Open source software quality floated

VietNamNet Bridge – A lot of state agencies and enterprises, which want to utilize open source software, complain that they don’t know how they can choose “genuine products” in the market where most of the available products have not been tested in quality.

Vietnam, open source software, IT firms, tax incentives, BPO service

Pham Hong Quang, Chair of the Vietnam Free and Open Source Software Association (VFOSSA) has confirmed that the quality of products is the greatest concern of the agencies and enterprises planning to use open source software.

He said that many Vietnamese firms once “indulged” in developing open source software, but their plans failed completely. These included CMC, Vietkey or Rong Viet.

“It was because they approached the open source software in a wrong way, or in other words, they did open source software in the “closed source software’s way,” Quang said.

Also according to Quang, some people think simple that they just need to declare the source codes, which might be associated with licenses, to see their software pieces automatically turn into open source software.

However, if a software piece goes its way spontaneously and runs off the track of the original software, it would fall into a blind alley and make users get lost. Open source software would die prematurely if they cannot be used and developed by the community.

Information technology experts all said that in Vietnam, there are few “genuine open source software products” provided by domestic firms.

Some foreign open source software like OrangeHRM (human resource management), Vtiger or SuperCRM (customer relation management), Alfresco (content administration), Compiere or OpenERP have been developed and converted into domestic software. However, there has been no contribution back to the community so as to be further developed by the community.

This, according to the experts, has hindered the development and utilization of open source software.

Tran Minh, Deputy Head of the Software Industry and Digital Content Institute, said a lot of local agency officials complained they cannot find out what products have the high utilization and quality. In many cases, since users feel puzzled with open source software, they decided to turn their back to the products.

Experts believe that it’s necessary to strengthen the inspection over open source software products and stop the floating of the products’ quality.

In fact, the idea of setting up the units in charge of inspecting open source software was raised a long time ago. The Ministry of Information and Communication in 2007 established a consultancy council in charge of inspecting open source software to find out the products which can satisfy the users’ requirements, and put them into the list of the products to be used in the projects funded by the State budget.

The Ministry of Science and Technology has joined forces with Intel to set up a laboratory to inspect and develop open source solution and make recommendations on the open source software use to the agencies and enterprises.

A laboratory on open source software (OpenLab), which has the function of inspecting and preparing for the packaging, has also been established by the HCM City Department of Information and Communication.

However, not all the organizations and enterprises want to have their open source software products utilized or have the products tested by open source software testing centers.

The Ministry of Information and Communication has suggested 7 software pieces which would develop under the mode of open source software to be used commonly at state management agencies. It has asked VFOSSA and the community to make recommendations on the products to reassure the users about the quality.

Buu Dien

Vietnam, open source software, IT firms, tax incentives, BPO service