Government releases second iteration of CloudStore

By Stuart Sumner
18 May 2012 View Comments
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The government has released a new version of its CloudStore, an online service for public sector bodies that lists 1,700 cloud-based products and services from 257 different vendors.

Further reading

The new iteration, which the government initially promised would be available in April this year, adds the ability to make purchases through the store so long as the buyer is registered to use the government's eMarketplace platform.

For buyers, it also adds:

  • An improved search engine that allows free form search alongside the ability to filter on G-Cloud attributes;
  • The ability to view supplier service definitions, terms and conditions, rate cards and other documents;
  • The ability to compare services and standard configuration prices side by side.

For suppliers, it adds:

  • The ability to make changes to a CloudStore entry directly;
  • A more open and fairer marketplace through side-by-side service comparisons;
  • Quicker and easier payments.

Despite the government's commitment to using open-source tools where possible, the CloudStore has been built with proprietory software. According to Eleanor Stewart, engagement manager for the G-Cloud programme, her department's hands were tied by a commitment to use existing technology.

"This iteration is built as part of the government eMarketplace so it's made use of an existing government platform."

A spokesperon for the G-Cloud added later on Twitter:

"We just couldn't [use open source] for this version as [we're] reusing existing government systems. [We are] still committed to doing it in open source though."

Stewart added that her team will now work on enabling users to leave reviews of products and services on the store, among other new functionality.

"We're going to focus on improving access to the CloudStore catalogue data so others can create stores tailored to different audiences and look at putting in place ratings and reviews so customers can tell others what they think about the quality of different services," she said.

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