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Phase2 Launches Open Public 1.0 to Advance Digital Government Initiatives [Sept. 29, 2014]

Submitted on
Monday, September 29, 2014
,
Phase2

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — September 29, 2014 — Phase2, a digital technology agency delivering integrated web products for content management, collaboration and interactive experiences across the public, private and non-profit sectors, is launching OpenPublic 1.0, a Drupal-based content management system (CMS) tailored to open government initiatives. An evolved approach to open source CMS, OpenPublic 1.0 packages government-focused functionality in a secure, intuitive App-based Drupal distribution. Phase2 is partnering with Acquia to deliver a secure, cloud development platform for OpenPublic packages.

OpenPublic 1.0 breaks the mold of government CMS by encapsulating all functionality in a clean collection of Apps, simplifying all of the distribution’s powerful out-of-the-box functionality. By using Acquia’s open cloud platform, OpenPublic enables US government agencies to achieve and sustain compliance with the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA).

“Technologies like Drupal have enabled governments to become more open by sharing greater volumes of content online. The next step is to utilize it to spur citizen engagement and provide improved digital experiences.” said Jeff Walpole, CEO of Phase2. “OpenPublic 1.0 is an excellent example of an open source solution that facilitates this engagement without compromising security, accessibility, and flexibility.”

OpenPublic was specifically designed to easily and efficiently deploy a web presence across multiple agency sites. San Mateo County, for example, uses OpenPublic to support a streamlined platform of more than twenty departmental websites, each with different content needs and functionality requirements. Flexibility and administrative control is crucial.

“OpenPublic allowed the County to maintain a strong central brand while meeting user demand for autonomy and flexibility,” said Beverly Thames, Content and Collaboration Manager for San Mateo County. “County leadership could only be convinced to adopt open source if they were assured the system was secure and accessible, OpenPublic delivered both.”

“Open source, community-driven solutions like OpenPublic are leading the way to government transparency,” said Dries Buytaert, CTO of Acquia and creator of Drupal. “They help agencies and organizations improve efficiency and increase sharing of information while making government content more accessible.”

Since 2011, multiple government agencies and public sector organizations, including the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Wilson Center, the Georgia Technology Authority and San Mateo County, Calif., have successfully used OpenPublic to drive digital outcomes and increase civic engagement. OpenPublic 1.0 reflects the advancement and maturity of the product to a full 1.0 release.

The OpenPublic distribution can be downloaded at https://drupal.org/project/openpublic.

About Phase2
Phase2 is one of the most trusted digital agencies focused on open technology. Organizations like the Department of Energy, Red Hat, Harvard Business School, NBCUniversal and the Robin Hood Foundation use Phase2’s integrated web products and systems to transform the way their users experience content and their teams work together. Founded in 2001, Phase2 designs and builds the world’s most powerful content systems, collaboration solutions, and interactive experiences. Phase2 is headquartered in Alexandria, VA, and has offices in New York, San Francisco, and Portland. For more about Phase2, visit http://www.phase2technology.com.

About Acquia
Acquia is the digital business company. The Bay Area Rapid Transit District, the State of Georgia, Pinterest and Stanford University are among the more than 4,000 organizations that are transforming their digital businesses with Acquia’s open platform for integrated digital experiences. Global 2000 enterprises, government agencies and NGOs rely on Acquia to create new revenue streams, lower costs, and engage audiences more deeply through content, community, commerce and context.

For more information visit www.acquia.com or call +1 781 238 8600.

Setting Government Data Free [July 3, 2014]

Submitted on
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
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Semantic Web

By Jennifer Zaino

As July 4 approaches, the subject of open government data can’t help but be on many U.S. citizens’ minds. That includes the citizens who are responsible for opening up that data to their fellow Americans. They might want to take a look at NuCivic Data Enterprise, the recently unveiled cloud-based, open source, open data platform for government from NuCivic, in partnership with Acquia and Carahsoft. It’s providing agencies an OpenSaaS approach to meeting open data mandates to publish and share datasets online, based on the Drupal open source content management system.

NuCivic’s open source DKAN Drupal distribution provides the core data management components for the NuCivic Data platform; it was recognized last week as a grand prize winner for Amazon Web Services’ Global City on a Cloud Innovation Challenge in the Partner in Innovation category. Projects in this category had to demonstrate that the application solves a particular challenge faced by local government entities. As part of the award, the NuCivic team gets $25,000 in AWS services to further support its open data efforts.

