ESB vs Message Switch

Alabama's Deployment of the OpenFox® Criminal History System

The Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center (ACJIC) was established in 1975 to gather and provide critical information for law enforcement and the criminal justice community. Phase I of the multi-phase, multi-year project for the State of Alabama and the ACJIC consisted of the conversion of the mainframe based message switching system, and the conversion of the mainframe based Hot Files systems to the OpenFox® Message Switch and Hot Files running on Clustered Microsoft Windows Servers utilizing a Microsoft SQL® database.

In Phase II The OpenFox® CHA replaced an IBM mainframe based system that had been in production for a number of years.   The conversion of the Criminal History system is compliant with NCIC 2000 and NCIC IAFIS -III specifications.  The Criminal History system is under the management control of ACJIC while the AFIS portion of the system is under the management control of the Alabama Bureau of Investigation (ABI).  Data exchange with the AFIS system was customized to allow for the existing interface to continue functioning and incorporates the use of standard NIST format records (Type-1 and Type-2). Updates to the CCH are also received from NCIC III and from the Administrative Office of the Court (AOC) and Bureau of Corrections (BOC).

The new CCH system end user interface, which replaced the IBM “green screen” technology, is provided via custom designed forms, operating under the OpenFox® Desktop as Java applications running under the Java Runtime Environment.   The interaction between the user and the underlying database emulates and parallels the interactive environment provided in the legacy system, but with a great deal more flexibility and ease of use.  The screens incorporate local edits, special function controls and “buttons” and definable function keys.  Functionality includes the ability to retrieve, edit and view the Identification, Arrest, Court Charge and Custody segments, including the ability to easily review resulting “rap sheets” (view and print).  Functions have also been designed for consolidation of charges and entry/updating of supplemental information.  

The system is currently manages over 1.6 million identification segments, of which approximately 322,000 are applicants with approximate 1.3 million being criminal records.  The system also tracks and manages over 3.6 million arrest records. 

The final Phase was the rollout of the OpenFox® Messenger (NCIC browser-based workstation) and CHA client under desktop. The rollout was for a state-wide enterprise license and was placed in production in June 2006.


  Download a pdf of the Alabama Criminal History System page


waving_fox_lg_clr.gifRead more about the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center, please click here.