Open Source in the LGMAIssue 01 ISSUE Quarterly 01 February JOURNAL OF Research and Architecture Open Source in LGMA 2011 Open Source Survey A survey of LAs attitudes carried out in late 2009 showed that LAs recognised the benefits of OS. Over 50% quoted cost reduction and vendor independence, the three main concerns were support, in-house skills and the management of the change process to OS. As part of the OS initiative we plan to address these concerns through the establishment of an OS commu- nity in the local government sector through which experience can be shared and support given. Anyone in this issue Training on your organisation who would like to become involved with this initiative should email their details to LA Open Source Open Source Opportunities P.1 firstname.lastname@example.org Open Source Forum January Open Source Forum P.1 with the IPA In order to help focus the OS project on the areas of most interest to LAs we would appreciate it if you 25th could take the time to complete a short follow up survey. This will enable us to establish the products and services you feel would be of most benefit to your organisation. The OS survey is provided online at:- IT Management Tips P.2 The IPA has implemented a 16 Local Authorities attended a very https://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?formkey=dElFMjhtWVliNDczY1FheVFDUTNveVE6MQ very successful training pilot interesting and constructive day at our Focus on the Tools P.3 th on Open Office in Limerick first OS Forum on January 25 . We Training and Familiarisation P.4 heard from a whole generation of City. To date 60 staff have Software Providers and Govern- completed the training. Gerry Perceived Benefits ment colleagues on how to harness Grogan in the IPA would be the power of Open Source, while Exploring open source software opportunities. very interested to hear from mitigating the risks of change. Presentations from Mihai Bilauca - Open Source has been around for as long as opportunity for stability. There is no Vendor other local authorities who computers have been in use. Where people inducement to upgrade after certain periods Limerick City, Mel McIntyre - Open might be considering running a shared or distributed their software, solutions or versions have become end of life. Typical- App, Richard Martin – Tascomi, Liam and expertise. In past times sharing was usu- ly Open Source software conforms very similar program for staff. Stewart - OPW and Fergus ORourke ally localized, due to geographic constraints. closely to international, primarily Open – Meath Co. Co. demonstrated the standards. These standards tend to change variety of OS product available and With the rise of the Internet – Open Source very slowly and the freedom for interchange- how these are being utilised by local Software (OSS) has become a standard ability is paramount and the real “free” in authorities and the public sector. phrase used to describe the practice of shar- open source – the freedom of choice. Upcoming Events The current suite of products in place ing code. More importantly the ubiquitous internet has facilitated distributed communi- This cannot be said of most propitiatory soft- April 12th, Cork in LA‘s will reach end of life over the ties sharing their software with more diverse ware. Software flexibility is related to busi- next 2 to 4 years. Participants felt the On April 12th we will be run- end users. As a result the open source com- ness flexibility and prudent use and adoption evaluation of alternatives should begin ning our next Open Source munities have been established. Interestingly, of standards. Namely, if the business require- as soon as possible to facilitate an Perceived Issues though, successful OSS projects are not cre- ments change, then the solutions should not Workshop, in the Council informed choice at time of replace- ated by releasing free source code – they are be unreasonably constrained by software. ment. Pilot projects in local authorities created through the growth of communities Open Source projects do not typically at- Chamber, County Hall, Cork. to examine OS products suitability and of shared interest. tempt this lock-in strategy as in most cases The emphasis of the next scalability were suggested. there is no commercial benefit. event will be based on the Community development and community Based on the feedback from the par- experiences in the deployment adoption has led to the success of Open All open source software is written as loosely ticipants IT products in LA‘s broadly Source around the world, with many com- coupled architectures. With the development of Open Source, and the legal- fall into 4 main categories:- Office mon Open Source Solutions benefitting from teams being distributed they still manage to Productivity, CMS, Infrastructure and ities and licensing issues relat- world wide development and support. develop and evolve a community spirit that GIS. maintains common interests and codebases. ed to the use and deployment To follow up we suggest 4 streams of The Local Government Sector is such a com- The loose coupling occurs at two levels, the of Open Source. interested parties to work together to munity and intelligent use of Open Source teams of developers are working in isolation appraise OS solution in each of the can offer huge benefits. There are many dif- from each other, yet aware and open to com- ferent functions that Local Government carry munity goals within the development. They categories. If you would like to be out that could hugely benefit from Open also make their product-sets loosely coupled involved in a particular stream or have Source software. so the main quality of open source, choice, any suggestions please email RhodaRes earc h & Arc hitec tu re can be the end users, they can plug in one at email@example.com the LG MA LGMA Open Source Software offers Local Govern- component, use it, and change it, upgrade it Links to presentation on the day can Phoenix House ment mitigation against vendor-push and and they know that it will still work with be found at http://www.lgma.ie/ Dublin 8 pressure to conform to the latest vendor other components as long as they stick to the opensource/ adopted lock-in standards. This offers us the open standards between the loose couples. Res earc h &Arc hitec tu re
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