Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What if Public sector software systems were open source?

What if Public sector software systems were open source?


The building of and use of open source software systems in the public sector sounds promising. There are many interesting aspects to this topic.

The public sector includes local authorities, health boards, police forces, the fire service, primary and secondary education, etc. It can be argued that they share common processes which have supporting software systems, between regions for a common organisation, and to some extent between organisations. For example, human resources departments provides payroll services, a Hospital has numerous data-entry systems to support wards such as surgery and oncology, local authorities have systems to process council tax.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Open Source Software Reference Architecture (OSSRA)

The Open Source Software Reference Architecture (OSSRA) document by OSCC MAMPU is designed to assist and guide the System Administrator and Technical Support within government agencies in architecting and designing the ICT infrastructure in compliance with all current published ICT policies,guidelines and standards.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

ODF OLYMPIAD 2008 Malaysia

ODF OLYMPIAD 2008 Malaysia

ODF is an international standard for office productivity format, adopted by ISO.

ODF is fundamental to enabling computer education globally.

ODF is the National Standard of countries such as South Africa and Uruguay.

ODF is easy to learn and specifies the way documents, presentations and spreadsheets are stored in a computer by popular Office Productivity Softwares such as OpenOffice. Anyone who has used any presentation software can immediately start using ODF software such as openoffice.org


MyGOSSCON 2008 Malaysian Government Open Source Software Conference


Malaysian Government Open Source Software Conference

5 - 6 November 2008, Putrajaya, Malaysia

Location : Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC), Putrajaya, Malaysia

The Malaysian Government Open Source Software Conference (MyGOSSCON) is an event held to support the Phase II - Accelerated Adoption. In line with the Phase II targets, the theme for this year is Accelerated OSS Adoption For Innovative Public Service Delivery.

The Open Source Competency Centre (OSCC) MAMPU http://www.oscc.org.my/ has successfully completed Phase I of the Malaysian Public Sector OSS Master Plan Programme, which focussed on Laying the Foundation and Early Adoption stages. The programme is currently in Phase II - Accelerated Adoption stage, which targets to further accelerate OSS adoption in Public Sector.


Contact information

Malaysian Public Sector Open Source Competency Centre (OSCC) MAMPU
3rd Floor, Apt E302 - E304
Lot 12076, Persiaran APEC
Enterprise Building 3
63000 Cyberjaya
Selangor, Malaysia

+603 83191200 (General Line)
+603 83191201 (Helpdesk Line)

+603 83193206

contact [at23] oscc.org.my

OSCC MAMPU Online Form

Saturday, September 27, 2008

An Interview with MyMeeting Senior Developer

An Interview with MyMeeting Senior Developer

Original link
Posted by ditesh on Saturday, 27 September 2008 at 02:42 AM

MyMeeting ( http://knowledge.oscc.org.my/solution-areas/application/mymeeting ) (download http://trac.oscc.org.my/mymeeting/wiki/Download ) is a web application specifically designed to help better manage meetings in government agencies. Initially developed at the Open Source Competency Center http://www.oscc.org.my/ (OSCC), it is the first Malaysian government software to be released publicly under the open source BSD license.

We conducted an email interview with Abdullah Zainul Abidin ( http://blog.abdullahsolutions.com/ ), the senior developer on this project. The answers are below verbatim (with some minor formatting changes).

0) Tell us the story of how MyMeeting came about being developed. Who's brainchild was this? Who were the key developers? How many developers were allocated to work on MyMeeting? Was there management buy-in before development started? Was the development of MyMeeting conducted in OSS manner (ie open mailing lists, bug tracking software, public access to SVN/CVS/git etc)?

MyMeeting actually started life as a custom system for the management of decisions made in the GITIC committee. GITIC (Government Information Technology And Internet Committee) is a committee chaired by the Chief Secretary Of Malaysia that discusses the implementation of government IT policies and so it has members from every government agency in Malaysia.

Once the GITIC system was complete, MAMPU saw that MyMeeting could actually be useful to other government agencies too thus most of the customized for GITIC portion was taken and turned into settings which could easily be changed by the various agencies for their use. Then it wasn't really open source yet. We were using all the open source technologies (PHP, MySQL, Apache, SVN) but the development wasn't really open for all to see.

