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U.S. Navy
Navy Asset Visibility and Supply Access with NetWeave

The U.S. Navy depends upon hundreds of diverse data-processing systems to manage its daily operations. The systems run on multiple platforms and often must interoperate if the Navy is to get maximum value for its IT investment. To resolve its interoperability challenges, the Navy has turned to NetWeave Integrated Solutions for a variety of projects. One of them is the integration of a distributed inventory management system, which the Navy uses to track dozens of supply points. The Navy hosts this network system on HP NonStop, HP-UX, and Windows.

Requisitions for parts are received from various Navy divisions by a Total Asset Visibility (TAV) network of systems and are distributed to the supply points for determination of availability prior to reorder. One TAV interface is to a large supply facility that oversees residual and excess inventory, known as RRAM. NIS was involved with the original design and implementation of the TAV interface and has continued to support the Navy throughout subsequent interface upgrades as well as upgrades to the supply facility’s applications, hosted on HP-UX and Windows.

The Navy has now decided to consolidate all inventory management services into a SAP ERP solution, and access to the new system will be through web services hosted on a webMethods platform. Migration to the new ERP environment is being undertaken incrementally, one naval facility at a time. During this time, the existing TAV applications will continue to operate with the current NonStop system.

NIS’ Professional Services team has been tasked with building a SAP interface on a Windows server that supports web services. This Windows-based Intermediate Server (IS) appears to the NonStop server application as if it were the expected SSL-protected interface. NetWeave middleware is being used to bridge this existing interface to the SAP/webMethods web services interface. A critical goal, met successfully, is that no changes have been required to the NonStop application.

Three components of the SAP interface highlight NIS’ broad capabilities. First, the interface translates messages exchanged with the NonStop application into XML documents supported by ERP’s web services. Second, the interface provides secure communications (secure HTTP with webMethods and SSL with the NonStop application). Finally, the interface generates email alerts under a variety of exception conditions. All three components are coded in Java, and the existing interface software is coded in C. NetWeave middleware seamlessly integrates C with Java.

Both the existing and next-generation systems will continue to run concurrently until the complete cutover to the ERP implementation replaces both systems with a SAP-embedded TAV environment.



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