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n°22  |  January   2008
Business cases
• Val d'Oise Council (France) • Liege Hospitals (Belqium)

Bull to partner the Val d’Oise council in the further development of the CapwebCT local e-government platform

  • 100% Open Source, CapwebCT is approved by the Cap Digital competitiveness cluster

  • Bull to provide hosting, architecture restructuring, industrialization of third-party application maintenance and implementation processes; this will also involve coordinating the CapwebCT Open Source community

The regional council for the Val d’Oise departement in France (CG95) has set itself the aim of helping the smaller local authorities in its area innovate thanks to New Information and Communications Technologies (NICTs).

CapwebCT is at the heart of this approach, with the delivery of four different sub-projects:

  • CapInfo is aimed at creating an Internet site with a built-in content management system constructed around Open Source components. The site is to have a fully configurable content and graphic style, and is to be based on a shared technical platform.
  • CapDémat offers local government users a personalized user space with à la carte local on-line services accessible via Internet. Fifteen on-line services – ranging from education to cultural events, births, marriages and deaths, and planning – were made available in 2007 for deployment in the authorities concerned. CapDémat is built around an on-line services generator that facilitates team working and collaboration.
  • CapAgent is an Intranet providing local council employees with a ‘virtual office’, where they can find all the team-working tools they need to organize, communicate, share and process information.
  • CapInter brings together a number of interactive tools enabling local councils to establish a working relationship with an identified user in a straightforward way.

This collection of software applications developed in Open Source is the result of a large number of contributions, making CapwebCT an extremely functionally rich solution that is currently being used by around a hundred local councils. The project has been officially stamped by the Cap Digital competitiveness cluster.

With the third-party application maintenance services it is providing, Bull will be helping CG95 promote and develop CapwebCT
Having been closely involved with the CapwebCT project ever since its initiation (with the prototype for the CapInfo Web site generator and a functional survey of service groupings for CapDémat), Bull has now been chosen as the provider of both corrective and evolutionary application maintenance, as well as host for the platform, and will be responsible for coordinating every aspect of this project:

  • Architecture: the CapwebCT platform is distributed throughout the Val d’Oise department. It is used for CG95’s own needs, and is likely to be distributed to all authorities in the region. This means its architecture not only has to be very robust, but also scalable and built around Open Source components in order to offer effective bespoke deployments with optimum timescales and costs. Bull has contributed to the design specification, and has helped choose the Open Source components to be used.
  • Hosting: CapwebCT is hosted at Bull’s highly secure Data Center, so that it can offer high-quality service around the clock, as well as controlling development work and optimizing costs. Today, more than one hundred local councils are being hosted.
  • Support: Bull supports CG95-approved companies, as this stamp of approval guarantees their ability to install CapwebCT. Third-party application maintenance processes must therefore be geared to ensuring continued ease of installation and configuration by other companies.
  • Sharing: CapwebCT is built using Open Source components, and is also destined to be redistributed within the community to facilitate its promotion, deployment and enrichment within the largest number of local councils. New developments will be re-distributed by both CG95 and Bull.
  • Chairing the CapwebCT Open Source community ( united around a user club, this entity enables CG95 to support approved companies and the partner network, to promote the implementation of the CapwebCT platform in other local authorities, and to encourage and gather together contributions to its development made by new users.

A 100% Open Source, functionally rich architecture
As part of the project to restructure the main module, Bull is supporting CG95 in the consolidation of the various modules. There are three challenges:

  • Implementing a long-lasting, robust and scalable architecture building upon an SOA model. The objective is to facilitate and rationalize exchanges between applications, whether this is via MOM-type asynchronous exchanges or synchronous (Web Services-type) exchanges, with the implementation of an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) to centralize administration and flows associated with exchanges.
  • Choosing the best Open Source components: for each new functional requirement, Bull works with its customer to select the most suitable Open Source applications according to functional, technical and life-cycle criteria.
  • Guaranteeing optimum quality: the aim of making CapwebCT a benchmark product for all French local authorities and to distribute it widely within the Open Source community means that delivering the highest-quality versions is essential. This requirement is being met thanks to the use of a high-performance quality tool that forms part of Bull’s industrial software development platform, NovaForge™.
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