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Oracle, security & the USAF?

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Date: Mon, 10 Sep 2001 09:04:26 -0700
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Some of you may be interested in this:

  1. AFRL successfully completes Oracle test program

ROME, N.Y. (AFPN) -- Air Force Research Laboratory engineers here successfully completed participation in a six-month test program for the next-generation database and internet server being developed by Oracle Corp.

Evaluation of technology focusing on network security was the primary goal of participation in Oracle's "Beta Test Program for Version 9i."

Under the auspices of its Joint Battlespace Infosphere program, the AFRL information directorate focused its efforts on ensuring the latest major release of Oracle software adheres to stringent Air Force and Department of Defense guidelines for security of data generated and stored in mission-critical command and control information systems.

Security issues remain a high priority as Air Force C2 legacy systems undergo re-engineering, and a move toward using open commercial product-based architectures and standards that are based on the internet and World Wide Web. DOD has adopted internet-like technology to support command and control of worldwide military and humanitarian operations.

The directorate has numerous technology programs addressing information management issues, but the JBI is one of its flagship efforts.

Originally described by the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board in a 1998 report and refined a year later, the JBI is a combat information management system that provides individual users with the specific information required for their functional responsibilities during crisis or conflict.

The SAB is a committee that provides independent guidance and insight to Air Force senior leadership on science and technology for continued air and space dominance. One of the panel's main recommendations in its 1999 report was to "focus the AFRL, other Service research labs, and battlelabs on evaluating and applying commercial technologies for the JBI."

Participation in Oracle 9i Beta was an implementation of the SAB's guidance to develop the JBI by evaluating and incorporating suitable commercial off-the-shelf, or COTS, products.

AFRL leveraged and extended its in-house expertise by applying for 9i Beta Test Site status in January. In its proposal, the directorate team identified security as the project focus area and generated stress tests and remediation plans. The directorate was selected in February as one of a small number of Oracle beta sites located worldwide.

To augment the existing team, AFRL brought on additional Oracle technical support from the company's Advanced Products Group in Reston, Va., to aid during beta testing.

"Oracle has a rich history of working closely with Air Force engineers on
leading edge programs such as the JBI," said Eric Amberge, northeast regional manager for Oracle's Advanced Programs Group. "This Beta test is an excellent example of real government/industry interaction on the COTS leading edge. The AFRL cadre and their beta test findings were both outstanding."

"Participating in the Oracle 9i Beta program gave us a great opportunity to
continue our work with Oracle in the security area and influence future commercial product releases," said Charles Flynn, lead engineer from the AFRL information directorate. "Oracle is working to improve secure access to information and developing products which exhibit a lot of appeal to the military command and control systems designers."

This effort allowed AFRL to get in on the ground floor six months before commercial release and help Oracle refine their security products in order to help meet JBI technical challenges, said Thomas A. Clark, program manager of the effort in the directorate's JBI Office.

"We have found a lot of (commercial) products are not really addressing
security issues to the extent that Oracle has in the past, and continues to do," he said. "This effort allowed us to evaluate a next-generation commercial product and influence its applicability to JBI."

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Received on Mon Sep 10 2001 - 11:04:26 CDT

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