My previous blog gave a teaser to the concept of Microsoft and Open Source. This had more than an air of poetic license about it as what is happening is the Governments have realized that they are having to pay for the same bespoke work over and over again when really they should pay once and then only pay a small service charge for repeats of the same.
In the UK this is particularly obvious around the NHS project where multiple Hospital trusts are paying for what is basically the same integration work over and over again. In reality this is true but not quite the full story. Aspects of the work are the same - connection to the Main spine ect. Adapters to PAS ect. and these components should be 'open source' for the NHS. But there is work that is very much of a bespoke nature for a specific trust that may be shouldn't be 'open source'.
Anyway I digress - Microsoft with one of its partners - WCI have set up a central portal repository for the 'sharing' of the NHS integration components for use in NHS projects. So you could say Microsoft has bought in to 'Open Source' - in a way yes, but in another no! Microsoft is merely facilitating other commercial organizations being able to give away their IP and are not giving any of theirs.
I think this NHS share portal is commendable and will support it, I am also interested to see if other NHS integration partners do. At the same event as the launch of this I also picked up literature from a rival company detailing the exclusiveness of there own components to achieve the same aims…time will tell.
At the end of the day what we are talking about is merely the plumbing to be used and not the business processes to be achieved - that’s were the really successes lie for each engagement.