On Friday Macon Phillips, the White House New Media Director, made public that it is using Open Atrium for internal collaboration within the Executive Office of the President. The White House’s continued public push into using open source software as the crux of its technology is amazing. Macon, while speaking in the opening session of the Tech@State conference, also announced details around the code they’ve helped develop and have released back out - see the release notes on www.whitehouse.gov/tech.
Prior to launching its internal site on Open Atrium, the White House helped strengthen the platform’s core by investing in key modules such as Features, Context, Spaces, Admin, Strongarm, and Boxes. These modules are key to building products using Drupal, and this most recent round of investment by the White House included significant UI improvements, specifically better compatibility with accessibility tools and with older web browsers, and improvements to performance, internal APIs, and automated tests. This work with the White House led to new public releases for all of the modules mentioned above.
On this project we worked closely with the team at Phase2 Technology, under the guidance and management of General Dynamics IT as the prime contract holder working with the White House New Media team on many of their internal and public websites including their internal Open Atrium instance and WhiteHouse.gov. This team also worked closely with them on Form Manager, Utility Bar, IMCE Tools, Edge Side Includes.
Investment like this increases efficiencies gained by government agencies utilizing a common platform like Open Atrium - the Department of Education and the Department of Veterans Affairs are also using Open Atrium. Additionally these modules are powering thousands of Open Atrium sites, other products like Managing News, OpenPublish, and OpenPublic, and a large number of other Drupal sites.
It’s really exciting that the White House team is so committed to giving back to open source communities with code contributions and smart investments like this.