Utilization of Web services to improve communication of operational information
Lowery, David S.
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Currently under development, the Global Information Grid (GIG) Enterprise Services (ES) is a suite of capabilities intended to provide improved user access to mission-critical data via Web-based and network technologies. Some of the problems of implementing such capabilities include non-uniform data formats, incompatible run-time environments and nonstandard proprietary applications, all of which block operational interoperability. Web services are specifically designed to address the interoperability challenges of a service-oriented architecture (SOA) such as the GIG. SOAs are networked infrastructures that are designed to facilitate the interoperability of collections of services without requiring service context awareness. Standards-based Web services provide the necessary flexibility and extensibility to ensure information flow is platform, run-time and software independent. The proof of concept (POC) software example developed for this research demonstrates the flexibility and extensibility of standards-based, operating-system-independent Web services. The result is an experimental endeavor to provide a mock operation command center information portal, which provides a notional summary personnel status report to the commander in real-time from a Web service that was originally generated by a stand-alone client/server system. The POC is developed with great attention to open-source technologies and open-standards compliance. The key technologies involved are Extensible Markup Language (XML), the Java programming language, PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor (PHP) scripting language and Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP). This work demonstrates the benefits of leveraging Web services to unlock legacy specialized applications to enhance the Warfighter's battlespace awareness by improving information flow via a Web based information portal.
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