Lotus is first vendor to complete initial DMS testing

Product testing for the Defense Message System is making headway with Lotus Development Corp. emerging as the first DMS user-agent vendor to complete the initial four test regimens. Lotus completed Government Open Systems Interconnection Profile (GOSIP) conformance testing which includes formal X.400 P1 protocol and X.500 Directory Access Protocol (DAP) certification. The company also has completed DMS-specific P772 (military messaging content protocol) and P42 (DMS security protocol) formal certification.

DMS is an estimated $1.2 billion contract awarded last year to Loral Federal Systems now Lockheed Martin Federal Systems. The contract aims to provide 2 million users with secure messaging and groupware capabilities.

"The major milestone that we've reached is that we're the first user-agent vendor to complete DMS GOSIP and conformance testing we are ready to go into field trials " said Joe Forgione vice president of business multimedia products at Lotus which is offering Lotus Notes DMS on the contract. The user-agent portion of DMS provides messaging software that runs on a user's PC.

Enterprise Solutions Ltd. and Microsoft Corp. are the two other user-agent venders on the contract. According to Lockheed Martin ESL's user-agent software is in GOSIP and DMS conformance testing while Microsoft's user-agent software has gone through GOSIP testing and is in DMS conformance testing.Bruce Weber Microsoft's Exchange marketing manger said Microsoft is working with Lockheed Martin to deliver the final product. An announcement could come as early as this week.

Next Step

Lotus' next step is to enter the government-run Functionality Security and Performance (FSP) and interoperability (IOP) tests which are done in parallel. After those tests have been completed Lotus will enter Initial Operational Test and Evaluation (IOT&E) which is the final step before products are rolled out in the field.

Vendors are responsible for GOSIP and DMS conformance testing while the government conducts FSP IOP and IOT&E testing.

Testing for all vendors has taken longer than planned. "It's more difficult than we expected because it is a complicated architecture and there are a number of [vendors] that have to synchronize their [products] " Forgione said. "But I think the major risks of the technical uncertainties are behind us now. I feel IOT&E will happen this fall and a large number of DMS sites will occur through the 1997 time frame."

Lotus already has its product in pilot sites "so we are starting to get user feedback " said Mike Danny manager of DMS development at Lotus.

"In addition we're part of [the Joint Warrior Interoperability Demonstration] which wraps up at the end of [August]. As part of our presentation we had fully secure DMS messaging from ship to home base via satellite [link]."

Lotus Notes DMS includes all the features of Notes Release 4. Among other things it provides integrated X.400 transport services and X.500 directory user agent and access to the global directory via DAP.Lockheed hopes to have all IOT&E testing conducted by the end of the year said Gerald Douglas director of advanced programs for DMS at Lockheed Martin Federal Systems.

"Then the next major milestone is DOD-level review of all testing pilots approval and then limited rate deployment" next year.

Although the DMS test schedule has slipped - the IOT&E had been slated for this summer - the review and approval process is still on schedule to happen around January Douglas said. "The DOD and the industry team have applied [additional] resources...so limited rate deployment can begin as early as possible " he said.

In other DMS news ESL plans to add new groupware products to the DMS contract. These include EXM/Time a calendar and group scheduling software product EXM/Forum a collaborative bulletin board software product and EXM/Viewer an enhanced viewing component. These will add advanced functionality to EXM/Mail user agents for Microsoft's Windows Apple Computer Inc.'s Macintosh and Motif.

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