In September, at the start of the new school year, the iVIS Incident Reporting Application will be launched. It will be used by the Ådalsskolan secondary school in Kramfors, Sweden. The other service developed in this first phase of the iVIS project is a School Transportation Application. Both services — and more to come — are expected to be used by many other schools in the coming year.
iVIS provides an open ICT platform for a fully digital school administration. The software is developed and made available as open source, so anyone is free to use the code, adjust it, and build their own modules, applications and mobile apps on top of it.
The iVIS project was initiated by Sambruk, the Swedish Association of Municipalities for Joint Development of e-Services, to establish an open software platform for school administrative applications, e-services and mobile apps.
We wanted to provide an open, innovative alternative to the existing incumbent vendors' software packages, which are built as closed 'black box' solutions, says Claes-Olof Olsson, Head of Operations at Sambruk.
The existing technical solutions as well as the limited competition within the Swedish market create high barriers for new entrants, and therefore limit innovation — or even hinder it. The first deliverables from the iVIS project provide both a fully operational and useful platform as a proof of concept, and new operational applications that until now did not exist in the school arena. We expect this to be a noteworthy entrance in the Swedish market for school IT solutions. It will create a wholly new ecosystem, comprising new developers of innovative applications to be used by school staff — administrative and teachers — students, parents and cares.
The iVIS project is currently in its final completion phase, delivering a complete, fully operational platform, together with two applications for school use. At the start of the autumn semester we will also launch the platform and the applications in one or two schools, and set up the software environment for external, third-party developers, allowing them to build new applications with complete interoperability with the iVIS platform.
The iVIS platform is being developed by Sambruk in cooperation with the software development company imCode Partner AB As the project manager, imCode is responsible for the specification, development and roll-out of the platform and application deliverables. The project is partly funded by Vinnova, the Swedish Innovation Agency.
A development server with dummy data has been set up for the Stockholm Science and Innovation School, allowing its students and teachers to develop whatever software they wish for the iVIS platform.
As long as the project team can find adequate funding and sufficient suppliers willing to connect their services to the platform, they intend to have another 15-20 services up and running within the next few years.