Open source scored its latest government takeover, with MySQL AB nabbing a five-year contract with the General Services Administration that will put its open-source database at the fingertips of government customers.
As it is, MySQL already hums under thousands of federal, state and local government entities, including Los Alamos National Labs, the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Geological Survey, NASA and the Department of Defense.
With the GSA contract, GS-35F-0131R Schedule 70, government customers will be able to purchase and deploy MySQL through Carahsoft Technology Corp. The GSA schedule is effective Dec. 20, 2005 through Nov. 19, 2009.
The win comes at a time when governments are increasingly turning to open source, much to the chagrin of Microsoft Corp. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, for one, has set a deadline of Aug. 31 for storing all executive branch documents in OpenDocument Format.
The U.S. federal government also met in November to flesh out a process of building an open-source software stack that will be used across agencies to develop, deploy and maintain applications across their life cycle. That stack will include such open-source components as the JBoss application server and the Eclipse application development environment.
Other countries such as China are also on the cusp of embracing open source, as desktop Linux continues to seep in and corrode Windows dominance.
The goal of all these government moves is manifold, but access to open formats and cost savings are the common threads.
Government employees can get information on ordering MySQL by contacting Carahsoft at 1-888-44-MySQL or by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.