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What's OpenHMIS?

Open Source Software (OSS)

When most people hear Open Source, they think free or downloadable.  And that is one of our goals but more importantly Open Source for developers can mean sharing source code in a way that promotes freedom to innovate new tools and solutions that can make a difference for the providers that use HMIS and the homeless they serve.  The best programmers and analysts can join forces and collaborate to reach our ultimate goal – to end homelessness.

What Difference Does It Make? ...

Open Book Academy (OBA)

OpenHMIS is not only about sharing source code and data.  It is also about sharing ideas (the technology, the best practices, the tools and solutions) and providing a better understanding of what HMIS is and How it Works.  The OpenHMIS Open Book Academy follows the principles developed by the Khan Academy where traing videos and tutorials are available free of charge and delivered in simple 10 minute video format.

What Difference Does It Make? ...

Open DataBase Connectivity (ODBC)

When Data Analysts need access to data quickly and easily form a variety of data sources, they most often look to ODBC or Open DataBase Connectivity.  ODBC is a a strategic interface for accessing data from relational database management systems based on standard Structured Query Language (SQL).  ODBC provids an open, vendor-nuetral way of accessing data stored in a variety of proprietary or open source database management systems.

What Difference Does It Make? ...

Open Development Model (ODM)

Our Open Development Model combines all of the above characteristics along with a Goverance and Community of Practice (CoP) that will allow us to be responsive to the needs of our community.  ODM is a development model that harnesses the power of distributed peer review and transparency of process.

  • deep level of user engagement: if you don't have users then there is no point having a project.
  • transparency: being open in what the community is undertaking and the way decisions are made.
  • collaboration: a means of working within a diverse group of people, something that the Internet has obviously made easier.
  • agility: once work begins and there is a serious engagement with users, ideas and plans may need to change.
  • sustainability: having the capacity to keep developing an application solution over the necessary period of time.  

Open Records Sharing & Security (ORSS)

Probably what drives the use of HMIS more than anything else is the ability to share data between programs, agencies, and communities across the country.  We need to collect information about Clients from different programs and combine the data in order to analyze, measure performance and make better decisions about what is working and what is not working. 

What Difference Does It Make? ...