AF casts off legacy app

AF casts off legacy app

BY DIPKA BHAMBHANI | GCN STAFF

Combine a 20-year-old computer, an off-the-shelf database application and frustrated users. What do you get? The Air Force Military Personnel Data System.

MILMOD is one of the largest databases in the world. And on May 1, the Air Force opened its personnel database of 1.7 million records to 15,000 users and eliminate its legacy application, which ran on a Honeywell-Bull 9000 mainframe.

The new $60 million system, built on the Oracle Human Resource Management Systems and Training Administration applications, will replace the Base Level Military Personnel System, Air Force Headquarters systems, the Air Force Training Management System, and the Promotion Recommendation and Inboard Support Management Information System.

MILMOD will directly link Air Force personnel information from headquarters and other bases to the Defense Department's central personnel system, instead of through 57 other channels.

Under the legacy system, 'when an assignment is loaded at headquarters, it'll take seven to 10 days to flow,' said Lt. Col. Rick Treasure, chief of the Systems Requirements Division at the Air Force Personnel Center in San Antonio.

But because MILMOD unifies all the channels, such transactions will take only a few minutes.
The new system will also eliminate duplicate data entry, said Capt. Kirk Phillips, chief of functional requirements and testing for MILMOD.

'Our data flows faster, and it will allow us to communicate more freely with the DOD system,' he said.

The communication link between any Air Force base and DOD will essentially be a direct IP connection because of enhancements to Virtual Military Personnel Flight (vMPF), a Web application that gives military personnel access to information such as retirement plans, vacation allowances and military status changes.

MILMOD will improve the efficiency of vMPF by giving Air Force users access to more features and information, such as evaluation reports, and real-time access to the data at headquarters, which will be stored in MILMOD's Oracle relational database. The Web app will provide self-service modules to Air Force members.

MILMOD will run under HP-UX 11 on Hewlett-Packard Co. midrange servers. To tap into the system, end users will also need to upgrade their systems. A user will need at least a 500-MHz Pentium III PC with 128M of RAM and a 10G hard drive.

The next step will be integrating up to 100 other advanced apps, such as vMPF, with the system.

Greater access

Now, vMPF runs on its own server. By integrating it directly with MILMOD, Air Force personnel anywhere would be able to access more information from their personal files than they can now.
The legacy personnel system, though powerful, needed an upgrade to capitalize on current and future technology, Treasure said. The old system also had become increasingly difficult to maintain.

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