It was when we wanted to redo MyMeeting for MyMeeting version 2 that we saw MyMeeting is a perfect candidate for a completely Malaysian Government Open Source Software project. Most probably the first of it's kind. So yes, development of MyMeeting is conducted in OSS manner. You can access the bugtracker at http://trac.oscc.org.my/mymeeting , download it through svn at https://svn.oscc.org.my/mymeeting , register to it's mailing list at http://lists.oscc.org.my/mailman/listinfo/mymeeting-users and also edit it's wiki at the knowledge bank http://knowledge.oscc.org.my/solution-areas/application/mymeeting .

1) MyMeeting was developed on CakePHP ( http://cakephp.org/ ). What was the reasoning to choose CakePHP over other PHP frameworks? Did using an ROR-style framework help speed up development? Were there any problems faced when using CakePHP and how did the developers go about solving the problems?

The reason we choose CakePHP was exactly because it was an ROR-style ( http://www.rubyonrails.org/ ) framework. At the time when we decided to redo MyMeeting, there was a suggestion that we should use ROR especially after we saw Kamal's presentation on ROR ( http://www.slideshare.net/kamal.fariz/web-development-with-ruby-on-rails-mygosscon-2007 )  at MyGOSSCON ( http://mygosscon.oscc.org.my/ ).

But I was worried about the learning curve that we would have to face and also considering the limited amount of time we have it was just not realistic to expect all of the OSCC developers to grasp a completely new language (none of us have any kind of experience with Ruby) and a completely new approach to web application development. I mean doing programming with the MVC concept after so long of mixed PHP and HTML hackery it certainly is very different. But I knew that we would not be able to go far with "traditional" way of developing php software. We have to overcome MVC.

So we choose CakePHP because it was marketed as clone of ROR. The initial learning curve of a new approach was pretty steep but once that was all over we find that it did help speed up development as it keeps things clean. Everyone knew where things need to go and where to look if there are problems.

2) Is there any plans to officially support PostgreSQL (and other free databases) in future versions of MyMeeting? Also, why the support for MySQL only in this release?

There is no "official" plans to support PostgreSQL and actually cakephp does support other free and non-free databases. Only there are some queries which we had to hack in as they are too complex for CakePHP. And to be honest we haven't had much experience with other databases. So if someone really needs it, or even gave us the patch to support it (hint,hint ;) we'd be more than glad to implement it into the main tree of MyMeeting.

3) Has there been any patches fed back from the FOSS community? If members of the FOSS community are interested in contributing to this project, where should they go to information on getting involved?

We had one patch submitted by SuMarDi ( http://twitter.com/sumardi ) that actually changed the theme of MyMeeting. It was really good. But as of date (11/09/2008) we have not yet put it in because he also changed some tags in the views so we need to make sure we don't break anything if we put it in. Apart from that we've got some good feedback from angch ( http://twitter.com/angch ) and he even updated the wiki in Trac.

We welcome any contribution and involvement from the community regarding MyMeeting. If anyone is interested they should first register themselves at the OSCC Knowledgebank ( http://knowledge.oscc.org.my ) and from there they can read up on the latest MyMeeting documentation ( http://knowledge.oscc.org.my/solution-areas/application/mymeeting ).

They should download the source code and try out MyMeeting (the Knowledgebank would have information on how to do that). If they find some bugs or would like to suggest some feature they can do so at the mymeeting trac site ( http://trac.oscc.org.my/mymeeting ) by logging in with their Knowledgebank account.

They should also register with the mymeeting-users mailing list to keep up with the latest happenings with mymeeting at http://lists.oscc.org.my/mailman/listinfo/mymeeting-users . Apart from that, sometimes the mymeeting developers can be found in the #oscc irc channel on freenode. We'd be glad to help in any way we can so that the community can contribute.

4) Are there plans to integrate into existing legacy calendaring systems? Are there plans to integrate into FOSS calendaring software? How about integrating into existing proprietary calendaring software?

We have a vague plan of exporting the meeting calendars with iCal or something. But that is still a long way to go in the pipeline.

5) What is the roadmap for future releases of MyMeeting?

We haven't got a lot of feedback from the community yet as of where we should be heading. So most of it is only in the developers head of what next we should do. Yeah.. we're still very new at managing an open source project. It should be in trac.. :P

6) Why was the decision to keep MyMeeting development within OSCC before version 1.0 ?

That was actually the default way of doing things here at OSCC. We're actually trying to introduce something new with MyMeeting version 2 with it being completely open source and all.

7) Will future projects appear to the public prior to v1.0?

That would have to depend on the management.. :)

8) How is the team adapting to releasing the code?

We were pretty nervous at first. Not knowing whether our codes were any good and all. But we're okay now. Still got a long way to go to be fully disciplined in the open source way thought (release control and all) but insyaAllah we'll get there.

