Feeds

Microsoft encourages app-swapping councils

The Newham effect

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Microsoft has lifted a few tricks from the open source community to help it lock UK councils into its software ahead of the government's 2005 deadline for e-enabling local government services.

Six months on from its landmark deal with Newham council, Redmond's finest is back, touting the completion of Newham's Open Application Sharing Portal (OAS). The portal will host applications developed on .NET by local authorities, where they will be accessible to any public sector organisation for downloading and further developing.

The Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames has just completed one such project, with the help of funding from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) as part of the national e-payments project. Working with Microsoft partner CIBER UK, it developed an e-payment application for Microsoft's Commerce Server. This enables residents to make all their payments to the council through its website, council tax, parking tickets and so on, by treating each council service as a catalogue item.

It has also set it up so that community groups can sell tickets through the site, without having to pay commission to a third party agent. The application has been piloted over the last six months, and the council has sold over £2,000 worth of tickets to local events, including 500 tickets to last November's firework display.

Robin Noble, IT manager at Royal Borough of Kingston, said that the implementation has been so successful that Basingstoke and Deane (another local authority) has downloaded the solution and is using it to develop a booking system for its football pitches. "We'll have that one back, when they've finished it," he added.

It is a cunning marketing plan. The local authorities develop and share solutions and applications with each other, in a kind of closed-open-source community. This means cash-strapped authorities worried about meeting e-government deadlines should have a raft of off-the-peg and customisable solutions to chose from.

It doesn't matter what back end system they are running, but if your council wants to use the applications on its website, it needs Microsoft Server 2003, Microsoft's Internet Information Server, and (you guessed it) Microsoft Content Manager 2002. Clever, indeed.

The Royal Borough of Kingston's e-payment solution is hosted on its own site here, and on the Newham portal here. ®

Related stories

New top dog for MS Europe's public sector
Microsoft opens e-gov collaboration portal
'Independent' report used MS-sourced data to trash OSS
Newham and Microsoft sign 10-yr deal

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
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.