Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) Successfully Deploys the OpenFox® Criminal History Application
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 February 12th 2013, the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) successfully deployed the OpenFox® Criminal History Application (CHA).
The OpenFox® CHA is a full cycle criminal history records application that includes standard functionality required to support the collection, storage, management, and dissemination of criminal history information. The CHA criminal records management is organized around a centralized repository that manages all of the personal identification data, arrest information, prosecutor data, disposition information, custody and commitment information necessary to maintaining and managing a criminal history.
The implementation of the OpenFox® CHA is another phase of a multi-faceted multi phased project. The implementation of the OpenFox® CHA is only one component of the Missouri Criminal Justice Modernization Project (MCJMP). The MCJMP project consisted of five (5) major components; the Criminal History (CCH) system, the Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system, the Records Management system (RMS), the Mobile Data Terminal (MDT) system and the State Message Switching system. CPI was awarded, by competitive bid, two (2) of these major components; the replacement of the Criminal History System and the replacement of the State Message Switch (MULES 3).
CPI utilized its standard OpenFox® Message Switching System and its OpenFox® Criminal History Application in order to meet the requirements of these major components as detailed by MSHP. After the initial meetings with MSHP and representatives of all companies involved in MCJMP it became clear that the highest priority components were the CAD and MDT solutions. It also became clear that these components could be implemented in a shorter time frame than the Message Switching System. In addition, the CAD and MDT solution providers did not want to first interface to MULES 3 and then later interface to the OpenFox® Message Switching system (MULES 4). In order to allow these vendors to only interface to one message switching system a decision was made to first implement the message switch as a Gateway into MULES 3 and then later upgrade it to full message switching capability.
The entire CPI project is as detailed below:
- OpenFox® Gateway – The Gateway was successfully deployed in February 2011. This was the first step in the project and allowed the MSHP to implement the following components:
o CAD and Mobile Device Solutions – Both of these components were placed on-line in March 2011. The OpenFox® Gateway interfaced with the MSHP CAD and Mobile systems while also interfacing with the existing MULES 3 system.
o OpenFox® Archive Retrieval V2 – This component was placed into production in February 2011. The Archive Retrieval database is implemented in SQL Server 2008 and provides the storage, management, search and reporting capabilities for all message traffic that passes through the Gateway / Message Switch.
o MACHS – The Missouri Automated Criminal History Site was successfully deployed in February 2011. Working in partnership with MSHP, CPI designed, developed and implemented an automated web application and supporting database to provide a name based criminal history background check. The application serves the needs of following distinct consumer groups; the general public, state and local agencies as well as commercial accounts. This implementation was awarded the 2011 Governor’s Award for Quality and Productivity. The application as developed for MSHP became the basis for the formation of the OpenFox® iRAP (Internet Record Access Portal). For more information on this implementation and product please go to the iRap page.
o OpenFox® Desktop – This component was placed into production in February 2011. Desktop communicates with the OpenFox® Gateway / Message Switch utilizing the FoxTalk protocol supporting FIPS 140-2 compliance as well as OFML (XML) message structures for all message exchange. Desktop provides a single sign-on environment for all related client software as follows:
- OpenFox® Messenger – The statewide deployment of Messenger was successfully completed from April 2011 through August 2011. The Messenger system replaced the green screens and all forms were created with MULES specific transactions.
- OpenFox® Archive Client – This component works in the Desktop environment and in conjunction with the Archive system to provide search and display capability for all messages traversing the OpenFox® Gateway.
- MACHS 2 – The web based fingerprint applicant appointment process was placed into production in July 2012.
- OpenFox® HotFiles, OpenFox® Message Switch and OpenFox® On-line Validations – This phase of the project was successfully deployed in December 2012 effectively creating MULES 4 by converting the existing hot files from Mainframe DB2 to SQL Server technology and upgrading the OpenFox® Gateway to the Message Switch supporting all the functionality of the existing MULES 3 SMS including access, user authentication, message processing and routing.
- OpenFox® Criminal History Application (CHA) – This phase of the project was successfully deployed on February 12, 2013. The pre-existing criminal history database was converted from Mainframe DB2 to SQL Server and the CHA Desktop software was installed to replace the existing client software. The CHA Client software is another module running in the OpenFox® Desktop environment which inherits all of the operational characteristics of this environment including single sign-on and FIPS 140-2 compliance. The OpenFox® CHA supports all other functionality related to Criminal History previously located on the mainframe CCH. The CHA project included the implementation of NFF (National Fingerprint File) capabilities for MSHP. Several factors contributed to the success of the NFF capability:
- A good working relationship between the MSHP, CPI and MorphoTrak teams resulted in the free exchange of information which was critical in design, implementation and testing.
