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What is an open source platform?

Open source platforms (open platforms) are a new paradigm shift for government and industry. An open platform is essentially an enterprise-grade, cloud-agnostic hosting platform that’s completely built using open source components.

About open platforms

Traditionally, while many services and code were becoming open source as part of the open source movement, there was still one piece of the stack that was proprietary — the platform. This all changed in October 2017, when open-sourced their Drupal hosting platform, Lagoonan open source platform for an open source CMS.

The open platform history

Thanks to the disruption of cloud, infrastructure as code (IAC) — sometimes referred to as programmable infrastructure — provides IT infrastructure that operations’ teams can automatically manage and provision through code, rather than using a manual process.

Thanks further to innovators such as Google, cloud-agnostic IAC is possible with platforms such as Kubernetes. Kubernetes is essentially a portable, extensible open-source platform for managing containerised workloads and services that facilitates both declarative configuration and automation. Kubernetes was donated to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), a vendor-neutral home for fostering collaboration and community engagement between strong global contributors of open platform solutions.

Open and agnostic platform technologies such as Kubernetes have provided a strong foundation for open source platform projects (aka distributions) focused on optimised stacks for specific and individual applications. Open source CMSs such as Drupal are no exception.

Open platforms and open government

Open platforms — along with open source CMSs, open data and open design — can help governments deliver on their open government targets. In fact, we consider these areas to be Salsa Digital’s four pillars for the delivery of open government. A great example is Victoria’s open source platform, Bay, which is part of the Department of Premier and Cabinet’s (DPC) wider whole-of-government Single Digital Presence project. We partnered with DPC to realise our shared vision for a fully open source solution, including the platform.

Salsa’s open source platform services

Salsa has teamed up with open platform experts to enhance and deliver open platforms to our government and non-government clients. Specifically, amazee’s open source platform project (distribution) Lagoon is a platform built and optimised for Drupal and supports other open source CMSs based on the LAMP/LEMP stack such as Wordpress.

Together with, Salsa is at the forefront of delivering and managing enterprise-grade open source hosting platforms to government, following the recent delivery of a fully managed open source hosting platform based on Kubernetes, OpenShift and Lagoon, for Victoria’s Single Digital Presence program led by the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet, and the launch of the new GovCMS platform, also based on Lagoon. In addition Salsa is delivering the open source content management system based on Drupal 8.

Salsa’s open platform services cover:

  • Public cloud — Essentially open source, secure and resilient hosting for your open source project on a shared, managed platform.

  • Dedicated cluster managed by us — A fully managed, dedicated cluster, setup and configured to meet your specific needs.

  • Dedicated cluster managed by you — We’ll collaborate with your DevOps team to setup and configure a dedicated cluster for you to manage (with us to optionally provide level 2/3 support if required).

  • DevOps-aaS — On demand and/or monthly retainers to provide DevOps support ad-hoc and/or structurally as required.

  • Open platform enhancements — Developing new platform features and/or making improvements to existing features.

Open everything

Open platform is not all Salsa Digital is open to. Salsa’s business model is not about intellectual property (IP), rather we’re focused on delivering projects with the whole stack open source. Our strategy is focused on open everything, OpenX.


Case Studies

Launching Bay, Victoria’s open platform

Bay is the open source platform product in Victoria’s new whole-of-government digital platform, Single Digital Presence. Bay gives Victorian Government agencies access to a secure, open source platform for their digital services and provides many benefits, such as a faster web experience, an automated testing and deployment continuous integration (CI) pipeline, and cost efficiencies.


New design template for govCMS

Salsa Digital created a visually appealing govCMS design template that was flexible enough to meet the needs of many different agencies and, when customised, could give each govCMS site individual personality.


New Department of Treasury and Finance website

Salsa Digital worked on the new Department of Treasury and Finance (DTF) website, a pilot site in Victoria’s Single Digital Presence project. The result was a new and improved website that benefits from being built on a whole-of-government digital platform.



Salsa Digital and to build next generation GovCMS platform

Media release: Salsa Digital and will build the next generation GovCMS platform as part of a three-year contract. The new Salsa Digital/ solution will bring GovCMS onto an open source platform making the entire technology stack open source for the first time. It will also feature cutting-edge web development tools.


Containers and OpenShift

A container is a way to package the application and its dependencies so it becomes very easy to install the application. We’ve used containers in conjunction with OpenShift for a few projects recently.


Getting developers ready for the next iteration of GovCMS

On 31 August we presented at a GovCMS Drupal Services Panel Briefing, one of the first steps in sharing the new GovCMS vision with the wider GovCMS community, and getting them ready for the many improvements coming their way.


Amazee’s Michael Schmid on open platforms

In October 2017’s Michael Schmid open-sourced Drupal hosting platform, Lagoon. Salsa sat down to chat to him about open platforms, the past and the future.


Get in touch

We help government agencies and organisations around Australia use open source platforms to deliver real benefits — we’d love to chat to you about how an open platform can help your organisation.  Use the form below or call us on 1300 727 952 to get in touch.

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