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Public service gets Open Source developer platform

The State I.T. Agency (SITA) has announced that it will release a set of software development tools under an Open Source license for use by Government and industry to develop software solutions.

The set of tools, known as the Jig Software Development Workbench, is a development platform consisting of best-of-breed Free and Open Source Software, woven together with bespoke code written in Java, to create a standard mechanism by which web-based SOA applications can be developed for the modernisation of the Public Service.

It was developed by SITA to build in-house applications quickly and securely. Recognising the value of the toolset, SITA decided to release the product as a national initiative to stimulate and support domestic software development.

It consists of a number of modules which can be assembled in various configurations to meet the business requirements of government. It includes modules for enterprise security, master data management, business rules management, integration APIs, state engine, and on-line help, amongst other things.

Making use of a single flexible development platform provides both government and industry the ability to seamlessly integrate and develop business solutions in a common environment, with in-built compliance to the Minimum Interoperability Standards (MIOS), on a secure, battle-tested code-base.

The JIG creates uniformity, enhances productivity without limiting flexibility and brings a common look-and-feel to government applications.

By releasing it under an Open Source license, SITA, and hence the State, still keeps the copyright to the code, but industry partners and individual developers can use it, extend it and contribute to the code base in a truly collaborative way. This is how Linux and Android have become the phenomena that they are.

SITA is proud to take this step to contribute an African product to the international world of software development.

* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @GadgetZA

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