Posts tagged ‘EDXL’

IPAWS-OPEN Has “Connections”

The real blessing of standards is that they can make interoperability between lots of different systems possible. IPAWS-OPEN uses EDXL-CAP, and EDXL-DE in a standard SOAP Web Services environment with WS-Security. So far we have developers who have proven their interoperability using .NET, Java (Axis2 with Rampart), Java (Spring Framework), Ruby On Rails, and, as of yesterday, PHP. So, they will all be able to share vital alerting information with each other, and with the public via EAS, CMAS, and NOAA Radio. It is not easy, but it is coming together.

Still looking for the C, C++, and/or Objective C client application. 🙂

NIEM as Content Inside External Standards

I have been chosen to present a new twist on the reuse of data definitions at the National Information Exchange Model – National Training Event (NIEM NTE) in August. Data definition reuse questions that have been asked before include:
1. Is it OK to Use an External Standard without using NIEM?
2. How do I (or is it allowable to) encapsulate the use of an External Standard inside a NIEM conforming schema?
3. What is the best way to (or should I) bring concepts from external schemas into NIEM (to “NIEMify” them)?
These question have answers, although not everyone agrees on all of them.

My question is different. What if there was a way to reuse NIEM conforming structures inside an external standard? I plan to show an example of how it could work, using NIEM enumerated values (facets, codelists, and schema subsets if necessary) to populate EDXL-DE metadata around an IPAWS Profile CAP message and/or a NIEM IEPD for Amber alerting.

It ought to be an interesting discussion.

FY2011 SAFECOM Guidance on Emergency Communications Grants

The new guidance is out. It includes Emergency Data Exchange Language (EDXL) Standards including the Common Alerting Protocol (CAP). This may be an option for agencies trying to buy an IPAWS connected alert origination tool. In order to actually connect to IPAWS, the tool must conform to CAP and the IPAWS profile of CAP in particular. See Section 5.3 on page 30 of the following document. Happy hunting!

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!!!

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.

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

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.

Emergency Messaging Portal Lives On

The Disaster Management – Open Platform for Emergency Messages (DM-OPEN) was recently moved to hopefully permanent quarters at the Stennis Center in Mississippi.  After a bit of testing, those of us who believe in the Emergency Messaging as Government Infrastructure concept have noted that response time has improve significantly.  This should my the work that Lee and I are doing to extend open source connectivity for OASIS Emergency Management Standard Messages easier to sell to other vendors and government programs.  Let us build to CAP, EDXL-DE, EDXL-RM and HAVE.  Folks, it is there.  It works.  Lets use it, so they cannot take it away!