More and more, governments are adopting open source software for for their web and office needs. We recently learned that the EU Parliament (EP) has actually employed the use of the Jahia open source enterprise management system for both its intranet and internet websites. So confident is the EP in Jahia’s abilities that their most popular sites are run by it; a testament to the huge recognition that open source software is receiving from not only enthusiasts, but also from organisations as huge as the EP.
The use of Jahia started all the way back in 2004 when the European Parliament used it for their intranet on the advise of their IT department at a meeting in Paris, France. The change was brought about because of requests from EP employees. Olivier Peltier explains it best when he says, “EP staffers increasingly request on-line tools, and we’re guiding them towards the use of Jahia.” Peltier is the head of a team of IT experts whose job it is to design and maintain efficient management systems.
A total of 89 websites have been built using the Jahia open source tools, a huge number by any measure. 82 of these are hosted on the EP’s intranet, while the remaining 7 are on the internet. The EP also shows their commitment to the cause by funding research and the building of several tools and features for content creation and website templates.
Stories like these, for obvious reasons, tend to give us great joy. It’s not just a story of enthusiasts using open source to rig a home automation system; this is the story of the European Union’s Parliament using open source software to run and manage a host of their websites and services. This is a good sign and a trend that will hopefully catch on around the globe. Human beings are generally afraid of change, but when benefits are realised while cutting cost, then there is no doubt that adoption will spread. With Microsoft recently warning the UK about switching to open source, I don’t think that Gates and company will partying in Europe anytime soon after this news.