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FR: Paris region to launch open source workflow portal for schools

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The administration of the Paris region will build a on-line workflow system based entirely on open source software, to be used by all school students, teachers, parents and school administration, Jean-Baptiste Roger, IT adviser at the Paris regional council, on announced last Thursday at the Open World Forum taking place in the French capital.

He estimates that of the 11 million inhabitants in the region, some three to four million will be using the open source workflow portal.

The 19 million euro contract for building and implementing the portal awarded to IT services provider Logica, will be signed this week, Roger said. "One competitor is contesting the awarding of project, but I expect that we can make the official announcement of the project next month."

He expect the first forty to fifty schools will start using the portal early next year. In all the region has 471 schools and half a million students. "It will take three years to get all schools connected, we estimate to be able to do 150 school a year."

The portal will be made available to all other interested public administrations, Roger said.

USB keys

The Paris regional council in September 2007 began distributing USB keys preloaded with open source applications to 175,000 students and 40,000 teachers. In the second year the project reached 180,000 students and this year 650,000 students will have received a key. Each key contains open source applications such as office productivity suite OpenOffice, multimedia player VLC, web browser Firefox, Windows anti virus application ClamWin and the Sumatra PDF reader.

"This year the key will also support Mac OS X, since about a third of all students use that operating system", said Roger.

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Open World Forum