ILOG enters e-gov arena

A leading international supplier of Java and C++ software components recently

opened a sales and technical office in Washington, D.C., in an effort to

expand its e-government business in the United States.

ILOG Inc., with headquarters in Paris, France, and Mountain View, Calif.,

develops intelligence-based software components mainly for the defense,

aerospace and transportation industries. Robert Cooper, a company vice president,

said ILOG has a strong presence abroad and in the U.S. commercial sector

but is just beginning to introduce itself to the federal, state and local

governments here.

In the federal government, integrators have used the company's components

in missile systems, Cooper said, but he added that ILOG plans to market

components for more typical e-government applications. With the new office,

the company plans to have closer working relationships with the technology

integrators in the Washington, D.C., area.

Software components are basically building blocks and are beginning

to be used within the public sector for e-government applications. Rather

than building such applications from scratch, advocates say using software

components can save time and money.

Several state officials are planning to promote greater use of software

components through an online repository within the next several months.

One such product, ILOG JRules, is a rules management component that

could be used, for example, to validate government loan applications, Cooper

said, adding that it's being used in e-business but would be new to government.

The component would define the criteria to approve or deny a loan — in essence, it would act as an engine for automating what's normally done

manually. It would dramatically shorten the time needed for the approval

process as well as encourage consistency so that rules are applied properly

and adequately, Cooper said.

Another e-government product, the ILOG Optimization Suite, is used for

scheduling, logistics, planning and configuration applications. It has been

integrated into the Internal Revenue Service's scheduling system.

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