The German city of Munich is complimenting the free and open source software development community for providing fast and easy assistance. On the blog of the city's IT department, Peter Onderscheka, business unit manager for IT strategy and IT security, writes how the developers' quick responses helped the city implement new services. Examples include sending alerts about new job openings, a solution based on Phplist, and an online order form for coupons, using Pdfsam.
"Users of open source products can easily get in touch with the developers, pose questions, propose features and even help fix bugs", Onderscheka writes. "The developers usually respond immediately."
"These informal and direct contacts provide straightforward and free access to the core developers of open source software", he adds.
Onderscheka thanks two developers in particular, Michiel Dethmers, from the Netherlands, who is involved in the Phplist project, and Italian Andrea Vacondio, helping the city tweak Pdfsam.
Choosing the Phplist newsletter solution allowed Munich to rely on the feedback from the community "which answered in detail our questions about security."
According to Vacondio, working with Munich's IT team was smooth and easy. "They provided a very clear use case, gave some examples and our communication was straight to the point, in a geek-to-geek fashion, that sped up the whole process." Vacondio adds that, although he is pleased with the compliment, yet, more importantly is how the interaction shows the potential of open source solutions. "Everybody wins", he says. "The city of Munich gets their job done, and all the users of Pdfsam have this new feature, available for free."