The GCTools are a growing suite of enterprise platforms for all public servants, helping them work in the digital age. The GCTools include:
- GCpedia, a wiki-based collaborative workspace and knowledge sharing platform;
- GCconnex, a professional networking platform for connecting people and ideas;
- GCcollab, which is similar to GCconnex but open to provincial/territorial public servants, students and academics from across Canada; and
- GCdirectory and GCintranet are also part of the GCTools; however, they are out of scope for the GCTools Hackathon as they are not open source.
GCconnex, GCpedia and GCcollab are built using Open Source Software (OSS). Maintenance and enhancement of these three tools have been managed by a small team within the Chief Information Officer Branch of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.
GCcollab is a professional collaboration platform, connecting federal, provincial and territorial public servants from across Canada with students and academics from Canadian colleges and universities. GCcollab is a major step toward a more innovative, open, and collaborative way of identifying, exploring and co-creating policy and research.
- increase the depth and breadth of data and information sharing between the academic and public sector communities to support improved deliberation on policy issues
- build a more connected, relevant and responsive cohort of public servants, students and academics
- contribute to a culture change as the public service is provided better access to emerging research, technologies, and communication approaches
- help academics and students improve their understanding of the policy, program and research development processes
- promote recruitment opportunities to those interested in joining the federal public service, as one specific featured section of the platform
To learn, connect and share, join GCcollab.
GCconnex was introduced to Government of Canada public servants in January 2009 as a professional networking platform for connecting and collaborating. The GCconnex platform played a significant role in engaging public servants and facilitating their involvement in enterprise-wide Blueprint 2020 activities.
- GCconnex is a professional networking and collaborative workspace for all employees of the federal public service.
- It allows people to connect and share information, thereby leveraging the power of networking towards a more effective and efficient public service.
- It features dynamic online communities where public servants can collaborate on projects, blog, chat via instant messaging, carry on discussions, and ask and answer each other’s questions.
- It is a professional platform to create your professional profile, share ideas, and connect people and information.
- GCconnex users can create or join groups on particular subjects, initiatives or projects, which can be either open to anyone interested, or kept closed to a specific community of interest.
GCpedia is an essential knowledge sharing tool, designed to facilitate collaboration, co-creation of information and providing access to subject matter experts across the federal public service.
Through the collaborative work of federal public servants, GCpedia is developing into a major information tool for the federal public service. Public servants who search within GCpedia will often be able to quickly get a whole-of-government perspective on most major government terms, concepts and practices.
GCpedia was formally launched as a government-wide pilot on October 28, 2008. GCpedia is an internal wiki, running on the same software as Wikipedia. All registered users can add and modify content, while anyone in the Government of Canada can view content. GCpedia has been used as a platform to take, publish, and distribute meeting minutes, to create project status dashboards, to collaboratively author interdepartmental papers, to brainstorm, and to create wiki-based briefing books.
WET (Web Experience Toolkit)
The themes of all our platforms are based on the Web Experience Toolkit, another collaborative open source project led by the Government of Canada. The WET is a front-end framework for building websites that are accessible, usable, interoperable, mobile friendly and multilingual. The standard look and feel for Government of Canada websites are built using WET, with different themes for internal and external sites.
Code - Open Source Software
The code for GCcollab, GCconnex and GCpedia is available on GitHub. The GCTools tech team has moved all active development to GitHub and is using open source and agile development methodologies. All issues (bugs, features/enhancements requests) are also on GitHub.
- GCconnex and GCcollab are both based on Elgg, the open source social networking engine.
- GCpedia is based on MediaWiki, the same open source software that powers Wikipedia.
Canada is a member of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), a global initiative for promoting transparency, empowering citizens, and leveraging new technologies to strengthen governance. Canada also announced in December 2016 that it will adopt the International Open Data Charter.
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