XchangeCore is a set of web services that: (a) translate among different web services data formats back-and-forth for a two-way exchange, (b) transform non-web service data formats into web services, (c) orchestrate Common Operational Data into content packages that assure highest relevance of the data for consumers, (d) secure agreements among providers and consumers to assure delivery of content only to authorized applications, and (e) synchronize data in real-time by notifying applications of updates to assure currency and consistency across the exchange community.
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The Department of Homeland Security, Directorate of Science and Technology, originally conceived of XchangeCore under the name UICDS, Unified Incident Command and Decision Support. An architecture was commissioned by four companies and the best of the architecture components was competitively awarded to one of the companies to create a reference implementation, a first version of the software. A series of pilot tests across the country, more than 40 in all, refined the software and the concept of operations for crisis information exchange. The U.S. military took notice and over a period of nearly two years took the civilian version and augmented it with numerous features that improved security and information exchange. Both the civilian and military versions were subjected to their respective certification and accreditation processes and the software was accepted for use on secure networks.
Meanwhile, pilot tests evolved into full implementations and ever-growing numbers of organizations in civilian government, the military, and the private sector, both domestically and internationally, relied on this unique approach to orchestrating data to assure currency, security, accurate content, and effective two-way exchange among many diverse types of applications and data sources.
With this success, in 2013 UICDS "graduated" from the DHS Directorate of Science and Technology according to the transition plan put in place in 2009. Combined with the recent improvements to the software, and numerous contributions by the private sector, the new XchangeCore Community was launched in 2014.
The Department of Homeland Security provided transition funding for XchangeCore (formerly UICDS) to transition from UICDS research and development to permanent operation as the XchangeCore Open Source Community. The Community is further supported by funding from other federal agencies, state governments, and companies. In addition, a robust group of private sector and volunteer contributors to the XchangeCore open source code grows technical capabilities.
Dr. James W. Morentz, who wrote the original white paper for UICDS nearly a decade ago, is the Executive Director of the XchangeCore Community (jim@XchangeCore.org).
Geospatial and Non-Geospatial
XchangeCore enables GIS tools to better use non-geospatial information. While GIS provides extraordinary support to emergency planning and response through visualization on maps and geospatial analytics, operational information also includes incident status, personnel assignments,tasks required and performed, alerts, sensor readings, hazard impact model results, resources staged and deployed, plans for future actions, and much more.
Two applications don't talk? Data sitting in one system needed in another? Hundreds of web services waiting to be discovered? Looking from one screen and wondering where on your map the data goes?
Web Service Data Orchestration. Now. Finally. Real Interoperability.
Timely, Relevant Content Packages
XchangeCore orchestrates data into content packages that relate many different types of relevant data from many sources to specific topics or incidents. Content packages are the result of prior discovery of disparate data from many geospatial and non-geospatial sources. By quickly presenting these content packages to all connected applications, XchangeCore allows more time for decision-makers to use the data. Data discovered in the future is seamlessly added to the content packages and all connected applications are immediately notified of updated content.
XchangeCore is designed to mirror the human decision process by enabling a two-way, standards-based exchange among authorized applications. This exchange of non-geospatial and geospatial operational data is secure and synchronized across many users’ choices of applications, including being simultaneously available for geospatial analytics and visualization on maps. The result provides decision-makers with the same common, timely, current, and relevant data upon which to base collaborative decisions.
Common Operational Data
Web Service Data Orchestration is made possible by the translation and transformation of various data formats into Common Operational Data. XchangeCore uses these standardized data formats to exchange among the end-user’s choice of geospatial or non-geospatial software application the exact right, relevant data to enable analysis, manipulation, and visualization. XchangeCore services are used to compose all of the Essential Elements of Information you need into these questions:
Recognizing this, XchangeCore geo-enables the operational checklists, procedures, command structures, documents, spreadsheets, reports, etc. – which are almost universally not available for discovery as GIS-formatted web services. XchangeCore content packages then relate geospatial data to other geospatial data and to non-geospatial data by composing Geospatial Bookmarks that associate all relevant data to incident locations. Together, XchangeCore geospatial and non-geospatial exchanges enable all the Essential Elements of Information needed for decision-making.
Secure and Validated
XchangeCore is secure. And the XchangeCore data transactions are authenticated whether using the Windows or Linux operating systems. XchangeCore provides every data owner with secure agreements among exchange partners that authenticate the identity of both providing and consuming applications. This means that data owners know to what applications their data is going - and equally important, from what organization data is coming. XchangeCore uses know that accreditation on their networks is enabled by prior accreditation by both DOD through its DIACAP process and DHS through its C&A examination.
Collaborative decision-making requires everyone to have the same associated and related content that comes from many different sources, in many different formats, both non-geospatial and geospatial. Collaborative decision-making requires that the content go back-and-forth among participants with each exchange improving the information until a decision is reached.
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