3Rs applied to Open Apps

3Rs applied to Open Apps


En Gobierno Vasco estamos acabando la tramitación de un Decreto para posibilitar la Apertura y Reutilización de las Aplicaciones del Sector Público del Gobierno de la Comunidad Autónoma de Euskadi, utilizando los mecanismos propios de la publicación de Open Data. Podríamos decir que el enfoque del Decreto es análogo a la aplicación de las famosas 3R a las aplicaciones: (1) Reducir, (2) Reutilizar, y (3) Reciclar. Para (1) reducir el número de desarrollos similares a los ya existentes en otros órganos del Sector Público, con objeto de poder invertir más en nuevas funcionalidades; para (2) reutilizar componentes o aplicaciones ya probadas y funcionando; así como para (3) ofrecer la posibilidad de reciclar dichos componentes o aplicaciones con objeto de que puedan formar parte de otros productos dedicados a diferentes organismos del Sector Público o incluso del sector privado.

Hace un par de semanas tuvimos la oportunidad de presentar la iniciativa en Bruselas, con motivo de la Asamblea de la Agenda Digital Europea, y fue acogida con un clamoroso aplauso por todos los participantes del Grupo de Trabajo sobre Open Data, de ahí que este post se publique en inglés. Aunque también cabe señalar que esta innovadora iniciativa del Gobierno Vasco fue igualmente bien acogida en la jornada APORTA: Iniciativas Open Data en España, celebrada la semana pasada en Madrid, en la sede de la Secretaría de Estado de Telecomunicaciones y Sociedad de la Información.  Por lo que esperamos que resulte de interés para los seguidores del blog del PIP.

Current application development and maintenance costs in Public Sector are always quite difficult to afford, especially nowadays. Distributed budgets and competencies among different bodies create barriers driving to repeat similar developments without opportunities of exploiting possible synergies among them. In fact, many times, one of these bodies doesn’t know what have the others, what and when do they need and how does it fit in their strategic plans, so it’s almost impossible even to try to put in place any kind of collaboration among them. Each one has it’s own developments and maintenance costs and resources, and even their own third party products’ dependencies, so their systems are not compatible and their data interoperability do not use to be as good as should be desirable, and this is not tenable anymore.

We, at Basque Government, believe a solution to these problems could be opening the source code of Public Sector’s applications and sharing them through the internet in an Open Source Directory of the Basque Government portal, linked to other similar Public Sector’s directories, e. g. the Technology Transfer Center of the Ministry of Finance and Public Administration, also known as CTT, using simple mechanisms already in place for releasing Open Data, as we presented in the Digital Agenda Assembly. Then, it has to be mandatory for every body of the Basque Government’s Public Sector to check if in such a directory or through it there is any application or component that can fit to fulfill all their needs or at least part of them. If so, must take benefit of it and if not then this body has to publish a report explaining the result of such a checking and justifying why is still obliged to contract the development of a new component or a whole application from scratch or modifying/updating the existing ones and so on. May be in the beginning almost anything available there could be reusable but after a while of everybody works like this, then we think that things will start to change. And, due to the transparency of this approach theirs no need of any kind of watchdog to check its efficiency, every citizen could be able to check if everybody is properly using public money for developing and maintaining Public Sector’s applications.

We could say that this approach is somehow analogous to a 3R applied to Open Apps: (1) Reduce, (2) Reuse, and (3) Recycle; to buy less software developments similar to the ones already in place by other bodies of the Public Sector and to invest in new functionalities and features, to reuse components or whole applications already tested and working in other bodies’ facilities and to offer the possibility of recycling these components or applications to be part of other products devoted to different bodies of the Public Sector or even of the Private Sector. This approach has many benefits for both sectors, as anyone can realize. We are also working with JoinUP (an initiative by the European Commission to help people who work for public administrations to share knowledge and experiences on e-Government) and CENATIC to study the possibility of including some extra metadata in the vocabulary of ADMS.F/OSS associated to an application or a component to be released as part of an Open Source Applications’ catalog or, anyway, a good solution to take into account the need of publishing the cited report associated to an Open App as first deliverable, previously to carry out its development or every maintenance/evolution to justify it to the citizens.


