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Massachusetts Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (DCJIS)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 November 3, 2012, the Massachusetts Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (DCJIS) successfully deployed the OpenFox® Message Switch Information Broker. From a CPI software perspective, the project consisted of replacing the existing Massachusetts mainframe based Message Switch, the implementation of databases for the OpenFox® Hot Files application, the OpenFox® Archive Retrieval, the OpenFox® On-line Validations, and the implementation of state wide OpenFox® Messenger client software systems.

The success of this project required a close working relationship between DCJIS, CPI, Peak Performance and xFact. xFact provided the general information broker with interfaces to National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (Nlets), the RMV (Motor Vehicle files) and the Mobile Data Computing system. In addition, the xFact broker provides database support or an interface for the Sex Offender Registry, the Massachusetts Warrant System, the Bureau of Prison files, the Criminal History System as well as the User Repository. Peak Performance provided their nexTEST system for the testing and certification of users. DCJIS managed the entire project and was responsible for the design, technical direction, configuration, and final testing.

The DCJIS hardware environment, provided by CPI (See figure 1), is an extremely robust IBM Blade Center encompassing six blades in the production environment. The six blades consist of the following utilizations: primary Message Switching system, database server, Archive Retrieval system, test/development system, and backup for either the message switching or the database server functionality. CPI's High Availability for OpenFox® automatically switches the operation of the message switch or the database server to the backup system if an unrecoverable error occurs on the production instances. All of the Blade Center processors described above are IBM power blades utilizing the AIX (Unix) operating system. In addition, one Intel based IBM Blade is utilized to provide a platform for operating the Peak Performance nexTEST system. An IBM SAN storage device is utilized to provide disk storage for the entire environment.

In addition to the production environment (See figure 2), the project also included the implementation of a Disaster Recovery (DR) environment. The DR hardware is an IBM pSeries 550 system that is used to provide the functionality of the Message Switching system as well as the Hot Files system in the case of an emergency. CPI implemented Oracle® Data Guard to keep database files that are on the DR system in sync with the production system.

The new OpenFox® Message Switch Information Broker system interfaces to the following:

National Crime Information Center (NCIC) – This interface utilizes the standard NCIC TCP/IP protocol for the purpose of querying and updating NCIC files.

xFact – This interface utilizes three web service communication connections to provide paths for retrieving information related to the RMV (Motor Vehicle), Nlets, SOR, Massachusetts Warrant System files, Criminal History files as well as the User Repository. In these instances the xFact server is considered to be an Information Providing service. In addition, the xFact system acts as a client when requesting OpenFox® information housed on OpenFox® or on remote systems to which OpenFox® has direct access. In this instance, the xFact server sends transactions to OpenFox® and receives responses as a proxy for the xFact Mobile Data Systems as well as XML Vendor Systems. All data exchanged on this interface is structured XML.

OpenFox® Hot Files – The Hot Files System was developed in Oracle®. The interface utilizes the standard Oracle® API to access, update, and query the database. The database consists of nine (9) files which are mirrored to NCIC including Wanted, Missing, Vehicle, Plates, Parts, Guns, Boats, Articles and Securities.

OpenFox® Fox Talk Remote (FT Remo) – The purpose of this interface is to provide an upgrade path for iPatrol. This protocol optionally incorporates secure encrypted data exchanges utilizing XML message structures.

OpenFox® On-line Validations – This interface provides 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 OpenFox® Version 7 Configurator, the OpenFox® Forms Configurator, and the OpenFox® 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 search and display capability. The OpenFox® Archive Retrieval system provides reporting and search capability through the use of client software executing in the OpenFox® Desktop environment.

System Automated Monitor (SAM) – The purpose of this interface is to allow the CPI Help Desk and engineers based in Bolingbrook, Illinois to monitor the operation of the DCJIS system. SAM consists of scripts that run at DCJIS site which report real time data back to CPI headquarters to be displayed on Help Desk monitors. In addition this same facility is used to back up critical files at CPI. The secure Nlets network is utilized to provide this capability and is also used by CPI engineers to access the DCJIS system for routine maintenance and problem resolution.

About CPI (Computer Projects of Illinois, Inc.)

Computer Projects of Illinois, Inc. (CPI), with its headquarters in Bolingbrook, IL, is a 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:

OpenFox® Message Switch System Information Broker
OpenFox® Desktop Client Software
OpenFox® HotFiles Applications
OpenFox® On-Line Validations
OpenFox® Archive Retrieval
OpenFox® Sex Offender Registry
OpenFox® Criminal History Application
OpenFox® Internet Record Access Portal (IRAP)
iPatrol™ - Application for Smartphone & Tablets for access to NCIC, Nlets, and state records


Sales contact:

Marc J. Smith
National Sales Manager
Computer Projects of Illinois (CPI)
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
(630) 754-8820 x149

Figure 1

MA Production Infrastructure Architecture Website Version 11132012

Figure 2

MA DR Infrastructure Architecture Website Version 11132012