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Open Source Expertise

Catalyst provides services to some of New Zealand's largest organisations. We specialise in providing open source solutions, and have been successfully doing so since 1999.

Catalyst has substantial in-depth practical knowledge in a number of free and open source technologies. Our skills in these areas are sought both within New Zealand and internationally. In many cases our staff are significant contributors to these projects, and as an organisation we have successfully deployed solutions using these technologies in a wide range of circumstances.



Catalyst is a leading contributor to the Moodle eLearning platform project (www.moodle.org), and has been for a number of years. We specialise in scaling Moodle clusters to support large user bases and high-performance environments. We can work with your in-house IT teams to extend the reach of Moodle and provide high-quality support and development across the board.


While Drupal (www.drupal.org) is a popular content management system with many web development shops, Catalyst has the specialist skills and experience needed when high-performance, scalability, fault-tolerance and security are key design considerations. We have created complex business applications using the Drupal framework, as well as sites optimised for high peak loads. We provide custom development on Drupal, are SOLR search specialists, and are contributors to the open source project itself.


Our Koha team can rapidly and cost-effectively establish this leading open source library management system for your organisation. We understand the needs of library staff and library users and can provide expertise throughout the process, including migration from your existing LMS and integration with your current IT systems.


Mahara (www.mahara.org) is the leading open source ePortfolio product, originally developed here at Catalyst. We can help you deploy Mahara on a large scale and provide effective integration with eLearning platforms, student management and identity management systems.




Catalyst has built considerable expertise in the open source database PostgreSQL (www.postgresql.org). We use it across a wide range of business-critical applications and have a maintainer of the PostgreSQL project on our staff. We can help organisations already using PostgreSQL to extend use, improve performance and troubleshoot new applications. To reduce costs and improve performance in high-load web applications, we also help organisations migrate from databases such as Oracle to PostgreSQL.


Catalyst has standardised on one of the most open Linux distributions, Debian (www.debian.org), and Ubuntu (www.ubuntu.com), which is based on Debian. We can provide expertise and support in establishing Debian/Ubuntu within your organisation's server and desktop environments. Catalyst maintains local mirrors of these distributions.


The Git (git-scm.com) distributed version control system has become very popular with the availability of open hosted code repositories like GitHub (www.github.com). Catalyst uses Git extensively , and we can provide training and support to enable your development teams to make the most of it.


Samba is the open source software suite that binds the Unix/Linux and MS Windows platforms together into interoperable networks. It includes an SMB3 file server, print server, and an Active Directory Domain Controller allowing Unix hosts to act as a genuine peer to their Windows counterparts.

Android and mobile applications

Catalyst has extensive experience with mobile content delivery, including mobile ecommerce, SMS applications and more recently bespoke Android (www.android.com) applications. We can help your organisation embrace mobile using sustainable open technologies backed by sound practical experience. Catalyst maintains robust high-performance SMS gateways into New Zealand's mobile networks.



Automated packaging and deployment

To build and maintain large-scale open source applications and the infrastructure to support them, Catalyst has highly developed packaging and deployment processes and techniques. These processes are efficient, reproducible and reduce the risks involved in complex, business-critical deployments. We can bring the benefits of this approach to your organisation.

Server configuration management

In order to maintain large server clusters, Catalyst uses techniques to automate and maintain the configuration of servers so they can be efficiently managed and quickly restored in disaster recovery situations. We can help your organisation use open automation technologies such as Puppet (www.puppetlabs.com) to better manage your systems.

Design and performance optimisation for high-load systems

Catalyst uses a range of techniques and technology to design systems capable of supporting extreme loads and high performance. While every system is different, Catalyst can help you work through challenging requirements in a systematic, measurable way to meet your business needs through open source technology.

Identity management and single sign on

We use open standards approaches to provide single sign on support across multiple systems, often across multiple organisations. We can tackle complex SSO requirements, especially where they involve environments hosting several open source applications, such as in the education sector.