Vendors work toward 5015.2 compliance

The Defense Department is putting vendors to the test — that is, at least those who want to become certified providers of records management software.

The Joint Interoperability Test Command runs the Records Management Application compliance-testing program (jitc.fhu.disa. mil/recmgt), which evaluates whether vendor solutions meet the records management design specification described in 5015.2-STD.

Pentagon officials want military buyers to purchase only those products meeting the 5015.2 specification. About 40 solutions are currently certified in accordance with its June 2002 version. For example, KVS Inc.'s Enterprise Vault 4.0, MDY Advanced Technologies Inc.'s FileSurf 7.5, and EMC Corp.'s Centera 2.0 have been certified via the testing program. More tests are under way.

Other vendors are keeping an eye on 5015.2. Computer Associates International Inc. "is aware of 5015.2 and is monitoring its progress," said Bob Davis, senior vice president of BrightStor Storage Solutions at CA. "It has an impact on the periphery of our product line, [so] we will act according to the best needs of our customers."

The 5015.2 design spec, meanwhile, may end up having implications beyond DOD. Earlier this year, the National Archives and Records Administration endorsed 5015.2 for use by all federal agencies, said Peter Gerr, senior research analyst with Enterprise Storage Group.

The endorsement falls short of a mandate, but NARA's support "holds enormous potential for change within the federal government," Gerr said.

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