DOD to offer content management application.

A Defense Department intelligence office will release a customized version of an open source content management application that other agencies will be free to use.

The Joint Intelligence Center Pacific at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, has contracted Zope Corp. of Fredericksburg, Va., to customize a version of its ZopeforIntranets application, or Z4I, according to Zope CEO Robert Page.

Z4I is a commercial modification of the open source Zope content management system. Zope is Web content management software. Z4I is modified to manage contacts, calendars, tasks, threaded message boards, document libraries, and other services frequently accessed by private intranets. All these features can be accessed through a browser.

Since the modifications are being done under a federal services contract, the results of the work will be free for use by other agencies, according to Page. The Office of Management and Budget is encouraging agencies to reuse source code, applications and other components wherever possible (Click for GCN coverage).

Page said did not know if the JICPAC would maintain its source code, or if Zope would. Although the Zope software itself is free to download, agencies would still need to purchase Z4I to make use of JICPAC's modifications, Page said. Z4I costs about $80,000 to implement.

In addition to functions specific to the JICPAC office, Zope is developing a collaborative workflow module for the software. This module would allow users to send a document to multiple parties, distinguishing what modifications each recipient can do to that document. While most workflow tools allow office administrators to specify the electronic pathways documents take through a system, this module will offer 'ad-hoc,' capabilities Page said.

'This isn't an immutable workflow. What we're trying to do is provide a pathway to accomplish what people currently do with e-mail, but with organizational visibility,' Page said.

The customization work started last December and should be finished and implemented by the end of summer, Page said.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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