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Interoperability and open standards for eGovernment Services

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					   OBSERVATORY ON INTEROPERABLE eGOVERNMENT
   SERVICES
   eGov-Interop'05 Annual Conference
   23 -24 February 2005 – Geneva (Switzerland)




Interoperability and open standards for
        eGovernment Services


                  Hugo LUEDERS
          Initiative for Software Choice
    Director, Europe-Middle East, and Africa




                   eGov Interop'05 - Feb 23-24, 2005 - Geneva (Switzerland)
                  ISC: an Industry Coalition of some 300
                    software companies – 80 in Europe


  • To ensure that all software licensing and development
    models remain viable

       -       proprietary, hybrid and OSS

  • Software should be chosen on its merits and value, not
    through categorical preferences

       -       tested by professional experiences and law
               (incl. EU public procurement regulations)


Hugo Lueders                  eGov Interop'05 - Feb 23-24, 2005 - Geneva (Switzerland)   2
                       ISC core principles


  • Procure software (case-by-case) on its merits and value,
    not on its license or development model

  • Promote universal availability of government-funded
    research, no R&D default preference

  • Promote interoperability through platform neutral and open
    standards

  • Maintain strong IPRs to promote pro-competitive software
    development solutions



Hugo Lueders            eGov Interop'05 - Feb 23-24, 2005 - Geneva (Switzerland)   3
                  ISC addresses mandatory
               “preference” policies worldwide


  • Nearly 70 such discriminatory laws, decrees or policies
    proposed in many countries - not only in Europe

  • These policies may include or make use of secondary
    legislation, administrative guidance or technical
    specifications or „advice‟ to impose exclusive standards

  • Preference laws will deter investors:
    - software companies, local resellers and developers
       would suffer and the industry and society as a whole
       would be hurt


Hugo Lueders            eGov Interop'05 - Feb 23-24, 2005 - Geneva (Switzerland)   4
                     Do Governments need these
                         preference policies?

  • e-security:         No clear-cut winner
  • Licence costs:      Software is a fraction of the TCO
                        through the whole value chain
  • Free service:       No free lunch; service costs will
                        come down the road

  • Employment:         Expert services might be
                        outsourced to other regions or
                        countries
  • Interoperability:   Everyone agrees that products
                        must interoperate through open standards

Hugo Lueders            eGov Interop'05 - Feb 23-24, 2005 - Geneva (Switzerland)   5
               Interoperability and Open Standards
                   What does Interoperability mean?


  • Functional ability of two or more systems to interact or to
    be used easily or automatically in combination with each
    other

  • Built and underpinned by and through adopted standards

  • A needed quality in the ICT industries
        – Provides connectivity between hardware or software,
          and between entities (government/business/citizens)
        – Increases flexibility and agility, reduces costs and
          implementation time


Hugo Lueders              eGov Interop'05 - Feb 23-24, 2005 - Geneva (Switzerland)   6
                    The Interoperability Continuum

  • Loose coupling vs. Tight coupling?

  • Coupling not through categorical preferences but case-by-
    case according to the specific interoperability facets

      Examples:
        – Content or service provider – to run a service over any
          suitable platform
        – Consumers – the ability to download content from
          different sources
        – Galileo/GPS network interoperability security to differ
          from local data interchange requirements


Hugo Lueders               eGov Interop'05 - Feb 23-24, 2005 - Geneva (Switzerland)   7
                     How is the ICT Industry
                    achieving interoperability?


 OSI Protocol
                     ebXML                                            Web Services
  Application
                                                                Orchestration




                                          Registry/Repository
 Presentation   Trading Partner
                                                                 Discovery




                                                                                           Management
                  Agreement
   Session




                                                                                            Reliability
                                                                                Security
                  Business                                       Publication
   Transport       Process
                                                                 Description
    Network         Core
                 Components                                       Message
   Data Link
    Physical      Messaging                                      Transport
Hugo Lueders         eGov Interop'05 - Feb 23-24, 2005 - Geneva (Switzerland)                       8
                     Technical Interoperability

• EIF 1.0 (18 Nov. 04) describes 3 interop aspects:
        - Technical           communications infrastructure
        - Semantic            making business data understandable
        - Organisational      aligning business processes

• First: Technical Interoperability
     – Standards developed through open processes
     – Adoption driven by customer‟s requirements for standards
       adherence
     – Standards and interoperability best when processes loosely
       coupled not by tight categorical preference



Hugo Lueders               eGov Interop'05 - Feb 23-24, 2005 - Geneva (Switzerland)   9
                     How to align Semantic and
                   Organisational Interoperability?


