Air Force Materiel Command gets SMART with Web tool

The Air Force Materiel Command is using a Web system to manage and track its acquisition contracts from a centralized location.

The System Metrics and Reporting Tool, developed, sustained and supported out of the Electronic Systems Center at Hanscom Air Force Base, Mass., is a tracking system the command's geographically dispersed population uses to manage hundreds of contracts.

SMART has also helped senior staff members pull up current cost, schedule and performance information on any of the Materiel Command's acquisition programs.

The system lets its 6,000 users access monthly acquisition reports; perform schedule, financial, and contract reviews; do trend analysis; and get customized portfolios of programs, said Lt. Thomas Kubit, SMART's program manager.

The system was developed because 'all the program offices that develop acquisition systems were measuring and reporting their acquisition programs all kinds of ways,' Kubit said. This included roughly 200 monthly acquisition reports routinely sent to acquisition and contracting staff as e-mail attachments.

Air Force leadership wanted one system 'so everybody could play,' Kubit said.

The program, expected to grow to 12,000 users by 2006, started as a prototype in June 2001 and was in operation for 18 months before full development began.

From that prototype, engineers with the service rebuilt the SMART system to run on the Global Combat Support System-Air Force framework. The system uses a Microsoft SQL Server 2000 database and Microsoft's BizTalk Server middleware to integrate legacy systems.

Engineers upgraded SMART from Microsoft ASP.net to Microsoft's C#.Net tool.

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