The deadline has been extented to 19 May, for a call for tender on improving interoperability between free and open source office suites and the ubiquitous proprietary alternative. The OSB Alliance, representing open source firms in Austria, Germany and Switzerland, says it has received just a few offers. "We want to give more companies the opportunity to submit proposals", Matthias Stürmer, a Swiss researcher, and responsible for the OSB Alliance procurement project.
The project has the financial backing of the German cities of Munich, Leipzig and Jena, the Swiss Federal Court and the Swiss Federal IT Steering Unit. However, the group is still looking for additional funds to help pay for this project, Stürmer adds. "We've received several substantial pledges from these public administrations, but others that want to help fund the planned improvements are very welcome to join us."
This is the second time that the OSB Alliance is organising a procurement call, to fund software developers to improve interoperability between open source and proprietary office suites. "In the first round, completed in 2013, we got together 160000 euro."
The current project mainly concerns change tracking between open source and proprietary office suites. The public administrations want to improve the specification of change tracking, and make this part of the Open Document Format ISO standard. The tender is also requesting the development of several new features, including new spreadsheet functions, chart styles and improved mail merge capabilities.
The tender was published March, with the deadline originally set for 30 April.