9) Management must be well educated to have the source code released. Was this an issue, and did you need advocacy sessions?

We are supposed to be the Open Source COMPETENCY Centre. :) So management should already know about the advantages of doing it in open source. We didn't need advocacy sessions.

10) How does your team / Management / OSCC / MAMPU rationalise the sharing of Intellectual Right of copyright and software patents?

We want Malaysia to be seen as a contributor of knowledge and technology to the global community.

11) How many seats has this been rolled out to (#Agencies / #Seats) and how much would this have cost for an equivalent commercial product?

There is at least around 6 agencies that is actively engaged with us to use MyMeeting. And since MyMeeting is freely downloadable there could be more out there that we don't even know of that's using it. Our current estimate is that it would cost at least RM 100K per agency to get something like MyMeeting commercially. So that's RM 600K at least already. :)

12) How much would your team foresee saving the Govt over the next 5 to 10 years from MyMeeting, and other OSCC products?

For MyMeeting? In 5 years maybe more than RM 15 million. If we can get all (and we mean ALL) of the government agencies and bodies to use MyMeeting. Not sure about the other products though.

13) Govt is cutting back on spending generally. Do you foresee that it will cut back on OSS investments?

Actually I think the right way to go is to put in more on OSS investments if they want to cut back. So I don't think they will.

14) Any new projects from OSCC labs we should look out for?

MySurveillance is rolling out soon. It is a HIDS system based on Prelude.

15) Can the private sector make use of the applications from OSCC?

Yes of course. But we won't be able to officially provide support though. We're more focused on government bodies.

16) Will OSCC provide support, or do they have recommended partners?

We would recommend partners wherever possible.

17) There have been cases where proprietary software vendors have opposed OSS initiatives by the government. Has there been any negative feedback from these vendors on the release of MyMeeting code, and if so, what has happened thus far?

No problems so far.

We would like to thank Abdullah Zainul Abidin for his time in answering the many questions. We are encouraged by the fact that the Malaysian goverment is moving so far as to open source its software projects. Indeed, the incredible interest from other government agencies clearly proves that the open sourcing of MyMeeting was a far-reaching wise investment. It has clearly allowed for efficient use of ICT resources by all, not to mention many millions of tax ringgits that are being saved through the choice of liberal OSS licensing. With their efforts leading to the promotion of OSS innovation and creativity, this initiative will surely lead to increased and sustained growth of the local ICT ecosystem.


More Blog posts related to OSCC MAMPU

MyGOSSCON 2007 Buletin Pagi TV3 7 Dec 2007

Malaysian Public Sector Open Source competency Centre OSCC MAMPU (Malay)

Products By OSCC MAMPU

MyMeeting at Sourceforge

MyMeeting at Google Code

MyMeeting at Freshmeat

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Accelerated Adoption for Malaysian Public Sector Open Source Software (OSS) Program

Accelerated Adoption for Malaysian Public Sector Open Source Software (OSS) Program

Originated from cabinet decision of the Government of Malaysia, the Malaysian Public Sector OSS Master Plan was launched on 16 July 2004 to create and enhance value using OSS within the Public Sector ICT framework in providing efficient, secure and quality services. MAMPU was tasked to establish and operate the Open Source Competency Centre (OSCC), which is the single point of reference to guide, facilitate, coordinate and monitor implementation of OSS in the Public Sector.

OSS awareness has been a success in Phase I and the OSS Master Plan officially entered into Phase II - Accelerated Adoption on 12 June 2007 with full endeavor to accelerate OSS usage throughout the whole Public Sector nation wide.

A full eco-system to allow natural growth of demand and supply in OSS is targetted to be achieved in order to move forward to Phase III - Self Reliance in the near future.

Source : http://www.oscc.org.my/

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Malaysia's schools get OpenOffice.org

Malaysia's schools get OpenOffice.org

By Victoria Ho, ZDNet Asia


The Malaysian government has unveiled plans to roll out OpenOffice.org in schools across the nation--a move that will affect some 300,000 PCs.

Announced Wednesday by the chief minister of the state of Terengganu, the initiative will see all 467 schools in the Malaysian state using the open source office suite from January next year.

Some 100 schools in the state are already using OpenOffice.org, after the first phase of deployment began in January this year, according to a statement from the Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU). MAMPU is a government agency that was set up to study the feasibility of implementing open source software in the public sector.

