DISA expands open-source suite

Personnel management and alert notification apps added to free offering

The Defense Information Systems Agency has added two programs to its Open Source Corporate Management Information System, its suite of freely available office administration tools.

One program is an alert notification system, and the other is a personnel accountability management system, said Rich Nelson, director of the OSCMIS project.

The DISA Alert Notification system allows managers to send out alerts to employees by e-mail or text message. The manager can specify certain groups of people, such as a department or an entire organization, to get the alert messages. Managers can add attachments to the messages. DAN also features a number of preset alerts to cover fires, terrorist alerts and other situations.

The second program, called the Personnel Accountability Management system, allows managers to go to a Web page to see how many employees are at work, or in training, on vacation or sick on any given day. The system requires employees to periodically update their statuses using an easy drop-down menu. 

Nelson said this last application would be particularly valuable to organizations with a lot of teleworking employees. PAM uses an organization's directory to divide employees into different reports summarizing the operational statuses of different departments. In an internal weeklong test with DISA, PAM was able to provide 100 percent accountability of a geographically diversified staff about about 1,000 employees, Nelson said.

Both programs are part of the free OSCMIS package offered by DISA. DISA offers an open source versions of these applications, which the agency uses internally, in hopes that outside parties will reuse and even improve the software. Both programs, like the others in this suite, or built with Adobe ColdFusion and configured for the Microsoft SQL Server back end. Other Web development platforms and databases could be used, with additional modifications.

For copies of this suite, available on optical disk, government agencies should contact Richard Nelson (Richard.Nelson@disa.mil), and nongovernment organizations and individuals should contact the Open Source Software Institute, which DISA contracted to promote the dissemination of OSCMIS.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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