Military shares openly

Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) has started using a new data-sharing system designed to make it easier for coalition forces to manage and access warfighting information in Iraq.

In a March 28 announcement, JFCOM officials emphasized that the Cross Domain Collaborative Information Environment (CDCIE) uses Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition and open standards that increase interoperability. The system avoids solutions that lock command officials into using certain vendors and their products, said Boyd Fletcher, prototype development lead engineer at JFCOM. The command, one of the military’s nine unified combatant commands located in Norfolk, Va., ensures that the services and defense agencies work together and with coalition countries.

CDCIE allows JFCOM officials to manage the access of U.S. warfighting information with coalition forces. It also lets them make available the information located in different military networks, Fletcher said.

CDCIE uses two commercial products: eXo platform, a portal tool from eXo Platform, located in Paris, and WebFile Server, document management and workflow software from Xythos Software located in San Francisco. Both products use open Web standards that made them attractive to JFCOM officials, company officials said.

“Officials at JFCOM said they liked eXo platform because it is open source,” said Benjamin Mestrallet, chief executive officer of eXo Platform. Command officials approached the company 10 months ago about using it and then started testing it, he said.

“WebFile Server can run in any environment,” said Jim Till, vice president of marketing of Xythos Software. Command officials started working with the company two years ago, and the product went through two tests and the Multinational Experiment 3 last year, he said.

Officials with U.S. and coalition forces use CDCIE to access and share all types of warfighting information including air, land, sea and logistics data. It represents a multiyear initiative, but Fletcher declined to name its dollar value.

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