The decision was made based on case studies of other government agencies in the country, which have had successful implementations, Khairil Yusof, a MAMPU spokesperson, told ZDNet Asia in an e-mail interview.

Noting that increased security and knowledge-sharing were some of the positive findings of these case studies, Yusof said: "[The] open source deployments were not affected by viruses. The case studies also highlighted that staff were able to build their skills and knowledge due to the wealth of free information and tutorials associated with open source technologies available on the Internet."

The savings on licensing costs were an added draw for the government's decision to embark on open source deployments. MAMPU said: "Combined, [government agencies] have saved millions of ringgit for licensing fees [with the] expenditure now spent [elsewhere] to provide better public services."

Already an open source supporter
Yusof noted that open source software is not new to Malaysia's government agencies. Melaka, Kedah, Pahang and Sabah have adopted OpenOffice.org--with Melaka and Kedah at the forefront having done so since 2003, he said.

Overall, 281 agencies nationwide have adopted open source software, according to MAMPU.

"The migration at the agencies in which MAMPU has assisted, have had positive results," Yusof added, citing successful implementations at the Ministry of Human Resources and Meteorology Department as examples.

"The Ministry of Human Resources has migrated over 2,000 users with very few problem reports To date, over 10,000 seats in over 15 agencies have fully migrated [to open source software]," he said.

He noted that news of the move to OpenOffice.org has caught some by surprise, because of the lack of fanfare accompanying each deployment.

"Some have been [involved] since 2003 with little information shared [publicly]... [so, it seems as if] suddenly [people] are finding out that entire states are moving [to open source]," Yusof said.


Malaysian Government launches new initiatives for increased Open Source and OpenOffice.org deployment in public sector and schools


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Malaysian Government launches new initiatives for increased Open Source and OpenOffice.org deployment in public sector and schools

Malaysian Government launches new initiatives for increased Open Source and OpenOffice.org deployment in public sector and schools

MAMPU Press Release

Malaysian Government launches new initiatives for increased Open Source and OpenOffice.org deployment in public sector and schools

Chief Minister of Terengganu launches state wide pilot of OpenOffice.org deployment in schools in conjuction with OSS Accelerated Adoption Seminars. Awards given for best case studies of successful government Open Source projects.

Kuala Terengganu, MALAYSIA. (May 27th 2008) -- Coinciding with the fourth regional OSS Accelerated Adoption Seminar this year, Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit (MAMPU), the Ministry of Education and the State Government of Terengganu are launching initiatives for increased adoption of Open Source Software in government and schools.

The OSS Accelerated Adoption Seminars is a national initiative to promote increased awareness and adoption of OSS by government agencies. To encourage knowledge sharing of successful deployments, MAMPU has been providing awards to the best case studies that have been shared from each region. They are provided for categories of IT infrastructure, business applications and desktop applications. To date they have highlighted successful implementations such as the Meterology Department regional network, the desktop implementation for Melaka and statewide deployment of OpenOffice.org in Kedah. For the East Coast states over a dozen case studies have shown successful Open Source software implementations of e-government applications from Pahang and Terengganu.

OpenOffice.org in Schools Pilot lauched today by the Chief Minister of Terengganu supports the increased adoption of OSS and deployment for the upcoming generation of Malaysians. OpenOffie.org is an Open Source software alternative for office productivity software. The pilot phase in the state involves deployment to over 100 schools since January 2008.

From January 2009, all 467 schools will start using OpenOffice.org in the state. It is planned that this will be expanded nationally to over 300,000 PCs in schools. The savings in licensing costs, support for open standards and platform neutrality and increased security from threat of document viruses of this software will provide better delivery of education services by students and teachers.

Seminars highlight accelerated adoption of OSS in public sector

The proven success of Phase I of the governments' Open Source Master Plan has shown that the the adoption of OSS in the government sector in several pilot projects are cost effective and provide better service delivery.

Now in Phase II, the OSS Accelerated Adoption Seminars are an initiative of MAMPU to promote and highlight increased adoption of OSS throughout the public sector. This seminar with over 500 attendees, the final of the year for regional seminars is held in Kuala Terengganu for the states of Pahang, Kelantan and Terengganu. To date over 281 agencies have already adopted OSS for the provision of IT services. This represents a ten-fold increase since original launch of the Master Plan in 2003.

Adoption of the open source office suite, OpenOffice.org for state government agencies is now official in the states of Melaka, Kedah, Pahang and Sabah. States like Melaka and Kedah have been deploying OpenOffice.org and OSS since 2003. Most recently Pahang State Government has issued a circular on the states intention for all state agencies to migrate to Openoffice.org. Combined they have saved millions in ringgit for licensing fees, expenditure now spent locally to provide better public services in their respective states.

