The third edition of a guide to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to adopt Open Source software was published by the Italian Open Source researcher and software engineer Carlo Daffara on 22 October.
The guide 'Free/Libre Open Source software: a guide for SMEs' comprises an introduction into Open Source and a review of Open Source applications, including links and screenshots. The guide is organised into categories such as security, data protection, enterprise resource management and document management.
"Most of the information in the guide can be used for small and medium administrations too", Daffara says. "It has been used as the guideline for a migration project here in Italy, in the regional health care authority of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, a medium sized public administrations that oversees the health care sector in that region."
Daffara updates the guide every six months. In the first edition he reviewed 165 applications, in the third edition the list has grown to more than 230 applications.
The material in the guide is based partly on documentation of a project related to public administrations, explains Daffara. Until 2006, he was involved in the Cospa-project (Consortium for Open Source software in the Public Administration, funded by the European Commission) where he was involved in writing guidelines to help public administrations to migrate to Open Source. "That guide has now been adopted to help SMEs."
Daffara also worked on the Flossmetrics project, which aims to build a database with information about Open Source applications, and is involved with the OpenTTT project, that helps companies and public administrations to increase the use of Open Source.
According to Daffara, the previous editions of his guide were used in university courses in Greece and Sweden. They have also been distributed in South-East Asian countries, as part of a project by the United Nations.
The guide is available as a PDF and in wiki form.