Most integration happens within

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 ORD.

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Management System, which contains unpublished research, with the Environmental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.

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