Open Source Software in the OPW Liam Stewart Assistant Principal / Network Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
The Office of Public Works Founded in 1831 9 Business Units - Property Management - Property Maintenance - Project Management - Heritage Services - Architectural Services - Engineering Services - Facilities Management - Flood Relief - National Procurement Service
To be covered Open source developments Open source software used by OPW Why OPW has chosen open source Experiences with deployment of OpenOffice (inc. Lessons learned) Future possibilities
OPWs IT function - Scale of operation- 125 sites- 100+ servers- 1,200 PCs- 45 LANs- Extensive wireless deployments
Technologies in use- Windows XP desktops- MS-Office 2003/OpenOffice 3.2- Windows 2003 servers- Novell Netware 6.5 (servers)- Unix / Linux (servers)- Oracle/MySQL/MS-SQL Server- Citrix (thin client)- Storage Area Networks (SAN)- VMware virtualisation- VoIP
Open Source Software in use in OPW OpenOffice WPKG Mozilla Thunderbird Socialtext (Wiki) Mozilla Firefox Clam AV Linux (SuSe) Wireshark Apache/PHP/MySQL Nmap Scribus (Desktop publishing) Prey (stolen devices) Gimp (alternative to Adobe GIS (PostGres, photoshop) GeoServer, Mapserver, Trac (Bugtracker) OpenLayers, GeoExt, Quantum Desktop) OpenProj (Project Management)
Why Open Source? Standards Community-driven Licensing Can reduce the need for public procurement (e.g. Thunderbird, OO) Access to source code Cost Lessen dependence on proprietary software / vendor-lock-in Reduce risk of viruses (e.g. Thunderbird mail) Can make advanced software available to all users as standard
Mozilla Thunderbird (E-mail) Commenced roll-out in early 2009 on a staggered basis Currently in excess of 1,100 users (60 left to do)
Mozilla Firefox Provided as standard on all PCs to give users an option Publicise Firefox “Add-ons” (e.g. WOT, NoScript etc.) Some issues with “Microsoft” Web sites
What is OpenOffice? Word in Office is Writer in OpenOffice. Excel in Office is Calc in OpenOffice. Powerpoint in Office is Impress in OpenOffice. Paint in Office is Draw in OpenOffice. Access in Office is Base in OpenOffice.
OpenOffice – Brief history Source code originally developed by StarDivision, (later acquired by Sun Microsystems in 1999) Sun released code as Open Source in 2000 Stated aim was to compete with Microsoft OpenOffice released in 2002 Sun retained “StarOffice” as commercial product Oracle acquires OpenOffice along with Sun in 2010 Spin-offs include Go-OO and LibreOffice
Standards war (ODF v OpenXML)• ODF implemented in • OpenXML OpenOffice, Lotus implemented in MS- Notes etc. Office 2007• ODF supported by • OpenXML is IBM, OASIS etc. supported by Microsoft• ODF is an ISO • OpenXML is an ISO standard standard• File types include • File types include ODT, ODS, ODP DOCX, XLSX, PPTX
OpenOffice 3.2.1 - features Similar in look and feel to MS-Office 2003 Runs on all major platforms PDF creator (and editor!) Batch conversion utilities Support for MS-Office 2007 file types (e.g. Docx) Portable version As Gaeilge Can recover damaged MS-Office files Central management Open Office needs only 450MB of hard disk space over Microsoft Office 2010 (3GB)
OpenOffice 3.3 (Beta) - features Usability enhancements Calc will support 1M rows (currently 65K rows) Increased document protection features
Benefits of OpenOffice Eliminates the headache of licence management Open standards Community resource for support Free software upgrades Cost savings
OpenOffice - OPWs approach to deployment Trialled in IT Unit (2004/5) Dedicated resource / support Piloted in selected areas (2005) Approval from MAC to deploy (2006) Extensive communications to staff Training programme (voluntary) External assistance in initial stages Demos to Business Units - Publicised benefits Intranet site Hand-holding
Approach to deployment (Contd.) Competitions Free CDs etc. for home use Regular communications Retain MS-Office file types Eventual removal of MS-Office from PCs New PCs only have OO unless there are mitigating circumstances
Obstacles & problems along the way Resitance from some staff (e.g.Professionals) Engineers refused to use anything but Excel Legacy Microsoft formatting (e.g. Templates) Unusual legacy fonts Macros (Visual Basic) Staff declining training courses Copy & Paste Printer driver issues Passwords in Excel
OpenOffice – Perceptions that need to be overcome Its free so it cant be any good! Were an enterprise so we need a big “brand” behind us My job is so important, I have to have MS- Office! We wont get support!
