“Open Technology: Realizing the Vision” conference was hosted by the Association for Enterprise Integration(AFEI) and supported by industry and advocacy groups including the Open Source Software Institute (OSSI) and the Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo).
Government keynote speakers included Brigadier General Nickolas G. Justice, U.S. Army (USA); Chuck Riechers, Office of the Secretary of the Air Force (USAF); and Michele Weslander, Office of National Intelligence (ONI). Additional government speakers included representatives from the Department of the Navy’s Office of the Chief Information Officer (DONCIO); U.S. Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) and the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA).
Day one of the conference focused on government acquisition, policy and program implementation issues relating to DoD’s proposed Open Technology Development roadmap.
“Our goal is to increase technical efficiency and reduce software lifecycle costs within DoD,” said Chuck Riechers, Principal Deputy, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition. “The Open Technology Development roadmap sets out a strategic vision that encourages the use of open standards, open data interfaces and best-of-breed open source software solutions when and where appropriate.
“We are not mandating that it’s either “open” or “proprietary” solutions,” he continued “We want to pay for unique intellectual property when they are best of breed, but not succumb to code and vendor-specific lock-in situations. Acquisition of proprietary solutions needs to be a conscience choice, not an assumption. The default should be “open technology development,” where standards and interfaces are open and accessible and best of breed software is utilized, all coupled with the Air Force exercising data rights. Further, we need to move toward an increased competitive, collaborative and interoperable environment across the Services and industry for technology development. This strategy will help to minimize redundant development efforts and enable more agile development and deployment of systems.”
Brigadier General Nick Justice, the Deputy Program Officer for the Army’s Program Executive Office, Command, Control and Communications Tactical (PEO C3T) said that open source software currently plays a critical role in his command’s activities.
“Our job is to provide accurate and timely information to the soldier in the field so they can perform their mission,” said General Justice. “Open source software is part of the integrated network fabric which connects and enables our command and control system to work effectively, as people’s lives depend on it.
“When we rolled into Baghdad, we did it using open source,” General Justice continued. “It may come as a surprise to many of you, but the U.S. Army is “the” single largest install base for Red Hat Linux. I’m their largest customer.”
Day two of the conference focused on the use of open technologies within government and corporate geospatial solutions.
Michele Weslander, Principal Deputy Associate Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and Deputy Chief Information Officer in the Office of the DNI said the Open Technology Development model was a fundamental component in the realm of geospatial information gathering, analysis and dissemination.
“Speed, efficiency and flexibility are essential in the business of Intelligence gathering,“ Weslander said. “One of the key advantages of using open technologies within geospatial programs is that it promotes interoperability which broadens the resource base which we have to draw from regarding both informational data and the tools and service providers which collect and process the vast amounts of information involved in satellite mapping and information sharing.”
Additional presentations at the conference were made by representatives from Google, Unisys, Hewlett Packard, EnterpriseDB, Red Hat, Black Duck Software, Autodesk, Inc., Radiant Blue Technologies and Refractions Research.
Additional information on this and future conferences, including copies of presentations, are available at: http://www.afei.org/brochure/7a03/hidden.cfm
About the Open Source Software Institute
The Open Source Software Institute is a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the development and implementation of open source software solutions within U.S. Federal, state and municipal government agencies and academic entities. For additional information, please see: http://oss-institute.org .
About the Open Source Geospatial Foundation
The Open Source Geospatial Foundation, or OSGeo, is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to support and promote the collaborative development of open geospatial technologies and data. The foundation provides financial, organizational and legal support to the broader open source geospatial community. It also serves as an independent legal entity to which community members can contribute code, funding and other resources, secure in the knowledge that their contributions will be maintained for public benefit. OSGeo also serves as an outreach and advocacy organization for the open source geospatial community, and provides a common forum and shared infrastructure for improving cross-project collaboration. For additional information, please see: http://www.osgeo.org/.
About the Association for Enterprise Integration
The Association for Enterprise Integration is the leading industry group providing a framework for collaboration between government and industry. The DoD CIO has turned to AFEI to be its conduit for policy and strategy input from industry through jointly chartered working groups. For additional information, please see: http://www.afei.org .”