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InfoTech Methodology for Data Integration

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2005
13 pages
The InfoTech program described in this report addressed the need for an integrated and secure information network that allows the sharing of public-safety information across agencies and jurisdictions without each agency having to make significant changes in its information system.
The project chose to use a technical approach that provides mediation across distributed heterogeneous data sources, so that tailored data integration would satisfy specific State and local jurisdictional needs. This was layered with distributed, rule-based commercial security integration. Since the development of shared standard data objects is required for the success of any shared data integration project, the U.S. Justice Department's National Institute of Justice developed a set of standard data objects to which criminal justice agencies can map their own data objects through which the software can share information across data sources regardless of their specific data schema. After outlining hypotheses that guided the project's approach, this report describes the development process. Broward and Brevard Counties (Florida) were the first sites used to test the integrated system. The primary tools of the initial InfoTech prototype provided users with single-point access to multiple heterogeneous data sources through a simple Web-based interface. This improved an officer's ability to quickly access information from multiple sources. Initial trials of the prototype were implemented in 1998-99, and in 2000 the prototype underwent a major architectural revision to allow a more scalable and secure solution. InfoTech now provides a flexible solution that requires no changes to the existing system to incorporate new data sources. An outline of the lessons learned focuses on strong regional leadership, committed operational users, information-technology staff involvement, customer education, the fitting of security to the existing business flow, iterative development, and support from the Federal Government. 1 exhibit

Date Published: June 1, 2005