DOD and Lockheed are pleased with DMS test -

Defense Department and Lockheed Martin Corp. officials are guardedly optimistic about
results of the Defense Message System's initial operational test and evaluation, which
took place last month at nine military sites. The Defense Information Systems Agency will
not make the IOT&E results public for another two weeks.


DMS program manager Tom Clarke said in a statement that the preliminary results
"confirm DMS Release 1.0 is a viable baseline system" that likely will evolve to
full messaging capability over the next several years.


The IOT&E phase is the final hurdle for DMS e-mail products from Microsoft Corp.,
Lotus Development Corp. and Enterprise Solutions Ltd. of Westlake, Calif. The companies
have tried for years to deliver interoperable versions of their X.400 client messaging
software that can work over Open Systems Interconnection or TCP/IP networks. Proven
interoperability would give secure commercial e-mail a boost.


DMS plans call for an integrated, global messaging infrastructure to serve up to 2
million DOD users. But the initial DMS applications will handle only sensitive but
unclassified traffic. DMS will not handle secret, top-secret, and sensitive, compartmented
information until 2000.


The DMS versions of Lotus Notes, Microsoft Exchange, EXM-Mail and supporting products
already have passed conformance and compliance tests, and Novell Inc.'s GroupWise is
partway through the tests.


The Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center at Kirtland Air Force Base, N.M.,
oversaw the live IOT&E testing last month.


The Air Force center will release an initial assessment report in late September,
Clarke said. Then DOD's Major Automated Information System Review Council will conduct its
Milestone III review Sept. 30. A final IOT&E test report will come out later this
year.


If test results are good, vendors will likely begin shipping final DMS products to
users of the current commercial releases next month.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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