Implementing a PIM system is an operation that requires you to make a number of different decisions. One of them is choosing the type of PIM. Should it be a SaaS or an open-source version? In today’s article, we look at the differences between both types of product information management.
SaaS vs. open-source – what’s the difference?
First, a quick reminder for those who are taking their first steps in managing an online store: what is SaaS software and how does it differ from open-source?
SaaS and open-source are two different models of software distribution. The first one (System as a Service) is based on the provision of a tool by the creator, for which we pay a subscription, and which runs on the software developer’s servers.
In the case of open-source software, the source code is available to everyone and within the community created around a given application, it is developed by experts around the world.
(You can also find the answer to the above question in our Glossary of E-commerce Manager!)
Which PIM system is better? SaaS or open-source?
The above information leads us to a pretty obvious question – which PIM system should you choose? Should it be a solution running on the manufacturer’s infrastructure, or is it better to choose a version that you are able to customize yourself?
To make your choice easier, we have gathered all the pros and cons of both software models.
Advantages and disadvantages of SaaS
The advantages of PIM systems in the SaaS model include:
- operation of the system on the software developer’s infrastructure,
- regular updates to fix bugs,
- extension of the system with new functions,
- low monthly fees for access to full functionalities,
- easy connection with your store through a dedicated API.
Disadvantages of PIM systems in SaaS model:
- functions in the system are dependent on the software manufacturer,
- you can’t adjust the system to your store needs,
- you have no control over the quality of infrastructure on which the system is based.
Advantages and disadvantages of open-source
Advantages of PIM systems in open-source model:
- you can customize the system to meet all your requirements,
- in the free version it is… completely free,
- in the paid version (usually in the form of a subscription) you get access to advanced support, and you can
- use the software developer’s cloud infrastructure,
- you are able to add new functions, which the system does not have, and which are necessary for you,
- easily scalable with an increasing range of products,
- you have full control over every element of the system.
Disadvantages of PIM systems in the open-source model:
- the cost of implementation is much higher than in the SaaS model,
- you must have dedicated experts to develop and maintain the PIM system,
- you also have to bear the cost of infrastructure.
Which PIM system to choose?
As you can see, the two distribution models for PIM systems are very different. By choosing SaaS, we save the time and resources necessary to customize a PIM for our store, but at the same time we don’t have the opportunity to create a ” tailor-made” system that will meet our needs holistically.
The cost of implementing an open-source system is much higher, but in this case we get a solution that with a little knowledge (or support of a good e-commerce agency) can be tailored to you in every, even the smallest detail.
Which PIM systems do we recommend? Since our goal is to provide our customers with the best possible tools to work, we focus on implementing open-source systems. In our offer you will find two solutions: very popular in the west Pimcore and gaining more and more popularity in Poland, Ergonode. Each of them we are able to integrate with your store and provide you with full control over product information management.