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By | Gavin Clarke 16th May 2012 18:03's G-Cloud 2.0 pushes back launch date

Public sector IT bazaar turns to open source

The launch of the second version of the UK government’s IT shopping catalogue G-Cloud has slipped to the end of spring.

G-Cloud 2.0 is now slated to arrive by “end of May to start of June”, the Cabinet Office has confirmed – which will be several weeks behind the planned early May rollout date. An announcement on the delay is expected on Thursday.

There was no word on precisely why the G-Cloud overhaul was being held up. Denise McDonagh, the new official heading the project, warned last month that it may fall behind after admitting that the early May due date was suggested “in a civil service” way.

The government had failed to anticipate the amount of work involved in setting up version one, which was launched in February, and it's possible this has happened again.

G-Cloud 1.0, which tried to organise the supply of technology to Blighty's public sector, attracted the interest of far more IT companies than expected as firms queued to get onto the government’s pre-approved ICT catalogue.

Version two is expected to bring onboard even more suppliers, including cloud giant Amazon and SaaS vendor, and vendor ratings.

Also coming is more open source as the government decreases its dependency on Microsoft and the Windows Azure cloud that choked on a leap year bug this year that took the flagship G-Cloud shopping web app CloudStore offline.

It seems CloudStore will relaunch using "open source", according to a Cabinet Office blog post from March here.

It is possible the portion of the website that contains all the vendor information and rankings will live in Azure. The plan had been to go fully open source, but “it has not been possible to do so this fully in the next version of CloudStore”.

“We are still committed to considering a full open-source solution as part of this ongoing development and are hopeful we can include API and product rating and reviews in future iterations too,” the blog stated.

“Open source” is broad topic, and it’s not entirely clear what's being used - whether it’s the language, development framework, CMS, database or something else. ®

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