Over the past few years I have thought a lot about how to encourage the development of an Open Source Local Government Software Suite, and in particular an open source Asset Management System. I have also done work on developing an Asset Management System Specification.
I think one way of progressing all of the above is to split the AMS Spec into two parts.
Part 1 - a spec for an online database
Part 2 - a spec for developing AM functionality for the database
To my way of thinking the database should have the following properties:
- A web-based interface
- Ability to record a transaction for every change made to the database
- Ability to rollback the database to any point in time
- Ability to add new fields and tables to the database as required
- Ability for users to easily create and save queries and reports
- Ability to pass data to the system via a URL
- Ability to automatically assign a unique URL to any query or report generated
- Ability to generate embed code for every saved query and report
- Ability to assign varying permissions to individual database users
The database could be hosted on Council servers, but I think a cloud-based solution would have advantages, including the possibility of sharing the system and the associated development costs with other Councils
I need to flesh out this proposal a bit, but I thought I should write my initial thoughts dowm before I forget them.
- Write specification for online database
- Call for and evaluate tenders
- Populate database
- Experiment with system - write own queries and trial
- Embed the queries into a wiki or Council Encyclopedia
- If necessary document what additional functionality is required, and find someone that can do the additional development.
One of the current othodoxies is that an Asset Management System should be integrated with other Council systems. I think a better way of thinking about this is that all software systems should be developed in a way that makes them easy to integrate with all other systems. I suspect that making a system web-based and capable of passing information via a URL might be a good way of managing this, but I would be interested to hear what IT people think about this.