The Open Source Corporate Management Information System (OSCMIS) is a collection of web-based software tools and modules developed and deployed internally by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) to manage the agency's human resources, security, training and personnel management activities. The application suite currently consists of approximately 110 different modules and is used by all of DISA's more than 16,000 users worldwide.
As the CMIS program was original work developed by DISA employees, the software code was available as public domain. In an effort to make the application suite and future code releases broadly available to all government and non-government entities, DISA collaborated with the non-profit Open Source Software Institute to release an open source version of the CMIS software. As part of the continuing collaborative agreement, DISA provides technical support through regular code updates and program releases to the new open source code base. In addition, DISA's IP legal council was actively involved in selecting an open source license which best addressed DISA's concerns and mission objectives for the release of the suite as an open source solution.
The OSCMIS suite is now available to government, academic, industry and private users under a DISA-approved open source software license (Open Software License v 3.0). There are no initial or recurring license fees or other mandatory fees or restrictive obligations associated with the open source program. As with any enterprise software application suite, adopters are responsible for common expenses associated with deployment, customization, support, maintenance, hosting and training.
Several lessons have been learned from this effort. These include: 1) the government has identified a unique way to protect publicly-funded intellectual property by means of open source software licensing model; 2) government IP legal counsel has reviewed the body of open source software licenses and identified existing licenses which meet and satisfy government concerns with regards to internal and external distribution of software code; 3) and the government has identified a successful method of releasing code and contributing modifications and updates back to an open source software program community.