Civic Software Packages, Vendors, and Export Capabilities
I’m working on a relatively broad project to get local agencies’ software inventories, and am looking to build a list of vendors, software packages, and tips/tactics/strategies for getting exports from the above.
If you’ve had luck getting civic data, through public records request or the kindness of sources, and would be willing to share what software the agency used, what format you were able to get, and any other information you think would be useful, I’d really appreciate it, and I’ll keep the information updated in a list below.
Here’s what I’ve got so far:
- Sungard Public Sector
I know Vigilant Solutions provides a lot of law enforcement software/database products. That might be another good one to throw on the list.
As far as tactics, just know ahead of time that so many public records custodians have zero knowledge or awareness of any tech, even the systems they themselves use. You may need to do a considerable amount of coaching on this one.
This is a good idea. I hope you make the requests to equivalent agencies in different states (attorney general, medical examiners, crime labs).
I would like to see you add a request for a list of the training and workshops the information technology employees attended for the last two years, and the costs. The training could be part of the software purchase or an added cost but it will provide you which software they are likely using the most. If they attended workshops or training or upgrade explanations for oracle databases or other databases, they will be using that software the most. Get the current job descriptions for all the IT people because those should specify what languages and packages and networks and servers they must be conversant with before they are hired.
Next, I’d like to know how many of the agencies are using open source (free) software, based on Unix or some derivative of it.
Finally, I always like to know how much of their software is proprietary, so the agency is locked in to the expensive upgrades and the mere thought of switching software vendors is enough to give them heart attacks. Proprietary software can be nothing more than a macintosh database wrapped in a cloak that agencies are paying arms and legs for.