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Disaster Management e-Gov Initiative Program . A Deceptively Simple Approach to an Emergency Data Exchange Language Distribution Element (EDXL-DE) Based Web Service. Connectivity Week Presentation June 11, 2009 Gary A. Ham. Disaster Management Program Capabilities DM Framework.

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Disaster Management e-Gov Initiative Program

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Disaster Management e-Gov InitiativeProgram

A Deceptively Simple Approach

to an Emergency Data Exchange Language

Distribution Element (EDXL-DE)

Based Web Service

Connectivity Week Presentation

June 11, 2009

Gary A. Ham

Disaster Management Program CapabilitiesDM Framework


  • User Facing Interface

  • Available to Responders and Emergency managers

  • An “integration station” for applications that may need to be concurrently accessed on the desk top

  • Defines ways by which applications can be “plugged in”

  • Users can create a computing and communication

    device that meets their individual requirements

  • Interacts with other systems via DM-OPEN

Disaster Management Program CapabilitiesDM-OPEN


  • Application Facing Middleware as a free Government Service - Federal infrastructure

  • Operational non-proprietary interoperability backbone

  • A vendor neutral Web services platform open to all - Acts as a “level playing field”

  • Allows disparate third-party applications, systems, networks and devices to share information in a non-proprietary, open based standards format.

  • Connects Emergency Systems to Each Other

  • Uses Emergency Messaging Standards

    • EDXL-DE and CAP

    • NIEM IEPDs

Federal Infrastructure

DM-OPEN: A Totally Non-proprietary Solution

  • DM-OPEN is actuallyopen.

    • Enables interoperability between differing networks

    • API’s are publicly available

    • DM-OPEN is government infrastructure

    • No vendor controls DM-OPEN, nor does any vendor control access

    • Prototype development and production activity is not restricted by license, non-disclosure agreement, or any other form of intellectual property control

  • Supports the delivery of real-time data and situational awareness to public emergency responders in the field, at operation centers, and across all levels of response management

  • Serves as test bed to facilitate the development of open non-proprietary standard to support interoperable information sharing for the emergency responder community

Allows disparate networks to connect to each other

A network of networks

Benefits: DM-OPEN

  • Reduced cost of development:

    • One interface is usable by other DM-OPEN partners

    • Cost of connectivity is dramatically reduced

    • A system only has to write to one interface per ICS function instead of one for each connecting system per ICS function

    • Example: WebEOC, Previstar, E-Team, MyStateUSA and the DMIS Tools (and others) have all built a Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) exchange capability through DM-OPEN.

      • This amounts to 10 possible pathways for CAP Alerts between systems

      • There are 15 possible connection paths for the cost of 6 interfaces

      • The benefit increases

  • Reduced system rigidity:

    • Loosely coupled systems using standard messaging

    • Easy to update an application in one area without affecting the others, making maintenance easier, and improvement more fluid and less traumatic in terms of installation and training costs

DM-OPEN Interoperability is Available Today

  • DM-OPEN is Federal infrastructure

  • Operational today – In production

  • Available at no cost to end users

  • Uses common XML data standards

  • Application, system, and tool agnostic.

    It’s not a “we will have it soon.”

    It is a fully funded program that can be leveraged to help solve information sharing and interoperability issues.

CAP In Production – 4 Different Products – Same Data

DM-OPEN: Improvement Pending

  • Our current interfaces are RPC-encoded SOAP

    • This is fine in a function-oriented, other-than-Microsoft environment

    • It is out of date in a Web 2.0 SOA environment

    • It is costly to maintain as new EDXL (and other) standards come into Play

  • The new Goals:

    • A truly data-driven interface that relies on the content of the request document to define the actions of the server and what is returned in response

    • Make EDXL-DE the centerpiece for the interface (CAP1.1 and NWEM are maintained, but every thing else will be DE Driven)

    • A single request response pattern for all activity.

DM-OPEN: A Concept of Operations for the DE

  • One DE interface for all content types

  • One connection to build even as the number of data standards increase

  • “Data driven” retrieval – as opposed to process driven

  • “Data driven” interest registration

  • Access to values allowed in known ValueList URN Structures

  • A low-cost solution to participation in a network of networks

Leveraging the Distribution ElementTo Meet Multiple Information Sharing Requirements

  • DE serves two primary purposes

    • Allows an organization to wrap and characterize important pieces of information into a single easy-to-distribute XML "package” for sharing

    • Allows an organization to "address" the package in flexible ways to support intelligent routing including specification of recipients by role, geographic area, or keywords

  • Organizations can use standardized lists of roles or keywords, or their own for additional flexibility and tailoring.

DM-Open as a Virtual “Post Office”

DM-OPEN is a backbone message distribution server maintained by

DHS that acts as a Virtual post office.

COGs are ‘mailboxes’


  • Facilitates discriminatory access Metadata

  • Role-based permissions

  • geo-location

DM-OPEN: Excerpts from Design Documentation

  • All complexity is hidden

  • Used Oracle Identity Management, BPEL, Oracle Web Service Manager, and the Oracle Service Registry behind the scenes

  • Uses two operations (WSDL Port Types) for all transactions:

    • postOp()

    • getRequestOp()

Drawing Courtesy IBM’s EADIS Design Team for DM-OPEN

DM-OPEN: Scope at IOC

  • The two use cases cover the entire scope of the actions that the using system is able to perform.

  • The Post and Request/Receive use cases contain several sub-use cases with detailed data manipulation actions

  • Post and Request/Receive are common message transaction services

Post and Request/Receive use cases form the base for the specific message service use cases

Drawing Courtesy IBM’s EADIS Design Team for DM-OPEN

DM-Framework & DM-OPEN Support Incident Coordination & Management

  • Information needs to be managed and shared:

    • Within a Single organization

    • Laterally between multiple ‘peer’ organizations

    • Along the Chain of Command

    • Vertically

    • Externally

    • To the public

Facilitation and information exchange,

but NOT command and control !!!

Contact Information

  • For Information on DM-OPEN -http://www.disasterhelp.gov/disastermanagement/open/index.shtm

  • To request DM-OPEN Access - http://fema.eyestreet.com/dmis/administratorUpdate.do?action=Init&type=Interop

  • For Frequently Asked Questions - http://www.disasterhelp.gov/disastermanagement/open/faqs.shtm

  • DM-OPEN Support:

    • For developer assistance with implementation questions, please email OPEN@eyestreet.com.

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