Joinup is a collaboration platform created by the European Commission. It is funded by the European Union via its Interoperability Solutions for Public Administrations Programme (ISA Programme).
Joinup was launched on 9 December 2011. It replaced the Open Source Observatory and Repository (OSOR.eu) and the Semantic Interoperability Centre Europe (SEMIC.eu), themselves communities funded by the ISA Programme. These two became Joinup's initial communities.
The site aims to let public administrations share their e-government solutions, inviting others to improve and extend future versions.
More specifically, it offers a meeting place and a collaborative working environment for the development of interoperability solutions. Joinup hosts communities of practice, such as the community for the Common Assessment Method for Standards and Specifications (CAMSS) and the community for the National Interoperability Frameworks Observatory (NIFO).The platform also raises awareness on free and open source software and semantic interoperability in the public sector. Joinup offers a catalogue, helping to find open source software solutions, interoperability assets and models such as the Interoperability Maturity Model (IMM).The target audience includes all those using, developing and implementing e-government solutions. The site focusses on the European public sector, but the projects are open to all others.
Joinup is created by the European Commission. It’s funded by the European Union via its ISA Programme.
The platform has three main functions:
- Sharing of information, by publishing news, case studies and listing relevant events;
- Cataloguing re-usable interoperability solutions such as software, taxonomies, vocabularies, code-lists, licences, organisational assets and guidelines;
- Allowing public administrations to collaborate with each other on development projects.
The site offers software development tools including a software repository, Apache Subversion and an issue tracker. Joinup provides access to over 6000 solutions created for public administrations by Federation - building a catalogue of solutions that are hosted at 30 repositories managed by public administrations in EU member states and standardisation bodies such as the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).
Joinup is also used by the European Commission's Directorate General for Informatics to make available all of its applications. Examples include Circabc,]a document management system, Open e-Prior, a tool to help manage electronic procurement, and OnLine Collection Software for ECI, to help organisations gather signatures that support their request to the European Commission to propose legislation.
History / Key milestones
Joinup is itself a federation of other, similar projects, such as the French Adullact. This was started in 2002 by the Association des développeurs et utilisateurs de logiciels libres pour les administrations et les collectivités territoriales, (Association of developers and users of free software for governments and local authorities). Adullact was actually an inspiration for the EC's Open Source Observatory and Repository.
Other examples would be the Spanish Centro de Transferencia de Tecnología (Centre for Technology Transfer), or La forja de Guadalinex, hosted by Junta de Andalucia.
The platform could also be compared with the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM), an XML-based information exchange framework from the United States. However, NIEM is designed to develop, disseminate, and support enterprise-wide information exchange standards and processes that will enable jurisdictions to automate information sharing, the EC's Joinup is for sharing ICT solutions.
Joinup might even be compared to the Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network (CKAN). However, this focuses not on software packages or semantic assets, but on the storage and distribution of data, such as spreadsheets and the contents of databases.