  • Semantic interop: driven by major software companies &
    leading public or private end-users

  • Organisational interop: business process standards driven
    by the market, major vendors and leading end-users

  • Problem aligning semantics and business processes
        – To agree on meaning of information
        – To agree on processes – laws must align

  • Alignment not a systems problem – political problem


Hugo Lueders                eGov Interop'05 - Feb 23-24, 2005 - Geneva (Switzerland)   10
                    Open standards and Open Source
                          are not synonymous

  • Open standards
      Specifications describing programme or device
      characteristics, available to the technical community,
      and vetted through open process, e.g.:
               - W3C (World Wide Web Consortium)
               - OASIS (Organisation for the Advancement of Structured
                 Information Standards)
               - WS-I (Web Services-Interoperability Organisation)

  • Open Source Software (OSS)
      Source code is available to the general public for use
      and/or modification from original design without fees


Hugo Lueders                   eGov Interop'05 - Feb 23-24, 2005 - Geneva (Switzerland)   11
                           Interoperability
                       through open standards

  • Open Source Software may, or may not, interoperate

        – OSS should interoperate with other OSS if the 2 “end
          point” app‟s adhere to the same open standard/version
        – The fact that software is open source does not mean
          that it necessarily implements the same open standards
          as other Open Source Software applications

  • Proprietary software may also implement open standards
    and may, or may not, interoperate

        – Open standards specify the characteristics of the “wire”
          (the external interfaces) and both OSS as well as
          proprietary software may adhere to open standards

Hugo Lueders               eGov Interop'05 - Feb 23-24, 2005 - Geneva (Switzerland)   12
                  The EIF Open Standards Settings*
                   Any need to redefine the adopted term
                           “open standards”?


  • Maintained by a not-for-profit organisation, with an open
    decision-making procedure
  • Published and docs are available either freely or at a
    nominal charge; permissible to all to copy, distribute and
    use it for no fee or at a nominal fee
  • The IP – i.e. patents possibly present – of (parts of) the
    standard is made irrevocably available royalty-free
  • There are no constraints on the re-use of the standard

  * EIF 1.0 version of 18 Nov. 2004


Hugo Lueders                     eGov Interop'05 - Feb 23-24, 2005 - Geneva (Switzerland)   13
                    “Global Standards Collaboration”
                   GSC IPR Policies to provide incentives to
                     interoperate, innovate and compete*


        • Respecting the contribution of valuable IP assets
        • Balancing all stakeholders interests to make outcomes
          representative, inclusive and more broadly supported
        • Being open and transparent for all to review

        • Promoting the use of the best technical solutions
        • Being consistent with globally accepted F/RAND norms
          to receive reasonable and adequate compensation
        * 9th GSC meeting, Seoul 2004 (incl. ETSI)


Hugo Lueders                    eGov Interop'05 - Feb 23-24, 2005 - Geneva (Switzerland)   14
               The EICTA Open Standards Criteria


  • Control – the evolution of the specification should be set
    in transparent process open to all interested contributors

  • Completeness – the technical requirements of the solution
    to be specified enough to guarantee full interoperability

  • Compliance – there is a substantial standard-compliant
    offering promoted by proponents of the standard

  • Cost – fair reasonable and non-discriminatory access
    (RAND) is provided to IP unavoidably used in standard
    implementation


Hugo Lueders            eGov Interop'05 - Feb 23-24, 2005 - Geneva (Switzerland)   15
                        Open Standards/Open Source
                             ANSI Comments*

      • OSS refers to software that is distributed under a certain
        license and not to the process by which a technical
        standard or specification is formulated

      • The terms “open” and “openness” (in conjunction with
        standards) characterise a process by which standards
        are subject to open, consensus-based procedures

      • The unrelated terms “open source” or “open source
        software” are properly used only to characterise a form
        of software distribution

      * 27th Oct. 2004 letter to the FTC


Hugo Lueders                      eGov Interop'05 - Feb 23-24, 2005 - Geneva (Switzerland)   16
                     Legal limits for Open Standards
                                Definitions

  • EU law prohibits the definition of specifications excluding
    certain undertakings from a public tender

  • European case-law on technical standards prevents
    exclusive reference to a particular standard or technical
    solution (Dundalk case, Unix case)

  • Imposing “OSS-style Open Standards” as a matter of
    principle in public procurement would contradict EU law,
    public procurement directives and Intellectual Property
    Rights…*

  * cf. ISC Legal Note of 16 Sept. 2004

Hugo Lueders                     eGov Interop'05 - Feb 23-24, 2005 - Geneva (Switzerland)   17
               Conclusions: no easy answers


    • Public Procurement “preference” laws or standards do
      not help, are not needed and therefore should be avoided

    • Lack of proof or reliable data over special value of
      “OSS-style Open Standards” for economic development

    • The arguments for and against each kind of software
      model are very finely balanced: competitive advantages

    • Technological neutrality will serve the public and the
      citizen best

    • Openness and neutrality principle reconfirmed by 2003
      WSIS Declaration and Action Plan

Hugo Lueders              eGov Interop'05 - Feb 23-24, 2005 - Geneva (Switzerland)   18
                                  Contact
                          ISC Secretariat EMEA

                  B-1040 Brussels, 6, Rond Point Schuman
               Tel: +32-2/234.78.22, mobile: +32-475/63.33.52
                       e-mail: hlueders@comptia.org

                 ISC webpage: www.softwarechoice.org




Hugo Lueders                eGov Interop'05 - Feb 23-24, 2005 - Geneva (Switzerland)   19

				
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