Docs Italia beta

Public documents, made digital.

1.7. Glossary

Artefacts By-products created during software development that help describe functions, architecture, design and commissioning; for example: functional requirements, description of databases and processes, the test set.

Code Hosting (tool) A platform that allows for the publication of the source code, organised into multiple repositories. Code hosting tools often also offer functionalities related to software evolution such as ticketing systems, processes for third-party code contribution, an area for downloading releases, etc. Within the framework of these guidelines, the tools chosen by the administrations must have minimum requirements in terms of functionality (3.4.1 Identifying a code hosting tool).

Source code The source code (often referred to simply as ‘source’) is the text of a program written in a programming language (e.g. C or Visual Basic) from which the final program used by the user is derived. Access to the source code is essential for modifying a program.

Community Aggregation of natural and legal persons and resources (e.g. forums, chatrooms and technologies for meeting and interacting in a virtual location), with rules and a structure, aimed at the implementation and/or management of a common project.

Open format (data) The public data format, versioned, comprehensively documented and without restrictions at implementation. An open format is a format recognised by a standardisation body and maintained in a shared manner among multiple bodies that provide concurrent implementations, with a transparent process. The format must remain consistent with the affirmed version.

Data format Data representation method.

Interoperability In the field of information technology, the capacity of different and autonomous systems to cooperate and exchange information automatically, on the basis of shared rules.

Licence In the field of information technology, the legal text with which certain rights are granted to the software and the data distributed, which would otherwise be reserved by exclusivity rights.

Lock-in A technical and economic phenomenon in which a generic user is unable to free themselves from a previously made technological choice. This inability is typically caused by the high costs of changing technology but, in many cases, it may also depend on the adoption of proprietary solutions that prevent migration. The use of open formats for data storage, and free access to such data (especially in the case of SaaS solutions) are prerequisites for avoiding lock-in situations.

Open source This refers to a method in which software can be licensed. It is implemented by granting the public rights to use, copy, modify and distribute copies, including modified copies, of the software; to do this, the source code must also be freely available. Also referred to as ‘free software’, ‘open software’ or ‘software released under open license’. The certification body for software licences corresponding to this definition is the Open Source Initiative (OSI).

Repository Within a code hosting tool, a repository is the minimum containment unit for the source code of a piece of software. The term ‘reportorio’ is its Italian translation (used for example in CAD Article 69(1)).

Reuse In the context of these guidelines, this refers to the process outlined by the CAD (Article 69) with which an administration distributes (‘making available for reuse’) software that it owns in open source, for the benefit of other administrations that can use it (‘reusing’). All reusable software is open source, but not all open source software is reusable (since not all open source software is owned by an administration).

SaaS Software as a Service. Refers to a method of software distribution that does not involve installation on operators’ workstations, but that occurs through remote access to a server, for example by connecting to an address through a browser. Wikipedia is an example of software distributed in Software as a Service mode.

Proprietary software This is software that has restrictions on its use, modification, reproduction or redistribution imposed by the owner of the economic exploitation rights, i.e. the author or - in the event of a transfer of proprietary rights - the assignee of the rights in question.

TCO Total Cost of Ownership: Approach used to assess all the costs of the life cycle of an IT resource calculated over a time window appropriate to the context of the assessment and that includes the cost of migration to another solution (e.g. acquisition, installation, management, maintenance and decommissioning). The TCO approach is based on the consideration that the total cost of using an IT resource depends not only on the acquisition costs, but also on all the costs that occur during the entire operating life of the resource itself.