Posts tagged ‘DM-OPEN’

IPAWS Announcement on the DM-OPEN Changeover to IPAWS-OPEN and the DMIS Tools Retirement from Service

Text of E-Mail released today:

The primary mission of FEMA’s Integrated Public Alerts and Warning System (IPAWS) program is to provide integrated services and capabilities to local, state, and federal authorities that enable them to alert and warn their respective communities via multiple communications methods. The federal mandate is to develop, deploy, and maintain the infrastructure for aggregating emergency messages originated by federal, state, local, and tribal officials and routing them to public dissemination systems including the Emergency Alert System (EAS), the Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS), and others. FEMA is committed to achieving this mission.

The IPAWS Open Platform for Emergency Networks (IPAWS-OPEN) will serve not only as the IPAWS Aggregator for Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) emergency messages, but also enable the interoperable exchange of other standards-compliant messaging between commercial systems. Currently, over 40 private sector companies are in various stages of developing and testing interoperable software applications compatible with IPAWS-OPEN. Many of these applications are expected to come to market over the next several months and further information about these products will be available from the Responder Knowledge Base (RKB) Website. In addition, FEMA is investigating a viable solution for an Open Source CAP authoring tool and will provide updates via the IPAWS Website.

IPAWS-OPEN will supersede the existing DM-OPEN which is scheduled for decommissioning on June 30, 2011. Concurrently, the Disaster Management Interoperability Services (DMIS) Toolset system will also be retired. All software currently connecting to the legacy DM-OPEN application must be migrated to IPAWS-OPEN 2.0 by June 30, 2011. After that time, legacy DM-OPEN will no longer be available and IPAWS-OPEN 2.0 must be utilized.

In order to focus more fully on its primary mission and make the most effective use of its resources, the IPAWS Program Office has recently completed a re-evaluation of its priorities. As a result, the decision has been made to cancel the release of the Framework incident management support tools originally planned to replace the DMIS Tools. A number of Web-based incident management systems are now widely available and emergency management practitioners are encouraged to assess their requirements and apply for grant funding assistance to meet their needs. For further information see the Interoperable Emergency Communications Grant Program (IECGP) or the Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP).

We regret any inconvenience resulting from this decision. In the long-term, FEMA believes this is in the best interest of the public safety. For further information, please contact Mark Lucero at FEMA-DMIS@DHS.GOV

Mark A. Lucero
Chief, IPAWS Engineering
FEMA National Continuity Programs

IPAWS Presents to World Conference on Disaster Management

Marck Lucero (FEMA) and I made a presentation to attendees at the World Conference on Disaster Management in Toronto in June about how IPAWS will be able to play in cross-border alerting and how we can use IPAWS-OPEN to connect to Canadian alerting infrastructure in a way that allows resilient connectivity between local authorities on both sides of the border. It is a 17 minute presentation in Quick Time format.

NIEM National Training Event and OASIS Interoperability Summit

Attended combined NIEM National Training Event and Oasis Interoperability Summit in Baltimore last week. What a week!!

    All of the following Items are from that event:

  1. Participated in live demonstrations of interoperability by 11 separate commercial vendors, all using the DM-OPEN Backbone. Messages included Common Alerting Protocol sent from an actual Chorine sensor, NWS Tornado Warnings in CAP with the full polygon showing on maps used by multiple vendors, EDXL-DE wrapped Hospital Availability Messages, and EDXL-DE wrapped NIEM Amber Alert Messages, with accompanying Style sheet and reference base-64 encoded picture data used in full display. A professional videographer filmed the demonstration activities and interviewed key players. The edited video will be made available by OASIS. I will post the link when it is available.
  2. Moderated NIEM NTE panel titled “Coordinating the Development and Adoption of Emergency Data Standards With the Ongoing Development of NIEM.” A format of 5 separate questions with short answer to each question by all panel members in turn was well received, both by the panel and the audience. Answers were lively and interesting. There were many audience questions as well. The NIEM organization recorded all panel sessions, so this panel will be available for review in its entirety.
  3. Acted as a panel member in a second NIEM NTE panel titled: “Playing Well With Others”—NIEM and External Standards. This was a half session panel that stirred lots of interest and did not afford adequate time for all audience questions. Its recording will also be made available by the NIEM organization. Both panels made is clear that there is real cooperation between standards bodies and progress is being made to ensure that the value of all standards is recognized as a federation real capabilities. While some technical and “turf” issues need to be understood better, the folks involved look forward to the future with a positive attitude and a real belief in success.

