The Vulcano project, partnered by the UPM's Faculty of Computer Sciences to raise open source software reliability and quality to similar levels as proprietary software
Spain is positioned in Europe as a sponsor of open source software with similar reliability and quality levels to proprietary software. Since 2006 it has been cooperating with a number of higher education institutions, including the Technical University of Madrid´s Faculty of Computer Sciences and another ten or so technology transfer centres and industrial partners on developing open source software in a quality and reliable environment.
The Vulcano project, set up by the Spanish Software and Services Initiative Platform (INES) with the support of the Avanza Plan, is the binding force behind this initiative, which has now bearing its first fruits.
Open source software is very widespread in academic circles. Industry is now starting to deploy open source software, and governments and administrations are promoting its adoption. For this reason, open source software has now has need of agile methodologies that improve and control the development process, quality mechanisms and measures to boost reliability, and innovative business models to encourage industry to adopt solutions based on and/or developed with open source software.
Europe already has major initiatives in the field of open source software development, like QualiPSo, the biggest initiative to funded by the European Commission to date. QualiPSo aims to raise open source software reliability and quality to similar levels as proprietary software.
There are other EU projects focusing on a range of open source software issues. Vulcano puts Spain on an equal footing to other European countries not only by adapting methodologies, processes, business models and the latest technologies to open source software, but also by setting up open source software communities, like Morfeo, of which several Vulcano partners are members.
To achieve its goals, Vulcano rests on three pillars.
The first is a project forge in a collaborative environment based on the latest technologies. The now complete first version of the forge places the stakes on easily shareable dynamic development environments customized to each developer's preferences.
The second pillar is a pilot project to demonstrate the results of an open source software project in conformity with the quality methodologies and mechanisms described by the project partners and using the forge to host and develop the project.
The evaluation of the pilot project will output feedback to improve and extend its functionality. The third pillar of this strategy is the deployment of a nationwide competence centre (virtual centre and/or several physical offices) helping businesses and local organizations to learn everything there is to know about the use of open source software: licences, collaborative development, development processes, etc. The competence centre will also provide personalized consultancy services to determine which business model is the best for business start-ups, as well as providing training on new technologies like Web 2.0, SOAP, REST, etc. Finally, the competence centre will promote local businesses at the European level through liaison with other similar centres in Europe. In actual fact, this competence centre will be part of the European network of competence centres set up by the European QualiPSo project. Through this network, businesses with contacts to the centre will not only be able to extend the scope of their business, but also exchange open source use experiences.
The UPM's School of Computing is participating in the Vulcano project through the Cettico research group, responsible for deploying competence centres and integrating tools in the forge kernel, and Babel,which is responsible for project dissemination. Another UPM project partner is the SYST group (based at the Higher Technical School of Computing), in charge of analysing and integrating quality tools into the forge, as well as analysing and applying agile methodologies.
The Vulcano project leader is ATOS ORIGIN, and other project partners are the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos de Madrid, Gesfor, Andago, UOC, TID, ISOCO, ITA, CTIC, ITI, YACO and ESI.