In conjunction with the seminars, awards are given to recognise the best case studies of OSS implementations for each region. Highlights for the East Coast include Terengganu State Government Data Centre and e-Government projects all fully utilising open source software. The Terengganu State government has also setup a community training centre that has trained over 20,000 state citizens with IT skills using open source software on 585 Linux desktops.

In Pahang, an online information system for Vetrinary Services developed locally using OSS software has won national awards for innovation. A common finding for the case studies was increased security as OSS deployments of OpenOffice.org and Desktops were not affected by viruses.

The case studies also highlighted that staff were able to build their skills and knowledge due to the wealth of free information and tutorials associated with the OSS technologies available on the Internet. Furthermore with OSS, these initiatives can be deployed and developed and shared with other agencies without expensive licensing costs further providing avenues for cost savings, skills and knowledge sharing nationally within the public sector.

MOE launches pilot project of OpenOffice.org deployment in schools

The Ministry of Education with the support of MAMPU and the state government of Terengganu, also launched the pilot project for the deployment of OpenOffice.org in schools. The pilot starts with the deployment of OpenOffice.org in over 100 schools in the State of Terengganu. These include both urban and rural schools.

To date most school administrators and staff in the state have already been trained on the use of OpenOffice.org. Over the next 2 years, the Ministry of Education plans to build on this initiative and deploy OpenOffice.org in over 300,000 PCs in schools throughout the country.

The project is being implemented with the support of the Terenganu State Education Department with commitment and financial support from the State Government of Terengganu through the Implementation Committee chaired by B. En. Ahmad Razif bin Abdul Rahman the director for the Science, Technology and Human Resources Committee for the State of Terengganu. The implementaiton of this project hopes to achieve increased knowledge sharing and innovation for computer users with the optimum license and minimal cost.


Malaysian Administrative Modernisation and Management Planning Unit MAMPU's Open Source Competency Centre is first and single point of reference for support and guidance in the implementation of Open Source Software in the Public Sector. OSS Initiative is a cabinet decision. The Malaysian Administrative Modernization and Management Planning Unit, (MAMPU) was directed to study the feasibility of implementing OSS in the Malaysian Government Agencies.

In response to the directive, MAMPU has prepared a Memorandum entitled "Proposal on OSS Implementation in the Public Sector of Malaysia". The proposal recommendations were tabled by MAMPU and endorsed by the Malaysian Government on 19 June 2002. OSS implementation in the Public Sector will be carried out concurrently with the building of necessary infrastructure such as technical support and human resource reskilling and development. However, changes will be introduced in stages to ensure that there is least disruption to the services offered by the Public Sector and that change is managed well.

About Ministry of Education

The Malaysian Ministry of Education objective is to develop a world-class quality education system which will realise the full potential of the individual and fulfill the aspiration of the Malaysian nation. It oversees all primary and high school education in Malaysia.


About Terengganu State Government

The Terengganu State Government is comprised of the Chief Minister and elected State Assembly which governs the state of Terengganu.

Terengganu is a sultanate and constitutive state of federal Malaysia. The state is also known by its Arabic honorific, Darul Iman ("Abode of Faith"). The coastal city of Kuala Terengganu which stands at the mouth of the broad Terengganu River is both the state and royal capital as well as the largest city in Terengganu.

About OpenOffice.org

OpenOffice.org provides everything most people need in an office productivity suite. It is stable, reliable, and robust, built up over twenty years' development. It is actively developed, with several releases every year. The main components of the OpenOffice.org Suite are the Writer wordprocessor; the Calc spreadsheet; Impress for presentations; Draw for graphics; and the Base database.

OpenOffice.org uses the OpenDocument Format OASIS Standard (ISO/IEC 26300) as well as supporting legacy file formats such as Microsoft Office, and is available on major computing platforms in over 80 languages. OpenOffice.org software is provided under the GNU Lesser General Public Licence (LGPL) and may be used free of charge for any purpose, private or commercial.


Additional Resources

Open Source Case Study Awards

Open Source Case Studies on OSCC Knowledge Bank

Malaysian OpenOffice.org adoption wiki

Media Contact

contact [21@] oscc . org . my
Ph: 603 8319 1200
Fax: 603 8319 3206

OSCC MAMPU Unofficial Archive Web Site

OSCC MAMPU unofficial Archive Web Site


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