Lessons learned Senior management support is critical Dedicated resources are required at the early stages Training is important (and ideally, compulsory) Stick with MS-Office file types Communications strategy Pilot first! Remove MS-Office from PC after a period New PC builds should have OpenOffice installed (with MS files as the default)
Lessons learned (contd.) Treat as change management project Freebies are (always welcome! Be flexible (e.g. Excel may do a particular job better)
OpenOffice in OPW – Current Status• Installed on all PCs (to provide PDF creation and MS-Office 2007 file support)• 800 staff using solely OpenOffice• 400 staff still using MS-Office 2003
Legacy Microsoft file types• DOC, XLS & PPT are proprietary binary file formats! (OpenOffice has reverse-engineered legacy file types)• Standards for Microsoft legacy files not published• Archiving documents – what happens 20 years hence?
Powerpoint supports back 3 versions (2000, 2002, &2003).Powerpoint 95 is 4 versions back!
How not to go about an OpenOffice project......
Linux on the desktop?French Gendarmerie currently replacing Windows XP withUbuntu (85,000 users across 4,500 police stations). Aim tocomplete by 2015.
Ribbon interface - How muchtraining will your users need?
Re-learning how to use Microsoft Office?http://www.exceluser.com/explore/surveys/ribbon/ribbon-survey-results.htm
MS-Office 2007 fonts• Calibri & Cambria introduced in 2007• Problems printing in earlier versions of MS- Office (i.e. files created in MS-Office 2007 but saved as legacy file types)• OpenOffice substitutes an alternative font
MS-Office 2010 v OpenOffice 3.2 Head-to-headhttp://www.itpro.co.uk/620845/head-to-head-office-2010-vs-open-office-3-1/7http://www.production-engineer.com/blog/index.php?post/2010/02/20/OpenOffice.org-vs.-Microsoft-Office A Tie!
Compatibility issues when opening MS-Office files in OO Microsoft proprietary formatting VB Macros (Try Go-OO)But......Incompatibilities are not unique to OO!What about Microsoft formats, AutoCad etc.?
Useful resources Bristol City Council – Building a business case for OpenOffice.orghttp://www.opensourceacademy.org.uk/osacademy/our_partners/bris tol-city-council/business-case-guidance/building-a-business-case- for-staroffice-or-openoffice.org Large-scale migration to an open source office suite: An innovation adoption study in Finland http://acta.uta.fi/pdf/978-951-44-8216-8.pdf• Towards the freedom of the operating system – The French Gendarmerie goes for Ubuntu http://www.osor.eu/studies/docs/IDABC.OSOR.casestudy.Gend armerie.10.pdf
Are there risks in deploying OpenOffice?• What are Oracles plans for OpenOffice?• Software Improvement Group - Risks in the adoption ofOpenOffice.org by Government Institutionshttp://www.sig.eu/blobs/Publicaties/Publicaties%202010/2010%20OpenOffice.pdf
Should we be concerned about Microsoft in years to come?Of the original Fortune 500 list of companies published in 1955, only 11 are still on the list!
Where to next for OPW in terms of open source?- Consolidate and extend Open Office- Open Source e-mail server (Zimbra?)- Ubuntu on the desktop?- Open Source GIS- Open Source collaboration tool (“Teamwork” - http://www.twproject.com)?- Wordpress as an alternative to traditional Web site development and CMS