Open source gains ground in Brazil

The South American state of Parana has nibbled at eGroupWare

The Brazilian state of Parana has become the latest public organisation to take advantage of open source software by moving staff onto a modified e-mail and calendaring package.

Some 10,000 government employees will be shifted from a proprietary application to a specially customised version of eGroupWare, to be named Expresso. It will be rolled out on top of the open source MaxDB database.

EGroupWare is available under the open source General Public Licence (GPL). It offers e-mail, calendaring, an infolog for tracking customer calls and setting up to-do lists, a trouble ticket system, forums, personal and corporate address books and a knowledge base.

Parana's move is part of a wider shift towards open source software within the Brazilian public sector, and the team behind eGroupWare hope to take advantage of this.

"Since the current government came to power, the state is no longer investing in new software licenses but is focusing on investing in free software development," said eGroupWare in a statement.

"In addition to the new groupware tool, work is being done on a project called Paranavegar, which has the aim of bringing internet access and software courses to the poor communities in the country, by using free software as a mean to bringing hope into the hard everyday life."

South America is becoming something of an open source power house. ZDNet UK reported back in March that has shifted its core Unix and database administration operations to Buenos Aires to take advantage of the open source expertise it had found there.