Unisys to build EU open-source warehouse

Unisys Corp. won a contract to lead a consortium to help create and manage an open-source repository in Europe.

The European Commission awarded the Open Source Observatory and Repository contract to Unisys Belgium, a Unisys subsidiary. The consortium consists of Unisys Belgium, the Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology, GOPA Cartermill and the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos.

The Internet service and portal will allow European administrations to centrally store and share the software code of their open-source applications and exchange open-source knowledge. The collaboration is intended to enable the European member states' administrations to get better results from their IT investments and make their applications more interoperable.

In addition to the source and object code, information is available in the repository regarding the use of applications, different software versions, open-source licenses and contract material.

On the repository's Web portal, member states' administrations will also be able to share insights about different open-source applications.

The European Commission believes the repository will encourage European administrations to use each other's software and develop common projects in such areas as public e-procurement, interoperability between government applications or mutual recognition of the various e-ID card formats.

Unisys and its partners will determine the format of repository this year, expecting the service to be operational in late 2007. The company will scout for interesting open-source applications to add to repository and support collaboration between different European open-source projects.

The European Commission is responsible for implementing programs and policies established by the Member States of the European Union.

Unisys, which has more than 36,000 employees and had annual sales of $5.8 billion in fiscal 2005, ranks No. 20 on Washington Technology's 2006 Top 100 list of the largest federal IT contractors.

About the Author

Doug Beizer is a staff writer for Washington Technology.

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