Working with Microsoft any server, device, user accessing the server must have a license cal. This licensing will cost a small fortune with lots of users. For library, movie rental, employment office etc places like this often only have a few public kiosk machines that are either Domain or local controlled. Generally the kiosk machine is set as login guest and all users use that pc. It's locked down with security policies. The machines browser typically points to a www sql server database of the card catalog, movie invetory, job listings etc. They are stripped down dumb terminals.
As far as handling customers, they are assigned a plastic membership card magnetic/barcode/rfid. The books, movies etc are also barcoded or rfid patched. Once the person scans their member card then the books are scanned and entered in the database record. Then a reciept is printed for the customer and yourself. You can buy this type of business POS (point of sales) scanners and software for these types of needs and tie it in with a database server. There is no need for a user login account or user access to anything in the network. It's all id card, database, point of sales driven. The database holds the customers information name, address, phone, picture ID # etc. If the POS is connected to a database server then it will need a license cal. So you're now looking at a few licenses versus 1000 user/customers logins at 50-100 bucks a pop. You should research more on software licensing, dumb terminals, Virtual hypervisor/PXE, PoS machines to get a more in depth picture of how these things come together. As far as open source goes, the answer is yes and no. Open source doesn't always mean FREE, there is still a price & licensing fee's for commerical business use just like Microsoft software. However, in anycase there may be a discount for certain government, schools, profit free, places. It all depends on the licensing and EULA's of the software vendor/creator.
Edited by technonymous, 01 March 2015 - 08:02 PM.