Pooling development of portals for 15 public administrations in North Rhine-Westphalia
German ICT service providers are pooling their work on public administration portals, leveraging open source software. The companies unveiled DeGov, a portal solution built on Drupal 8, at the ‘Drupal in der öffentlichen Verwaltung’ (Drupal in public administration) conference in Düsseldorf on 17 November.
One of the ICT firms behind the launch, Düsseldorf-based PublicPlan, plans to use DeGov to replace existing portals of 15 public administrations in North Rhine-Westphalia.
The DeGov portal solution is tailored to German public administrations. The ICT service providers have added support for several authentication and identification methods commonly used by the public administrations, including smart cards. DeGov comes with modules that enhance security, improve performance and optimise content searching. The software also supports content types especially relevant for content creators at public administrations, such as paragraphs.
The first DeGov-based portal, to be unveiled next week, is for a North Rhine-Westphalia project to support senior citizens, by the state’s Ministry of Health. Another DeGov portal is being developed for the state’s Ministry of Education, says Christian Knebel, PublicPlan CEO. “Many local and regional public administrations are showing interest, as DeGov allows them to share costs, which lowers their expenditure.”
Plans for a Drupal-based solution for German public administrations were first discussed in 2015. Actual development began earlier this year, at a Drupal conference in Heidelberg, when four ICT companies, 1xINTERNET, Public Plan, Pure Blue and Reinblau joined hands.
In Australia, the Netherlands, the USA, and the United Kingdom there are groups of public administrations using Drupal that pool their ICT budgets, the promoters explain in a presentation. Pooling projects resolves many issues common in ICT projects, from setting up workflow, establishing specifications to bug fixing and testing. Sharing code also avoids having to pay for features that have already been developed for other public administrations.
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Drupal is one of the main content management systems deployed by the European Commission. Early next year, Joinup, the collaborative platform for eGovernment professionals which hosts the OSOR community, will switch to Drupal 8.