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practice EU: Two thousand open source applications for the public sector

EU: Two thousand open source applications for the public sector

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Posting Date
4 February 2010
Last Edited Date
15 February 2010
EU Institutions
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Since 3 February 2010, the European Union's Open Source Observatory and Repository (OSOR.eu) has been providing the public administrations with an access to more than two thousand free and open source applications.

The OSOR is a platform where public administrations can exchange information and experiences and collaborate in developing free and open source software. The platform has managed to bring together more than 2 000 of such open source software applications in just sixteen months after its launch.

The most recent projects added to the OSOR repository include 'Zorb', an extension to the open source network monitoring tool 'Nagios', 'Comerzzia' - meant to aid public administrations in providing services to SMEs - and 'Genericoder', an open source converter for XML files.

Francisco García Morán, Director General of Informatics at the European Commission, welcomed the milestone of 2 000 projects. "I officially opened the site in October 2008 at the Open Source World Conference in Malaga. When asked by the press about how I would evaluate whether OSOR was success or not, I said that I would consider it a success based on the number projects uploaded and shared by public administrations, by the contributions of those administration to foster the sharing and reuse of development carried out with public money and by the sense of community and participation which is at the heart of the open source movement."

"The federation of the 2 000th open source project is an important milestone for OSOR and a proof of its value. Furthermore I am very happy to see the use of open source progressing in public administrations. This OSOR success with its special European touch comes at the very moment the Treaty of Lisbon starts and when Europe is searching new projects for the future with important initiatives like EU2020 and more particularly the Digital Agenda. OSOR has opened new ways of collaboration among public administrations and is an important landmark for the future"


Not all of these two thousand applications are hosted on the OSOR. The site provides links to the applications on ten similar software development sites from national and regional public administrations around Europe.

The two biggest of these software development websites are 'Forja de Rediris' in Spain, offering access to 560 free software projects and 'Adullact', in France, which offers access to more than 455 free software development projects for local authorities, government and hospitals.

The OSOR Forge also introduces the eight open source applications developed and maintained by the Austrian Centre for E-government Innovation, and offers links to the nineteen projects hosted at the Italian development website 'ASC' ("Ambiente di Sviluppo Cooperativo"), part of Cnipa, Italy's national centre for ICT in the public centre.

The three most popular projects that are hosted on OSOR itself are 'Sextante', geospatial analysis software, 'Wollmux', which add office template functionality to OpenOffice and 'GvSig', software to manage, analyse and use geographic information.


Introductions and other basic information on projects on these sites is automatically translated into English by the OSOR. This information is in turn shared with all other public sector software development sites, which can use the OSOR search engine to provide their local visitors access to this database. 'Frikomport', the Norwegian government's open source resource centre, was last year the first to implement this web service.

Future plans

The OSOR will maintain its focus on the needs of European public administrations, however it also realises that Europe is not alone in producing good quality open source solutions for the public sector. European public administrators can benefit from the further extension of the OSOR's network of partners to include similar initiatives outside of the EU.

Concerning the software repository, OSOR will keep providing and enhancing its services to facilitate the collaborative development and sharing of open source applications.


Further information: 


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