Suse Linux on Intel hardware is the server platform of choice for the New Zealand Inland Revenue Department as it embarks on a major, compliance-driven electronic document management project.
The department is still investigating its options, but has already specified Linux running on an Intel platform as its preferred platform for the project, ahead of Sun Sparc for Solaris.
Liz Huckerby, national manager for business management services, says Linux is part of IRD’s Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) environment. The department is also deploying SAP on the open source operating system.
For the electronic document records management project (eDRMS), she says, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 is the preferred flavour, followed by Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.
“Linux has been the preferred platform for new development of systems of this kind for a number of years,” Huckerby says. “Our standard operating environment lists Linux as the prime candidate for an operating system for our servers in the mid- and network-tiers of our architecture — where the electronic records and document management system sits,” she says.
Huckerby says Linux is a natural migration from Unix, which the department has been operating for over 15 years, as most of the skills are transferable.
“It also fits in with our wider platform strategy which includes virtualisation and consolidation,” she says.
Linux is also being used on some web servers and in some parts of the department’s imaging platform.Huckerby says the records management project is still in its early stages. Information is being gathered to scope the project, which will bring the department into compliance with the Public Records Act 2005 by a 2010 deadline.
However, Huckerby is hopeful the system will be live in at least one business unit by the end of 2008.
The Public Records Act applies to all sorts of records but the eDRMS will be focused mainly on unstructured information such as email and documents in shared folders.
It will also be used to manage physical records at a file level.
Tax returns and other customer-focused records are managed by other systems developed within Inland Revenue.
Integration between these systems and the eDRMS has yet to be determined.