Philippine government rolls out open-source portal

The Philippine Department of Science and Technology (DoST) has launched an open-source portal [] that aims to integrate databases of other government agencies as well as public and privately-run research institutions.

The portal currently links to some 65 databases of various DoST sub-agencies and is designed to compliment the multi-million peso E-Library project. Launched last year, the E-Library network connects private and government research institutions, some of which employs the subscription model.

'We are campaigning to get databases of other agencies like the Department of Health and Department of Agriculture and those of research institutions and academic communities,' said Fortunato Dela Pena, DoST undersecretary for information and communications technology (ICT).

Using the Web services model, the portal uses Java technology to interface with databases of partner agencies, whether running on open source or other proprietary database software such as Oracle or Microsoft.

The site currently allows users to perform integrated or categorical research as well as perform queries per individual database. Unlike performing a search using Google, which shows only 'static' content, the portal can perform a more extensive search of databases available online, hence providing more relevant results.

The project's next phase aims for more advanced research and create an e-commerce tool for users, such as a single window which integrates payment for a user's various database subscriptions.