Repeatedly, over the years, I have stated that no corporation can make better and cheaper software than the whole world does.“In July 2009, Patrick J. Burns, vice president for information technology at Colorado State University, led the first-ever adaptation of the Kuali financial system.
"We had an interim chief financial officer, and when I made the recommendation to him, his comment was, â€˜OK, but itâ€™s your neck if it goes south,â€™" Mr. Burns recalls.
The switch cost $1.3-million to $1.7-million, depending on how the calculations are done, he says, estimating that the university saved at least a couple of million dollars.” The world has more and better programmers than any corporation. All it takes are FLOSS principles and a bit of organized effort.
The case in the article linked below describes some US colleges that were faced with $millions per annum of payments to a few corporations for permission to have computers the colleges owned compute stuff like finances and enrolments. One university spent $100million installing some software from Oracle and setting it up (Oracle charges ~$10 per employee per function per annum and ~$1000 per user per function per annum. It adds up to $millions per college per annum.). Now they are spending ~$1million per annum instead, contributing to a FLOSS project, Kuali, which will do what they want how they want it done. They share with a bunch of other colleges all with similar motivations. By sharing the load, each college gets what it needs for a lot less than paying some corporation multiple times what software costs to develop. The world does not owe big corporations a living. Make them earn it by competing on price/performance instead of lock-in.
It’s not rocket-science. If the inputs and outputs are known, anyone can make a computer do the maths. Bigger projects just take more contributors/contributions which is no problem at all when the world cooperates. Kuali started with financial management as a target. Now it encompasses human resources, student tracking and a bunch of other tasks. 30 US colleges and one Canadian university are now using parts of Kuali or in the process of implementation.
You can download Kuali source code here. This is a serious amount of source code. The KFS financial software is 226 MB zipped…
“To implement KFS, a developer should have a good working knowledge of the following:
Java Servlets and Configuration
Spring Framework – specifically the Spring Beans XML format
JDBC and Databases”
The licence is Educational Community License version 2.0