Navy sets up XML for portal

'Our end objective will be a single NMCP that will provide shared information to the entire department and other potential users, yet have sufficient flexibility to be customized by commands, functional communities and individual users.'

'Hansford T. Johnson, Secretary of the Navy

The Navy has released a guide for setting up the Navy-Marine Corps Portal, a single online structure to replace or integrate thousands of Web sites throughout the service.

The portal project is one component of a broader Navy information management infrastructure effort, acting Navy Secretary Hansford T. Johnson said in a Feb. 28 memorandum laying out details for NMCP.

The other components include the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet, Information Technology for the 21st Century, and the Base Level Information Infrastructure initiatives. The service will also incorporate its enterprise IT architecture, data management, systems interoperability and business processes modifications into its infrastructure strategy, Johnson said.

The memorandum outlines a series of operating principles for NMCP. They include:
  • Ensuring the portal is capable of integrating and viewing data from shared sources using the service CIO's specified commercial standards for Web services

  • Providing access to subordinate portals via the NMCP

  • Providing single-sign-on authorization using a public-key infrastructure supported by the Defense Department's Common Access Card program

  • Employing a modular, standards-based technical architecture with nonproprietary implementation

  • Becoming the single portal for all Navy and Marine Corps commands.

Johnson has called for a technical architecture that is flexible, conforms to Web-service standards compatible with Extensible Markup Language, and is consistent with commercial and Navy standards.

The guidance follows a recent move by the Navy to adopt a formal structure to coordinate the implementation of XML with its systems and applications.

'Our end objective will be a single NMCP, which will provide shared information to the entire department and other potential users, yet have sufficient flexibility to be customized by commands, functional communities and individual users,' Johnson wrote in the memo.

Trio of benefits

Navy CIO David M. Wennergren said a single servicewide portal reduces redundancy, improves efficiency and promotes divisional collaboration across the Navy.

'It gives you that customizable look and feel, and you don't have to keep reinventing that over and over again' for sites and apps, Wennergren said. 'The beauty of having an enterprise portal is, as an app owner or a command, you don't have to worry in the future about building your own portal.'

Who is in charge

The Navy's Information Leadership Council will nominate an NMCP program manager and portal manager by October and will set a timeframe to have the portal built and operating. Shortly after the guidance went out on the new portal, the Navy announced the formation of a new group tasked with coordinating the implementation of XML.

In early March, the Navy established an XML Business Standards Council as one of four new groups that make up the XML Governance Structure.

The other three groups will handle technical standards, policy procedures, and training and education considerations, Navy officials said.

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