Case Study

A service-oriented architecture design for a major military operations provider advances to production stages

The Surface Enterprise Transformation Initiative (SETI) was a research and development project to design a service-oriented architecture (SOA) for the Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC).

SDDC required a modernized global IT architecture to support its mission of providing global deployment and distribution capabilities in support of deployed soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines. UNCOMN’s (formerly Aegis Strategies) extensive experience in military transportation, logistics data, and cloud architectures resulted in a by-name request from SDDC to design and implement the new architecture.

The challenge: Designing a service-oriented architecture that meets military requirements and protocols

Transitioning SDDC from its complex technical system to a comprehensive service-oriented architecture required plans and processes that comply with United States Department of Defense Architecture Framework (DoDAF) while accommodating the needs of architects, engineers, contractors and of course, their service men and women.

Our approach: Collaboration, agile software development, and systems-engineered integration

UNCOMN’s Technology Solutions team began by gathering data on SDDC’s processes through interviews with key team members. The team then applied their enterprise systems integration expertise to create a template that defined all the services SDDC provides to the Department of Defense (DoD) and mapped each service to DoD warfighting and business functions, keeping them aligned with SDDC’s strategy and DoDAF protocols. This template served as a guide when the team designed the new SOA to integrate SDDC’s 20 organizational systems.

During several months of design methodology, the UNCOMN team generated more than 200 different architectural artifacts for migrating to an SOA. The designs provided a roadmap to transition SDDC’s complex web of legacy systems to a modern data architecture with a services layer providing efficient and secure user support. Through Agile project management, model-based systems engineering, and pure grit, we ensured the new SOA version would meet DoDAF standards and exceed the performance of the previous systems.

Meanwhile, UNCOMN’s holistic approach landed us with an opportunity to suggest improvements to the web framework that would become the user interface for the proposed SOA design. SDDC adopted those web framework modifications in addition to our SOA design and asked UNCOMN to move into the next phase — development of the prototype.

Through the application of several technical solutions — full stack web development, peer programming, rapid prototyping, and web Application Programming Interface (API) development — the UNCOMN team worked diligently to develop the new SOA to proficiently accommodate SDDC’s complex and now fully integrated systems. Remaining steadfast in our people-centered approach, we were able to create the SOA to support all users while maintaining the highest level of security.

Results: Moving forward with services, strategy, and security elegantly integrated

SDDC adopted UNCOMN’s proposed SOA for SETI and is on the path to replacing all previous systems with services. The new architecture will enable SDDC to more effectively respond to their our service men and women’s changing data needs critical to making sound decisions and completing their jobs.

During the SOA design process and the user interface integration, UNCOMN delivered 105 new products and 149 updated ones, while simplifying the end users’ experiences and maintaining high-level security.

The SOA prototype, consisting of more than 30 web services and several user interfaces, met all DoDAF requirements, was added to the Integrated Booking System for the DoD, and overall was an unqualified success. As a result, SDDC has invited UNCOMN into phase four — the production phase — of the SOA prototype.

“Thank you for the great job the UNCOMN personnel have done on our program. Our deliverable was a strategic objective and critical to success.  We delivered the capability largely due to your efforts.”
– Integrated Booking System Program Manager.

The UNCOMN team is honored to assist with production of the prototype, assuring secure and seamless integration of the new SOA, in this initiative to defend SDDC’s integrity and support the courageous service people who so unselfishly protect us.