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CIRCABC: Communication and Information Resource Centre for Administrations, Businesses and Citizens


CIRCABC (Communication and Information Resource Centre for Administrations, Businesses and Citizens) is an application used to create collaborative workspaces where communities of users can work together over the web and share information and resources. CIRCABC will replace CIRCA (Communication and Information Resource Centre for Administrations), an eGovernment application supporting the online collaborative activities of the European Union's public administrations.

CIRCABC supports the development of eGovernment best practice: it makes public administration documents more accessible and harmonised. With the CIRCABC Open Source release, businesses and private associations are given the opportunity to use this tool for their own needs.

CIRCABC 3.0 is now available with enhanced features.

Last update: August 2009


What is CIRCABC?

CIRCABC is an open-source, web-based application developed on top of the OSS Alfresco platform.
It enables widespread collaborative groups to share information and resources in private workspaces over the web.

CIRCABC enables to:

• Distribute and manage documents and files in any format, many languages and with version control
• Manage translations through version-controlled multi-lingual editions and execute  multi-lingual documents search in documents
• Open workspaces to visually-impaired users (WAI level A compliant)
• Describe documents more precisely by adding document dynamic properties and defining keywords in all the EU languages
• Implement fined-grained document access permissions
• Execute bulk upload and download of documents
• Schedule events and meetings through an internet calendaring system synchronised with mail/calendar client systems like Outlook, Thunderbird or gmail
• Publish information about interest groups as a web page
• Share areas of workspaces with other workspaces set on CIRCABC


CIRCABC fits with the user's language preferences. The user interface is translated into the 23 official languages of the European Union.

Users can create and version multilingual editions. Documents with several translations are brought together into version-controlled multilingual editions. The titles and keywords of pictures, audiovisual documents and sound recordings can be translated into several languages.

The CIRCABC's search engine retrieves information from the properties and full text of multilingual documents.

Wide accessibility:

CIRCABC is compatible with the WCAG 1.0 (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines), a set of recommendations from the W3C (World Wide Web Consortium). This means that visually-impaired people can actively employ most of CIRCABC functionality.


CIRCABC users only see and can only consult the information they are entitled for. The user interface is mapped into users' access profiles.

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The objective of CIRCABC is to offer a reliable, secure and efficient collaborative application to widespread communities of users to enable them to work on the same subject and achieve common goals in a swift and cost-effective manner.

Moreover, in the spirit of other OSS projects, CIRCABC invites its users to play an active part in its developer community.

How does CIRCABC work?

CIRCABC implements the concept of Interest Groups (IG), a private workspace designed for and shared by a community of users, meaning people working together on a specific topic. Each interest group is managed by one or several interest group leaders.
It may be entirely or partly public (no authentication required) or with registered access (access reserved for its members).

An IG is characterised by:

• One or several responsible leaders;
• A group of users (potentially unlimited);
• A set of services (see below);
• A collection of contents brought together under a main topic.

Interest Group services


The library can be described as a tree of folders (so-called 'spaces') filled with content. Several interest groups can share a same space of a Library. The Library is the place where the documents are stored, managed and shared. They can be bulk-loaded, versioned, bulk-downloaded, etc. They can be grouped together with their translations into multilingual editions.


Members' directory:

This service provides information on registered users (who can apply for membership in any Interest Group). The members of an Interest Group can ask for their contact information to be hidden from or shown to the other members.


These groups provide a forum where the members of an Interest Group can discuss a topic or the documents they are sharing.


The IG leaders can customise the look and fill in the pages presenting the interest group.


The service keeps users posted about the meetings and various events that are organised in the frame of an interest group on CIRCABC. This service is delivered by the mean of open exchange of calendar-data and scheduling information across internet. It is based upon a standard calendar and notification system. It targets the well-known mail/calendar systems like Outlook, Thunderbird or gmail.

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How to use CIRCABC?

How to join an Interest Group on the CIRCABC Enterprise version?

The interest group leaders grant access to the groups they are administrating.

Once logged in CIRCABC, the applicants select a header. Then they choose a category of interest groups. At last, they click on the name of an interest group and follow the link "Join this group".

Public Interest Groups can be consulted without authentication.

How to download CIRCABC-OSS version?

CIRCABC OSS software is offered free of charge through the EUPL 1.0 (European Union Public Licence). The EUPL is an open-source software licence approved by the Commission on 9 January 2007 as the licence to be used for the distribution of software developed within the framework of IDABC.
For more information about EUPL 1.0 :
To download CIRCABC software and consult relative information :

How to become a member of the CIRCABC developer community

By promoting the use of open-source software, CIRCABC is in line with the activities of the Open Source Observatory. Becoming a member of the CIRCABC developer community gives you the opportunity to give feedback and to help to improve this tool by sharing your experience.

Feel free to contact for further information about the CIRCABC developer community.

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About us

CIRCABC is financed by the IDABC Programme managed by a steering committee comprising DG MARKT (Directorate-General for the Internal Market), Eurostat (the Statistical Office of the European Communities) and DG DIGIT (Directorate-General for Informatics). DIGIT is responsible for coordinating development and the user community. It hosts and provides helpdesk and support.

For further information, feel free to contact or visit

Technical Information

Responsible service

DG Informatics - DIGIT .A.3 EGIS

Project coordinator

Pascal Brahy


Countries involved 

All EU Member States

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