Eusko Jaurlaritzan, azken ukituak ematen ari gatzaizkio, Open Datako argitalpen-mekanismoen bidez Euskadiko Autonomia Erkidegoko Gobernuaren Sektore Publikoko Aplikazioen Irekiera eta Berrerabilpena erraztuko duen Dekretuaren tramitazioari. Dekretu honen ikuspegia, aplikazioei eragin beharreko hondakinen hierarkia bezalakoxea da: (1) Murriztea, (2) Berrerabiltzea eta (3) Birziklatzea. Horien bidez, (1) Sektore Publikoko beste organo batzuetan dauden izaera bertsuko garapenen kopurua murriztuko litzateke; (2) frogatuta eta funtzionamenduan dauden aplikazioak edo osagaiak berrerabiliko lirateke; eta (3) aplikazio edo osagai horiek birziklatzeko aukera erraztuko litzateke, Sektore Publikoko eta are sektore pribatuko erakunde desberdinei zuzendutako beste produktu batzuetan erabiliak izan daitezen.

Duela aste pare bat, ekimena Bruselan aurkezteko aukera izan genuen, Europako Agenda Digitalaren Biltzarraren barruan, eta Open Datari buruzko Lan-Taldeko partaideek sekulako txalo zaparrada eskaini zioten. Horra hor zergatik argitaratu dugun ingelesez post hau. Baina horrekin batera esan beharra dago, Eusko Jaurlaritzaren ekimen berritzaile honek harrera on-ona lortu zuela lehengo astean ere Madrilen, Telekomunikazioen eta Informazio-Gizartearen Estatu Idazkaritzaren egoitzan antolatutako APORTA: Open Data ekimenak Espainian delako jardunaldian. Horren haritik, BPPeko blogaren jarraitzaileentzat ere interesgarria izatea espero dugu.

Current application development and maintenance costs in Public Sector are always quite difficult to afford, especially nowadays. Distributed budgets and competencies among different bodies create barriers driving to repeat similar developments without opportunities of exploiting possible synergies among them. In fact, many times, one of these bodies doesn’t know what have the others, what and when do they need and how does it fit in their strategic plans, so it’s almost impossible even to try to put in place any kind of collaboration among them. Each one has it’s own developments and maintenance costs and resources, and even their own third party products’ dependencies, so their systems are not compatible and their data interoperability do not use to be as good as should be desirable, and this is not tenable anymore.

We, at Basque Government, believe a solution to these problems could be opening the source code of Public Sector’s applications and sharing them through the internet in an Open Source Directory of the Basque Government portal, linked to other similar Public Sector’s directories, e. g. the Technology Transfer Center of the Ministry of Finance and Public Administration, also known as CTT, using simple mechanisms already in place for releasing Open Data, as we presented in the Digital Agenda Assembly. Then, it has to be mandatory for every body of the Basque Government’s Public Sector to check if in such a directory or through it there is any application or component that can fit to fulfill all their needs or at least part of them. If so, must take benefit of it and if not then this body has to publish a report explaining the result of such a checking and justifying why is still obliged to contract the development of a new component or a whole application from scratch or modifying/updating the existing ones and so on. May be in the beginning almost anything available there could be reusable but after a while of everybody works like this, then we think that things will start to change. And, due to the transparency of this approach theirs no need of any kind of watchdog to check its efficiency, every citizen could be able to check if everybody is properly using public money for developing and maintaining Public Sector’s applications.

We could say that this approach is somehow analogous to a 3R applied to Open Apps: (1) Reduce, (2) Reuse, and (3) Recycle; to buy less software developments similar to the ones already in place by other bodies of the Public Sector and to invest in new functionalities and features, to reuse components or whole applications already tested and working in other bodies’ facilities and to offer the possibility of recycling these components or applications to be part of other products devoted to different bodies of the Public Sector or even of the Private Sector. This approach has many benefits for both sectors, as anyone can realize. We are also working with JoinUP (an initiative by the European Commission to help people who work for public administrations to share knowledge and experiences on e-Government) and CENATIC to study the possibility of including some extra metadata in the vocabulary of ADMS.F/OSS associated to an application or a component to be released as part of an Open Source Applications’ catalog or, anyway, a good solution to take into account the need of publishing the cited report associated to an Open App as first deliverable, previously to carry out its development or every maintenance/evolution to justify it to the citizens.

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