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A proprietary solution is a hardware or software product or combination of products and services that is tied to a specific vendor, to the exclusion of all other vendors. While proprietary solutions may be quite effective, the lack of competition from other vendors in the industry can make the solution costly to acquire and maintain, and it may not be fully interoperable with other products in the client's organization. For example, a client's busy order entry system may be built on expensive custom-developed software, but the resulting database built by the order entry system may not export data to Excel or another open database for business analytics -- usually compelling the client to rely on that vendor's own tools or add-ons.
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