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OSEPA Open Source Policy Statement

Organisation:City of Schwaebisch Hall, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany

In 2001, as the support for the operating system and the office application, which have been used up to then, was discontinued by the software suppliers and the City of Schwäbisch Hall would have to pay substantial license fees for the hardware and software upgrade, the IT department of the City of Schwaebisch Hall decided to assess new alternatives. The positive experiences with OSS in the past encouraged the administrators to use OSS also for the equipment of the future workplaces. After the starting signal by the mayor, the EDP (Electronic Data Processing) department with SUSE (now Novell) and IBM provided the first computers with the operating system Linux and OpenOffice for text processing, spreadsheet, presentation etc. The staff was trained on the work so as to be able to operate with the OSS applications. At the end of the training courses they found their desktops ready for use. In the meantime, the administration was equipped with workplaces consisting of OSS applications.

Software components / licenses:The major open source components used by the City of Schwaebisch Hall for the migration to OSS were:

  • In servers: SUSE Linux enterprise server, OpenLDAP, NFS, Samba, OpenXchange server, Ingres database
  • In clients: SUSE Linux, KDE, OpenOffice, Mozilla Firefox, GIMP, Mediawiki.
Licenses: GPL, LGPL, X11, Apache, Java and BSD. The following proprietary components were used: Citrix-Clients, VMware and MS-Terminal Server.

Main results /achieved objectives

  • Strategic independence from vendors lock-in
  • Flexibility of applications
  • Promotion of safe enterprise through multiple developers and medium-size suppliers.
  • Digital preservation through the use of open formats and standards

Perspectives:The staff in the City of Schwaebisch Hall continues to use the installed open source applications in desktop and server PCs and the city administration is determined to continue and to expand its open source strategy.