Should You Release Your Code as Open Source?
The first thing to keep in mind is that open source does not mean "free." You can open source your software without giving it away for free; how you do so depends on the license you choose, which I'll discuss in the section "Common Issues" later in this article.
Open source simply means that if the person can get the software (whether free download or buying it), they can also get the source code to work with in-house at minimum, which allows them to extend the product for their own use. Such a license also allowed them to examine the code for debugging purposes, whether for a problem with your software, or interaction between yours and theirs. Benefits include receiving detailed bug reports from your clients' programmers, and even potential bug fixes. Even better, you can often charge more for the option to receive the source code.
However, you may in fact decide to give the software away for free.