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Successfully Deploys the OpenFox® Message Switch Information Broker

Computer Projects of Illinois, Inc. (CPI), a leader in information-sharing software systems for the law enforcement and criminal justice community, is pleased to announce that on December 4th 2011, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) successfully deployed the OpenFox® Message Switch Information Broker.  The project consisted of upgrading the OpenFox® Gateway to a fully functioning message switching system replacing the existing KBI Central Message Switch (CMS).  The project also included the implementation of databases for the Aggregation application, the Archive Retrieval as well as the on-line Validations.  The OpenFox® Gateway was installed in early 2008 as the result of CPI’s winning bid to KBI for statewide law enforcement workstations.  The OpenFox® Gateway provided the server functionality for the statewide implementation of the OpenFox® Messenger interfacing to the existing KBI CMS.

The success of this project required a close working relationship between KBI, CPI and Balance Wheel Technologies. Balance Wheel Technologies supported the pre-existing CMS, the KBI Hot Files as well as the Criminal History Databases and were instrumental in documentation as well as creating API’s on the database systems for interfacing to the new OpenFox® system. KBI managed the entire project and was responsible for the new platform environment, design, technical direction, configuration, as well as testing.

The KBI hardware environment is extremely robust encompassing four separate environments including the development instance, the test instance, the production instance as well as a certification instance for the Message Switch as well as their respective database servers and applications. Updates to the software code are controlled strictly and must pass through the development and test instances before finally being implemented in production. The certification instance is utilized as a test instance for local or regional system vendors wishing to certify their software to insure proper operation against the new communications protocol (FoxTalk and OFML).

The new OpenFox® Message Switching system interfaces to the following:

  • NCIC – This interface utilizes the standard NCIC TCP/IP protocol for the purpose of querying and updating NCIC files.
  • Nlets – This interface uses the standard TCP/IP protocol for the purpose of exchanging interstate information.
  • HotFiles – This interface uses a TCP/IP interface to query and update the Kansas Wanted Missing and BOLO files. The database support and API were provided by Balance Wheel Technologies.
  • CCH – This interface uses a TCP/IP interface to query and update the Kansas Criminal History files. Kansas is an NFF state. The database support and API were provided by Balance Wheel Technologies.
  • DOR – This interface uses the TN3270 protocol and is utilized to obtain vehicle and driver information. Although this interface went into production utilizing TN3270 with legacy text data it is currently being upgraded to a web service interface with XML.
  • KCIS (Kansas Customer Information System) – This web service interface allows the exchange of user and agency related information between the KCIS and the OpenFox® system for the purpose of updating data configurations. The OpenFox® system utilizes KCIS for verifying users.  New Users, Stations and Agencies are also entered via the KCIS system and are automatically updated in the OpenFox®.
  • CHIEFS – This web service interface provides for the query of Rapsheet related information for Criminal History records in NIEM 4 compliant format.  The CCH database support and creation of the Rapsheet was performed by Balance Wheel Technologies.
  • OpenFox® Aggregator – This interface utilizing a MS SQL Server database provides for the aggregation of defined message key responses into a single message for specified message keys. This capability was required to maintain compatibility with the existing regional interface systems. The responses and the communications protocol for these types of systems was kept the same so that the regional system vendors did not require any software changes.
  • SSAP – The purpose of this interface is to provide legacy access for regional systems. This is a specialized TCP/IP interface and bundled with the Aggregator capability regional systems were not required to make any changes for the new environment.
  • OpenFox® FT Remo – The purpose of this interface is to provide an upgrade path for regional systems interfaces.  This protocol optionally incorporates secure encrypted data exchanges utilizing XML message structures.
  • OpenFox® On-line Validations – This interface provides for the processing, tracking and reporting according to NCIC record validation requirements.  It is implemented with the standard OpenFox® Validations product which provides the central site validations database with records obtained automatically from NCIC and is integrated with forms and transactions implemented in OpenFox® Messenger.
  • OpenFox® Desktop / Messenger and Tools – This capability will utilize the OpenFox® FoxTalk protocol to provide support for any of the OpenFox® Desktop applications.  This protocol incorporates secure encrypted data exchanges utilizing XML message structures. The OpenFox® Messenger is a full featured law enforcement workstation application. Other applications supported by this environment include; the new version 7 Configurator forms, Users, Stations as well as the Archive & Retrieval client software.
  • OpenFox® Archive Retrieval – The purpose of the OpenFox® Archive Retrieval System is to provide fully automated extract and store of OpenFox® Message Switch traffic at regular intervals to provide near on-line capability. The OpenFox® Archive Retrieval system provides reporting and search capability through the use of client software executing in the OpenFox® Desktop environment.


To find out more about this project or what Computer Projects of Illinois (CPI) can provide for your law enforcement/criminal justice initiatives, contact:

Marc J. Smith
Senior Account Executive
(630) 754-8820 x.149
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About Computer Projects of Illinois, Inc.

Computer Projects of Illinois, Inc. (CPI), with its headquarters in Bolingbrook, IL, is the proven leading provider of information sharing software systems that safeguard the public and the officers sworn to protect it. CPI is unique in its core focus on the law enforcement and criminal justice community as exemplified by the fact that the company services over one half of the law enforcement users within the United States. CPI has earned its leadership position through the success of its OpenFox® information sharing system, the most popular "information broker" system of its kind. CPI maintains its leading position through rapid system development and implementation, dedicated technical support and outstanding customer service. CPI's market leading OpenFox® Product Suite is comprised of the OpenFox® Message Switching System, OpenFox® Desktop Client Software, OpenFox® HotFiles, OpenFox® On-Line Validations, OpenFox® Archive & Retrieval, OpenFox® Sex Offender Registry and OpenFox® Criminal History System.