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Switzerland approves new open source software stra
IDAMar 16 2004original
Posted by giovaMar 30 2004 - 10:01
The IT Council of the Swiss Confederation adopted at the end of February 2004 version 1.0 of the Federal Administration’s open source software (OSS) strategy, which, among other things, considers Linux as a future potential standard operating system for the desktop.
Pointing out that the Swiss Federal Administration must base its software choices on grounds of interoperability and cost-effectiveness, and that open source software “stimulates competition in the software sector”, the strategic paper defines three priorities for the Federal OSS strategy.

The strategic priorities are equality of treatment (both open source and proprietary software must be put on equal footing when evaluated or procured by the Federal administration), sharing of software (federal agencies should whenever appropriate share software developed in-house, according to a licence model similar to the OSS concept), and the implementation of pre-requirements for OSS adoption (federal authorities must work towards establishing certain pre-requirements for successful OSS implementation).

The new OSS strategy, which will be valid until the end of 2007, addresses five priority areas for implementation:

- Standardisation: each OSS product currently considered as strategic should be formally adopted as a “standard product” for the administration. This includes for example the Apache web server and Linux servers, while Linux for the desktop is currently considered as a “future potential standard”. In this respect, the paper identifies pilot tests of Linux for desktop as a potential priority.

- Organisation: technical support must be made available for OSS users, including a web-based OSS platform.

- Training: OSS training and information will be offered throughout the federal administration.

- Profitability: adequate methods and tools will be made available for assessing the profitability of the use of both open source and proprietary software.

- Legal aspects: legal recommendations and guidelines will be published regarding the purchasing, development and licensing of OSS products.

According to the paper, the federal authorities already use a number of OSS systems and applications, but desktop OSS is still practically non-existent.

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