Chris Chant, Director of the government’s G-Cloud programme, has confirmed to Computerworld UK that the next iteration of the recently opened CloudStore will be based on open source software.
Version 1.0 of the CloudStore opened last week and provides an online portal for the public sector to choose from over 1,700 cloud services provided by 257 suppliers, over half of which are SMEs.
It was built for free by UK SME SolidSoft on Microsoft’s Azure platform in less than four weeks.
However, Chant’s vision for Version 2.0 of the government’s CloudStore is that it will take inspiration from the Government Digital Service’s (GDS) single portal for public services, dubbed gov.uk, which is developed entirely using open source code.
“We will have the next version out in the next six weeks or so and it is going to be a fully open source version,” said Chant.
“I’m a believer in using whatever IT works and it’s pretty clear from the work GDS has done that open source can work well. There are plenty of e-commerce style open source products out there now and I would expect we would use something like that,” he added. Chant couldn’t comment on what an open source Version 2.0 would mean for SolidSoft’s involvement in the project.
However, he also explained how he expects there to be numerous CloudStore’s opening up in the future, not just versions that are developed by the government.
“I don’t actually think that the current CloudStore will be the only one. I’m pretty sure in my mind that I don’t see any problem with there being multiple CloudStores out there,” said Chant.
“As we move into Version 2.0, we will make sure that all of the APIs are available for all the data on the site so that anybody can go off and develop another version of it. It’s about selling stuff and I’m not really sure whether that’s the governments’ core competence,” he added.
“My expectation is that there will be a number of organisations who will want to pick this up, and certainly there are some that have already suggested to me that they would like to do this”.
Since the CloudStore launched last week it has had 20,000 unique views and over 250,000 page views.