Open Source Application Development

The Client

Federal Department

This Department’s initiative included the assignment, allocation, and the apportionment of Department staff as set forth in Title 10 U.S.C. and the Unified Command Plan. It allows for every element of the Department’s organizational hierarchy for both the administrative and operational chains of command to be digitized.

The Technology

  • MySQL
  • Java
  • J2EE
  • Spring
  • JIRA
  • MAVEN
  • XML
  • Google Web Toolkit
  • Crowd

The Challenge

The development of the assignment tables has historically been a labor intensive staffing process and has lacked visibility between various departments. The principle objective of this initiative included automating, flattening, streamlining, and increasing the accuracy and visibility of the assignment, allocation and apportionment process. The client required a team to develop this application with knowledge of this initiative and experience implementing open source systems.

The Solution

The Squires Group (TSGi) was involved in the development of these capabilities for the client to automate and streamline the production of a data warehouse that compiled information from various client legacy systems, as well as beginning work to automate the allocation of staff. The software application consisted of two initial components.

  • A Full Operational Capability (FOC) of the Collaborative Issue Resolution Tool (CIRT), which is operational on the SIPRnet
  • A production version of the automated staff assignment, allocation and apportionment tool, which is operational on the SIPRnet

The CIRT is based on an open source tool, JIRA. JIRA was used throughout the industry to collaborate on the identification, management, and resolution of issues within a software application. This capability was highly analogous to the issue resolution process clients division executes annually. The Squires Group configured this commercial product to reflect the terminology and workflow process employed by the Department. TSGi also developed one minor customization to enable stakeholders to vote on issues. This customization used established JIRA “plug-in” capabilities. This capability has been in production for two years and has yielded significant savings in time with significant increases in data accuracy.

The automation tool was a custom Java application built using the Google Web Toolkit, MySQL database, and Crowd (a user management tool) – three open source products, ultimately meeting a key Government objective to minimize the cost of software licenses and development time. The development of this application was following a systems development life-cycle methodology. TSGi was actively involved in the development phase where the team executed four development cycles and provided products to the client for review after each cycle.

The Success

The automation tool and CIRT are working in a continuous, mutually supportive loop. This initiative also ensures that the SIPRNET servers remain updated as the authoritative source for the entire Department. Furthermore, this initiative is providing a foundational tool for expanded use of the other Department process methodologies of apportionment and allocation.

The Testimonial

The progress and success of our efforts are by any measure attributable to The Squires Group team of dedicated professionals. You and your team were phenomenal, integral to the all efforts, made a lasting contribution and provided key leadership and expertise. I miss the dedication, talent, advice, and leadership of each member of your team. I wish all of them were still here to continue the work. Without question, I would welcome each back in a second
– Project Manager


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