Open source (OS) is generally any information freely available to the public, provided that it remains possible to free distribute it. Open source means essentially freedom of access. Open source is a philosophy further developed in practical applications such as Free Software, Wiktionary, OpenData, and others. Our experience with deploying and running OS solutions at our customers confirms that OS solutions are a good alternative. Deploying OS philosophy is beneficial to organizations not only in IT systems, but also in areas such as management and internal communication. Interestingly, OS is actually used more often by the private sphere.
At this time of very significant budget cuts, OS is the most appropriate platform for securing sustainable IT systems in state administration.
EEA s.r.o. In 2004, the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sports of the Slovak Republic was asked to examine the possibilities of using Open Source software in the field of computerization in the Slovak Republic.
Based on information from 2,000 institutions and companies, we identified the basic types of IS architecture in government, education and small and medium-sized enterprises (SME). For each application, the properties of commonly purchased software (proprietary) and available OS solutions were compared. The investigators then proposed a transition procedure, a migration plan, for a suitable OS alternative for each application.
Research Conclusions: OS software can be successfully used not only in the private sphere but also in public administration, not only as a full-featured alternative to proprietary products, but also as the foundation of the whole system. Furthermore, research results show that:
- With massive OS deployment, not only would there be significant savings but also very important, positive secondary consequences for the whole society.
- The use of OS would significantly accelerate the overall process of informatization of the economy. It was estimated that at the current prices, savings of up to € 600 million (SKK 18 billion) could be achieved after just 50% of the migration. This amount does not include the savings that will result in the creation of a healthy competitive environment on the market.
Complete materials from the OSIN project (OS Infrastructure) are available at www.eea.sk/osin
The benefits of open source solutions include, but are not limited to:
- free or inexpensive licenses,
- long-term continuous development driven by the needs clients and the community, not merely business strategy,
- better possibilities of influencing the further development of the system or application being used,
- client independence from sole suppliers,
- the money invested in the solution remains in the country,
- it supports local suppliers.
We are part of the Open Source community because we prefer the principles of shared work sharing and we trust the OS platforms that we test everyday in practice.
Descritption of selected projects
CEDVU – Central Evidence of the Fine Arts
The system has greatly streamlined the management of digital content in the Slovak National Gallery (SNG) and another approx. twenty associated collections. It has allowed them to make digitization of selected managed works of art visible to third parties and to the public via the Internet. The architecture of the solution is modular and is built entirely on open-source components.
EEA designed and implemented the solution. Currently it provides hosting, operational and application support.
The core of the system is an open digital content management model. The cataloging and acquisition module for SNG art collections is based on CCO principles, semantic web technologies, and expressive relationships between objects. Data stored in the system is mediated by third parties (Central Archive and Europeana) via the OAI-PMH interface. The system allows connection to central thesauri and dictionaries. The digitization of selected works is available to the public via www.webumenia.sk. The system supports selected customer processes through the user interface and workflow management.
Our services: System analysis, design and implementation, hosting, application and operational support
Technology: Fedora, MPT Triple Store, Java, XML, Liferay, SOLR,
Domain standards: (Dublin Core), CCO, CIDOC-CRM, VRA, CDWA, OAI-PMH
Prolix – PRocess Oriented Learning and Information eXchange system – is a 48-month R & D project co-funded by the European Commission under FP6, Priority 2 “Information Society Technologies”, which started on 1 December 2005. The goal of the project is to bring learning to business processes to enable organizations to develop their employees’ competencies faster, and based more on continuous changes in the company’s needs. To achieve this, Prolix is developing an open, integrated, reference architecture for process-oriented learning and information communication.
EEA is a technology partner on the project. Our task is to create an integration platform for all process, monitoring, and training components of the solution. The integration platform is based on opensource components.
Processes run on JBoss JBPM and integrate the user interface on the Liferay portal.
Our services: EEA is a technology and integration partner on the project.
Technology: Liferay, JBPM, Apache-Service mix, Java, XML, XSD, XSLT, LDAP, SOA.
Araver IMEO CRM
This system includes a customer relationship database linked to a sales support system.
The system implements jBPM processes that are automatically triggered to fulfill commitments to individual customers from the sales and service support system. The system distributes tasks for vendors responsible for the given customers. Clear reports provide management with realistic information on the implemented and planned tasks for individual centers and staff within them.
Technology: Liferay, jBPM, Pentaho, Hibernate, PostgreSQL
Our services: Analyze, design, and implement the system
Kompass RFQ is an international B2B online market. In some countries, it also trades under the name of Kommarket. Kompass RFQ is a specialized service developed specifically for procurement departments. With 54,000 product and search-based keywords, buyers can identify potential suppliers around the world within seconds and send them a Request For Quote. The system works on the basis of Kompass’s global database, which includes more than 1.9 million companies in over 70 countries. The system works in 15 languages and is available in more than 70 countries.
Technology: JSP / Servlets, Hibernate, JBoss AS, Linux – Gentoo distribution, PostgreSQL, Postfix
Our services: Design and implement the system
Open source in the world of public administration
Open source observatory and repositories – for European public administration (OSOR) is a platform for the exchange of information, experience and open source code for use in government. Its major contribution is the development of the first European free and open source software license – The European Union Public License (EUPL). This was developed at the initiative of the European Commission and was approved on 9 January 2007.
Open source software institute (OSSI) is a nonprofit organization consisting of business, governmental and academic open source representatives whose mission is to promote the development and implementation of open source software solutions in federal, state and local agencies and academic institutions.