its flexibility in order to enhance its utility. In fact, most enterprise applications are adopting the open source format to maximize its utility. Companies therefore need to deploy more open source knowledge management applications so that their IT infrastructure will not be disrupted by new introductions.
Example of open source knowledge management tools are ontology and semantic applications which are designed to create the business taxonomy of enterprises by using only hosted programs. There are also artifact extraction and collection software which can be used to collect data encoded in different formats. The data however can be easily utilized because the program automatically converts them to readable texts that can be displayed on different environments.