Open source tools to support ISE information interoperability for a Navy One-Shipyard information system
Navy SBIR FY2005.1


Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2005.1
Topic No.: N05-039
Topic Title: Open source tools to support ISE information interoperability for a Navy One-Shipyard information system
Proposal No.: N051-039-0443
Firm: Liberty Consulting
11 Bush Hill Dr
Niantic, Connecticut 06357-1804
Contact: Lisa McCabe
Phone: (860) 437-7416
Abstract: This project will provide open source software tools to enable U.S. shipbuilders more easily and inexpensively to share design, build and support product model information among partners, the Navy customer and their own internal software systems. This project will develop software tools that support the information interoperability architecture and objectives of NSRP's Integrated Shipbuilding Environment (ISE) project. The ISE project has defined and is continuing to define the information requirements US Navy shipbuilding. The goal of the ISE project is to develop and publish a formal and unambiguous specification of the digitial product model for US Navy shipbuilding. This specification is comprised of a melding of the international standards for the definition of digital product model data (ISO-10303, also known as the STEP standard) with the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standard for information representation, the eXtensible Markup Language (XML). Information interoperability, the mediated sharing of information among diverse software systems and applications, is a key enabler of the Navy's next-generation Integrated Development Environment (IDE) capability, which is the foundation of the Navy One-Shipyard vision.
Benefits: The anticipated benefit of this project is that it will develop a set of software tools and supporting documentation that will allow shipyards to integrate their own applications into the ISE information backbone, ensuring that the resulting digital product model work products will comply with the Navy's ISE-based specifications. Moreover, the newly integrated applications will talk to the other ISE-compliant applications, forming a virtual IPDE that realizes the vision of a Navy One-Shipyard information system. This project will focus on tools that will make it possible to link a legacy (or new) application to the ISE information backbone. Specifically, at the end of Phase II, the complete list of tools will be: 1) tools to build and edit context schemas using UML interfaces; 2) a Java-based GUI to facilitate the construction of mappings (from the conceptual model to the target information representation); 3) a query builder tool, a Web client/server application that reads the ISE metadata repository in order to formulate queries that can be executed against various application interfaces that are "ISE-compliant"; and 4) a conformation testing framework, that can automatically assess the completeness of any ISE mediator (ie translation process). Phase I will demostrate the feasibility of the approach and will provide the foundation for the development of the tool set by delivering a comprehensive documentation of the ISE architecture, including implementation guidelines. It will also develop and publish as open source software, a Web-based interface into the ISE metadata repository. (This tool is a pre-requisite for the query builder tool described above.) This project addresses a small but indispensible component of a vast infrastructure and integration undertaking. The potential commercial applications of this project are designed specificallly to fill one particular niche in the broader Navy One-Shipyard vision. According to the ISE approach, as each shipyard expands its next-generation IDE capability, it will progressively incorporate additional new and legacy applications into the IDE framework. Each such integration requires some specialized configuration and mapping of information models. The tools developed by this project will facilitate that integration activity. This project proposes to develop open source software (OSS). OSS is not just a software development methodology. It also implies a specific and unconventional business process and business model. The source code for these tools will be made freely available to the shipyards; this will give the shipyards themselves the ability to modify and update the codebase itself in order to accommodate new data mapping requirements.

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