Special Thanks to Donna Roy (NIEM Director) and her crew for a great event, and to Bill Kalin (Contractor to DHS Science and Tecnology) and Jane Harnad (OASIS) for organizing a superb demonstration and to all of the vendors for showing real interoperability in action. Standards do work!!!

Remembering the Original Vision for Disaster Management Interoperability Services

The italics below contain a Facebook entry by Neil Bourgeois to his friends, repeated with his permission:

Remembering those who sacrificed all on 9/11. Also remembering everyone who made DMIS Fastrack happen after that. You would be pleased to know that the next generation DMIS and INTEROP has a bright future, which was built off a firm foundation that many of you worked so hard to put in place. Also remembering Charlie Bell, he would also have been pleased to see how far things have gone.

Charlie Bell was the original Marine Corps Program Manager for what is now FEMA’s DM-OPEN and DM-Framework. Charlie died before he could see his vision fully operational, but it was his vision that started the program, even before 9/11. Charlie, your vision became our passion on 9/11. It is now well on its way to becoming a national asset. You can be proud. We miss you, but we know you are watching.

NIEM Content in an OASIS EDXL-DE (Recorded Live Demonstration)

DM-OPEN in particular is designed to be a great enabler for NIEM and NIEM based messaging. DM-OPEN is based on the EDXL-Distribution Element (DE) which is a NIEM approved external standard for “packaging” content for distribution. The following link is to a recorded presentation from 19 August 2009 (last week) to the DM-OPEN Special Interest Group SIG. This recorded presentation is from a live demonstration of the use of DM-OPEN to transport NIEM IEPD defined content from an originator to a separate display application. It also shows how (when a NIEM IEPD also has the associated style sheet that is now part of NIEM IEPD requirements) that the NIEM content and is associated presentation can be shipped in the same message to recipients. The recording is 40 minutes long. The recording is a little rough in spots, but the content is both illustrative and thought provoking.

The new DM-OPEN (out this fall) will be even more useful as it will allow queries using NIEM compatible keyword and type structures within the DE’s ValueListURN structure (a categorization scheme for metadata about message content). This will make retrieval and re-distribution of NIEM Content more practical and more efficient for DM-OPEN participant applications.

Alerting UICDS via DM-OPEN

I wrote a poller for DM-OPEN that posts alerts received in DM-OPEN to the prototype Unified Incident Command and Decision Support System (UICDS).  This gives posters of Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) alerts the option of using DM-OPEN as a mechanism for also posting to UICDS for use by systems connected to that capability.  Two successful demonstrations to date: a month or so ago at the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and today in McClean, Virginia for some folks from DHS.  We posted alerts from NC4’s E-Team, CellCast’s Eagle, MyStateUSA, and DMIS Tools (also a DM offering) to UICDS where the alerts were provided to to a UICDS RSS feed and plotted on maps using Alert Sense (where proper locations were identified in the input CAP message).

The message:  DM-OPEN can be a “connection multiplier” for its interoperability partners.  In this case a single connection yielded 4 new partners (and possibly many more in the future).

A Question for Vendors of Emergency Management Software

I wrote a little ditty that explains the value of what FEMA’s Disaster management program offers to vendors, open source developers and even contract developers in the Emergency Management and Public Warning Domains. It is a question that users of such software might ask their vendors. Take a look.
See my Contact Info if you would like some help getting started

Are you OPEN? [1]

Can you connect using standards?
Are you open to all?
Or are you a silo?
Using “standards” to stall?

