Most integration happens within
- By Ed McKenna
- Dec 02, 2001
Although there may be little, if any, interdepartmental data sharing, many
federal departments use enterprise application integration (EAI) technologies
to connect systems within their own organizations.
The Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Research and Development
(ORD), for example, contracted with American Management Systems Inc. to
install webMethods Inc.'s technology to link up its Laboratory Implementation
Plan, which tracks the organization's research projects, with EPA's main
financial system, the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS).
The goal of the project is to eliminate the need to enter financial
information separately into both systems, said John Sykes, a program analyst
With the EAI application, data is entered into the Laboratory Implementation
Plan and then "you hit a trigger and your financial transactionsÖare automatically
shipped down to IFMS," Sykes said.
The project will be completed in December or early January at a cost
of about $400,000, he said, noting that Computer Sciences Corp. is assisting
with the implementation.
ORD will work with AMS next summer to integrate its Technical Integration
Management System, which contains unpublished research, with the Environmental
Information Management System, which is available via the Internet to the
public, Sykes said. Once connected, the organization will be able to more
quickly provide information to the public, he said.
The Air Force has placed a premium on data sharing and collaboration
in its efforts to modernize its aerospace operations center weapons system.
The service is looking to standardize the center and reduce the manpower
needed to operate it by creating "machine-to-machine interactions," said
Col. Peter Hoene, weapons system program director.
As part of that process, the Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom Air
Force Base, Mass., is heading the center's Blue Two program, which, with
help from private industry, will demonstrate technologies that could become
part of the center in the next six months or, in the longer run, play a
role in a next-generation aerospace operations center, Hoene said.
The organization held two demonstrations this summer in which four industry
teams exhibited their systems.
A team headed by Washington, D.C.-based Synergy Inc. was the only one
to use the "message-oriented middleware concept," said Fred Czerner, vice
president of technology services for Synergy.
In its demonstration, the company used TIBCO Software Inc.'s EAI tools
to link "together several different organizations within the Air Force that
were involved in command and control," Czerner said, adding that the Air
Force plans to use the system in an operational setting later this year.
Synergy has developed an exclusive relationship with TIBCO and uses
its tools on Navy and NASA projects.