DKAN, the company says, meets U.S. Project Open Data requirements, and includes both the DKAN Dataset and DKAN Datastore, so that open data publishers can easily manage their open data publication process while complying with industry- and government-mandated standards. DKAN includes among its features the ability to: explore, search, add, describe, tag, and group datasets via a web front-end or API; customize metadata fields, themes and branding; use metdata and data APIs, data previews, and visualizations through the Recline.js data visualization tool; and manage access control, version history with rollback, INSPIRE/RDF support, and user analytics.

Though it’s customizable, out of the box it uses the DCAT RDF vocabulary for metadata that is designed to facilitate interoperability between data catalogs published on the Web.

NuCivic’s founders have roots in the government sector. Co-founder and CEO Andrew Hoppin was a public sector CIO in New York, involved in overhauling the state Senate’s IT systems. In a blog he posted when the product launched, he wrote that, “Our strategy is to productize the Drupal content management system to address a full range of government enterprise information software needs, starting with open data…. We think Drupal is a fantastic framework upon which to base civic solutions for many types of functional needs, because of the global scale of the civic-interested engineering community behind it...

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Building APIs for Government Agencies with Drupal

Since President Obama took office in 2009, the United States government has been releasing data and building APIs as part of the Open Government Initiative.

Open-source Code: By the People, For the People [Aug. 29, 2013]

Submitted on
Thursday, August 29, 2013
,
VentureBeat

By Dries Buytaert

Many organizations adopt open source for reasons like flexibility and agility. Everyone needs to do more with less. But in government, open source drives both civic engagement and government participation like never before. Because of digital, the world feels much smaller and more connected. And open source gives people the opportunity to rally around a cause, no matter where they live.

Think about how we petitioned our government before we had the We The People website. I bet you have to think pretty hard about how it was done (I do!). Now, a website has brought to life the First Amendment rights of U.S. citizens. Millions of people’s voices are heard. People pull together based on common concerns. The White House built We The People using Drupal and shared the code on GitHub, opening up the opportunity for other governments to easily create their own online petitioning systems.

Service NSW Delivers Online Presence with Open Source [Aug. 27, 2013]

Submitted on
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
,
Computerworld Australia

By Rohan Pearce

Service NSW, which acts as a central portal for accessing government services in New South Wales, is using the open source Drupal platform for its public-facing website and intranet

In late January, the digital strategy of Service NSW had a long way to go, according to Bruce McGregor – particularly if the organisation was to meet a July deadline for delivering its online portal, the organisation's head of digital said.

"The timeframes were tight, the budget was limited and fixed, and there were multiple stakeholders," McGregor said.

The creation of Service NSW was announced by the state's premier, Barry O’Farrell, in July 2012. The intention is to offer a 'one-stop shop' for government services, with NSW residents able to access them through 18 Service NSW centres, a 24-hour call centre and a single Web portal.

"We had to build a service within a couple of months," McGregor said. Despite the short timeframe for rolling out a complex Web portal, the agency managed to beat its deadline – albeit, by a handful of days – by employing the open source Drupal Web platform.

Complying with Open Gov: The November Deadlines

(Part 2 of the "Open Gov" blog series)

Federal agencies are currently wrestling with determining what they must do to comply with the White House’s Executive Order on open data. Until something more definitive is published, the best guidance might come from the Implementation Guide page on Project Open Data.

How Governments Market Themselves on the Internet

Originally posted http://www.theworld.org/2012/04/governments-websites/

Alex Gallafent of the BBC examines how countries go about creating their own government web sites to market themselves to their own citizens. Tom Erickson, CEO of Acquia, weights in on how open source software, such as Drupal, has allowed government web sites to be more open for their constituents.

UK public sector open source adoption falling well behind other major economies [March 23, 2012]

Submitted on
Friday, March 23, 2012
,
Vital Online

The UK Government recently launched an open source toolkit on the Cabinet Office website, to provide a level playing field for open source solutions against traditional proprietary software vendors. But Jim Shaw, general manager for Europe at Acquia believes that cultural barriers and unfounded fears about the technology are holding departments back from making huge savings.

Welcome to Michael Walsh, and our big move to DC!

I'd like to send out a warm welcome to one of our newest hires, Michael Walsh. Michael will be helping the company run, grow and manage our Public Sector business - both Program Management and Business Development. He also is responsible for opening our official field office in Washington, DC on Connecticut Avenue. With this move, and additional hires in the DC area , we feel confident that we will be able to better serve our customers and partners in this domain even more effectively.

How to Achieve the Open Government Directive Requirements Using Open Source Drupal

The explicit purpose of the Open Government Directive (OGD) is to improve citizen interaction and engagement. Realizing the intentions behind the Directive will require significant web site innovation for many departments and agencies. Join us for this comprehensive workshop that showcases how and why Open Source content management tools such as Drupal are being quickly adopted across U.S.