The ORDS Open Sourcing Project is overseeing the adaptation of the software underpinning the Oxford ORDS (Online Research Database Service) into a fully open source package.
The ORDS allows researchers to create, edit, search, and share relational databases via a web interface. The service has been developed in-house at IT Services over the last few years, with a combination of Jisc/HEFCE and University funding.
From the beginning, the intention was to make the ORDS an open-source resource that could be deployed by organisations beyond the University of Oxford. It was agreed, however, that the service should be piloted within Oxford to gauge demand and bring it to maturity. Since the launch of the service to Oxford researchers and their collaborators in August 2014, this goal has largely been achieved, and the process of adapting the software to enable public access to and wider use of the source code is now well underway. Expressions of interest in making use of the software have been received from several universities in the UK and beyond – and also from other organisations, including NASA.
The ORDS Open Sourcing Project is scheduled to conclude by the end of 2015. Further details about the open sourcing process (and about the ORDS service more generally) can be found on the ORDS website.