Improving IT applications for the users is the reason most frequently given by German public administrations to move to open source and open standards, according to a migration guide about to be published by the German government's resource centre on this type of software (OSS Kompetenzzentrum).
Fulfilling legal requirements comes second and correcting errors comes third, according to the guide.
The OSS Kompetenzzentrum will publish the fourth edition of its 'Migrationsleitfaden' next week Tuesday at the Cebit IT fair in Hanover. The draft text is already available since 12 December at the website of the resource centre.
Bernd Weber, project leader and one of the authors of the migration guide at 4Soft, a Munich IT consultancy, says: "The past months we received about ten comments on the draft text, mostly from software makers that suggested improvements to some of our descriptions of their applications."
The guide lists seven other reasons to migrate to open source that are given by German public administrations These include the adding of functionality, improving integration with other IT systems, improving interoperability and reducing costs.
The guide stresses that public administrations that are considering a significant move to free and open source software involve the senior management and other relevant authorities. "This involvement and consultation should be made permanent, for example by regular meetings, to ensure long-term support and attention of senior management for the project and to increase transparency."
The OSS Kompetenzzentrum, part of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, issued its first "Guidelines for the migration of software" in 2003. The fourth edition will be more than 200 pages, with paragraphs describing the best strategy, good approaches for change management and with tips on project management.
It focuses on migrations to open standards and open source for typical parts of the IT infrastructure such as authentication, group ware and virtualisation. It also describes the use of open source on desktops, including the use of open source web browsers, personal information systems, office suites, document management suites, content management systems and applications involving PDFs.
Bernd Weber's presentation on the migration guide will take place next week Tuesday, 6 March, at 14:30 at the Cebit, Halle 2, Stand E56.