Dutch MP on Open Source: ‘Break the Vicious Cycle’

June 18, 2015

Contributed by Jeannot Bos

Dutch MP Astrid Oosenbrug delivered the opening keynote during an EnterpriseDB seminar in The Hague, Netherlands on the Dutch government’s use of open source software. It’s been a topic of lingering debate in the Netherlands. Since the early 2000’s a number of initiatives to make open source mandatory were largely unsuccessful. This year however, Oosenbrug championed a motion, which passed, to make open source the preferred option in procurements.

“I believe the time is now to change the image problem of open source. We need to break the vicious circle of blindly choosing traditional software vendors. This motion forces the government into action to accelerate the use of open source software and open standards,” said Oosenbrug during her keynote address.

Dutch government institutions are now required to consider open source as the preferred choice in procurements. Additionally, the government has to develop exit strategies that enable them to move away from existing proprietary software solutions within five years. This important milestone will most likely accelerate the already growing use of open source solutions in the Dutch government.

Echoes of Linux Rising

EDB staged the event with partners Red Hat, Comparex and Bauhaus ArtITech. The goal was to provide a forum for government agencies in the Netherlands to learn about alternatives to traditional software vendors. Marc Linster, senior vice president of products and services at EDB, delivered a presentation on the value proposition of open source databases and Postgres for government and businesses.

In his presentation, Marc Linster made the case that the Postgres database is on its way to have the same impact on business IT infrastructures that Linux had more than a decade ago. By using an open source database, companies can free up a lot of money spent on their core IT infrastructure, and use it to fund new applications that drive innovation and engagement. The recent Gartner report, The State of Open Source RDBMSs 2015, delivers a clear message that open source is quickly becoming the new standard for databases:  "By 2018, more than 70% of new in-house applications will be developed on an OSDBMS, and 50% of existing commercial RDBMS instances will have been converted or will be in process.”

One of the most important aspects, according to Linster, is for companies to find a good partner to help them make the transition to open source. Red Hat has been providing enterprise-grade open source solutions and services for years, and EnterpriseDB is in an excellent position to do the same for the database. An Oracle-certified database administrator in attendance asked Marc Linster if he would be able to migrate from Oracle to Postgres easily. He was happy to learn that this was indeed possible, even within weeks.

Government Use Cases
Representatives of two major Dutch government institutions, Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs (DUO) and Het Kadaster, also presented during the event. They painted a positive picture of the government moving away from proprietary software solutions at an increasing pace. DUO has recently migrated from an IBM middleware environment to Red Hat JBoss and Het Kadaster migrated part of their infrastructure that had been based on an Oracle database and Oracle Spatial to EDB’s Postgres Plus Advanced Server.

Based on the over-capacity crowd and comments during the event, EDB and partners have called the event a success. But what will bring the government agencies success will be putting what they learned into practice and transforming their data center economics with EDB’s Postgres Plus.

Jeannot Bos is Sales Director, Europe at EnterpriseDB.

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