Our open web service
Connects all kinds of apps.
A middleware instance
To share more than “CAPs.”[2]

We have a web service
Based on EDXL [3]
That helps apps connect
Yet encapsulate well.

Hard wired integration
Is not what we do.
You connect via service
As captured by you.

You decide layout
And your design form
But connect to all others
Using standards as norm.

We make it straightforward.
Your connection is clean.
The boundaries work well.
You control what is seen.

You have the power.
We provide pipes,
For transferring data
Of all defined types.

With data described
Using DE [4]
So intelligent routing
Can come to be.

We provide access.
You set the rules
In the tags that you set
In the DE through your tools.

We then connect others
As desired by you.
And they get your data
As you want them to.

They can format the layout
In their own way.
Connected, yet separate
With their own say

Into how to display
And how to reuse
And so can all others
Unless you refuse.

You can work independent,
Yet use standards to share.
The best choice to ensure
Service to all; everywhere.

Gary A. Ham – May 14, 2009

[1] FEMA – Disaster Management Program – Open Platform for Emergency Networks
[2] OASIS Common Alerting Protocol
[3] OASIS Emergency Data Exchange Language
[4] OASIS EDXL Distribution Element

Systems Engineering for FEMA – Resume update

I have finally updated my resume to account for the work I have been doing for FEMA since October. Yes I am back to the Disaster Management Program except that I am working for the Program Office instead of on the development contract. A lot of the work is similar and I am glad I can participate. The mission is important. I am now under contract through Eye Street Software Corporation to provide systems engineering support to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Duties include:

  • Requirements development and assessment of steps needed to decouple the current Disaster Management Interoperability Services (DMIS) capability into two separate and cooperative capabilities for FEMA. The Disaster Management – Open Platform for Emergency Networks (DM-OPEN) will be a stand alone, standards based Enterprise Service Bus for data communications interoperability across the full spectrum of responder organizations at the Federal, State, Local and Tribal levels. The Current DMIS Toolset will be transformed from its current client server implementation into a web-based framework (the DM-Framework) that houses access to a user-configurable set of emergency management applications.
  • Systems Engineering Life Cycle Documentation and Federal Enterprise Architecture compliance management for the DM PMO.
  • Response to stakeholder inquiries concerning DM-OPEN, the DM-Framework, and related data standards.
  • Assistance to programmers connecting to DM-OPEN Interfaces.
  • Liaison with the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS), as well as other standards organizations and Federal programs that affect, or are affected by, the Disaster Management Program.

Back to DM-OPEN

I just just singed an agreement to go back to work for DM-OPEN.  I will be sad to leave my friends at the DMV.  They had truly become family to me.  But the Virginia Commonwealth budget issues were just to much to overcome.  Still, I believe they will carry on with a successful redesign project.  I always said that my goal was to become dispensable.  I guess It happened just a little earlier than we planned.

Luckily, I have been able to return to my roots in Emergency Management.  I am now working with the folks at Eyestreet Software to revitalize FEMA’s Disaster Management – Open Platform for Emergency Networks.  More later on this very real mission in life.

New Common Alerting Protocol Application On Source Forge

The new poller/poster for FEMA’s Open Platform for Emergency Networks is now on Source Forge. Lee Tincher from Evolution Technologies reworked some of my old code to make in work directly with both Oracle and MySQL databases. I must admit that his solution is much more robust than my original test code. On the other hand, I did write the foundation connection code. :–) Let’s hope we get a lot of interest. This could make emergency alert sharing in a non-proprietary environment actually work. Even better, lets make it work in a multi-proprietary environment using OASIS EDXL Standards for communication through a level playing field Government supplied middleware infrastructure. This was my dream when I worked on Disaster Management. Maybe it can actually happen.