Feeds

Open source 'too costly' for Irish e-gov

Open standards the preferred route

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

E-government in Ireland will be built using open standards technology, which may not be open source software such as Linux, Ireland's e-minister Mary Hanafin has confirmed. Speaking at the Irish Software Association's 16th annual conference, sponsored by Microsoft, O'Donnell Sweeney and ACT Venture Capital, minister Hanafin gave a brief overview of the state of Ireland's e-government plans and said that an update to the government's ICT strategy document "New Connections" would be published before May.

"The use of open standards is critical to the government's plans," she said. "But it is important to remember that open standards are not the same as open source." Minister Hanafin indicated that Ireland's e-government system, once fully constructed, needs to last for several decades and must therefore be upgradeable. "Using open standards gives us that option."

She added that the government had looked into the long-term cost of various architectures and had determined that using only open source software could, in the long run, be more expensive. "The long-term cost of open source may outweigh the short term savings," she said.

Open standards software products are designed to be interoperable with software from other manufacturers, but can be proprietary technologies. Companies like IBM and Microsoft - huge advocates for strong intellectual property law and by extention proprietary software - are supporters of open standards, particularly Web Services architectures. The pair, along with BEA Systems and Verisign, even founded the Web Services Interoperability Organization (WS-I), which promotes the technology.

Microsoft - perhaps the staunchest supporter of proprietary software - recently announced the release of WSE (Web Services Enhancements) 2.0 to give software developers support for Web Services specifications, including WS-Security, WS-Routing, WS-Addressing, WS-ReliableMessaging and WS-Attachments.

The open source software movement, meanwhile, is not focused on pushing common technical standards, although many in the movement support such initiatives. Open source backers aim to create a market where software code is open to development and modification, which can in some instances undermine interoperability.

The question over open source or open standards in Irish e-government is especially pertinent now that work on Ireland's long-awaited Public Services Broker has commenced after BearingPoint won the contract. When completed, the Public Services Broker - which is also now called reachservices - will serve as a kind of central nervous system for Irish e-government services, linking practically all government departments and agencies so that information on citizens can be shared.

Minister Hanafin said on Thursday that phase one of the PSB should be completed by June 2004.

© ENN

Related stories

Irish e-voting furore hots up
Data retention: Irish DP rep threatens to sue over secret order
Irish gov to seize control of .ie

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.