The French Inland Revenue service announced on Thursday that it has chosen JBoss's open-source application server to run the next version of its tax applications.
The move comes as part of a French ministry initiative called 'Copernic' that will overhaul the country's entire tax IT infrastructure. The ministry was accepting tenders for a J2EE application server and although they did not reveal which companies JBoss bid against, it is thought that IBM's Websphere, BEA's WebLogic and Oracle participated in the tender process. IT services firm Atos Origin will support the JBoss system for at least three years.
Jean-Marie Lapeyre, Copernic's technical director, said that a "detailed evaluation" had been conducted during the tender process and JBoss was chosen because of its reliability and performance.
"The advantages of open source are already well-known: very low cost -- or free of charge -- and source code opening that guarantees the reliability, durability and security of these solutions," said Lapeyre.
James Governor, principal analyst at RedMonk, said the announcement is an important step forward for the open-source movement.
"There has been a lot of talk about European public sector organisations adopting open-source technology, but it has been just talk. This is an announcement and a formal commitment to an open-source application server. That is why it is significant," Governor said.
The news comes a day after the city of Munich stalled its migration of 14,000 desktops from Windows to Linux because of potential legal issues.