- The Workflow and Interface Control Document clearly detailed the business rules.
- Simplified vendor exchange as CPI was the vendor for both the Statewide Message Switching System as well as the Criminal History System.
- CPI’s prior experience implementing NFF for Colorado.
At this time CPI is working on the Sex Offender Registry phase of the project as well as some enhancements that have been placed on hold since the project began. Once these components have been placed into production, MSHP will have implemented almost all of CPI’s commercially available software for the MSHP system.
The success of this project required a close working relationship between MSHP and CPI. MSHP managed the entire project and was responsible for the hardware environment as well as the software requirements, technical direction, configuration, and final testing. CPI provided project management as well as the application software design and development, configuration, testing and support. The number of interfaces and complex message flow made this project one of the most challenging that CPI has accomplished.
The new OpenFox® Message Switching, OpenFox® HotFiles and OpenFox® Criminal History Application environment has interfaces to the following:
- NCIC – This interface utilizes the standard NCIC TCP/IP protocol for the purpose of querying and updating NCIC files including Triple I and NFF.
- Nlets – This interface utilizes the standard Nlet TCP/IP protocol for the purpose of exchanging interstate data through the Nlets portal.
- OpenFox® FT Remo – This capability utilizes the OpenFox® FoxTalk to provide support for regional systems wishing to take advantage of the new capabilities as well as iPatrol. This protocol utilizes XML message structures and optionally supports secure encrypted data exchanges based upon parameters negotiated at session connection time.
- OpenFox® Desktop / Messenger and Tools – This capability utilizes the OpenFox® FoxTalk protocol to provide support for all 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 Forms Configurator, the Archive Retrieval, the Criminal History Application (CHA) as well as the Sex Offender Registry (SOR) 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 Archive Retrieval client software executing in the OpenFox® Desktop environment.
- XWAVE CAD – The purpose of this interface is for exchange of queries and response between the XWAVE CAD system and the OpenFox® Message Switching System. The interface protocol is based upon the OpenFox® FoxTalk Interface Specification and utilizes OFML XML message structures.
- FATPOT Mobile – The purpose of this interface is to provide for exchange of queries and response between the FATPOT mobile device server and the OpenFox® Message Switching System. The FATPOT Mobile interface is a TCP/IP sockets based protocol called DMPP-2020. The DMPP-2020 protocol represents an application-to-application protocol for use over a TCP/IP communications session. This interface also utilizes OFML XML message structures.
- MULES Legacy Mainframe – The MULES Mainframe interface is the standard “legacy” interface for the MULES system. It is currently being utilized as a method of communications between the OpenFox® Message Switch and the Department of Revenue for exchange of information related to Vehicle and Drivers Registrations, including images. It is a TCP/IP sockets based protocol with a provision for multiple connections to/from each side. Each side of this communications pair acts as both a “client” and a “server”. The protocol allows up to 4 simultaneous sessions for input messages and 4 simultaneous sessions for output messages.
- Legacy CAD Interface – The legacy CAD (remote agency) interface enables remote agency/CAD systems to exchange traffic with MSHP utilizing the same communications methods and message formats utilized on the preceding MULES system thus providing a method to connect without additional cost. This interface is a TCP/IP socket connection similar to legacy mainframe MULES interface specification.
- Office of State Courts (OSCA) Web Service Interface – The purpose of this interface is the exchange of information related to Orders of Protection. The interface to OSCA utilizes industry standard web service architecture with SSL encryption. The web service is designed and implemented as an asynchronous web service meaning that traffic is initiated by each of the communicating parties. Each communicating partner has published a web service and each partner has client software capable of consuming the other’s web service.
- IBM MQ Series Interface – The purpose of this interface is to provide connectivity, through the MSHP MQ Server, to the MSHP Mainframe legacy standalone applications. The licensed MQ Series client software is installed on the OpenFox® Message Switch and queue “pairs” have been configured on the OpenFox® System as well as the MSHP MQ Series Server providing a method of interfacing to the following:
- AFIS – The purpose of this interface is to provide transaction support between the AFIS system and the CHA system. The transactions are related to AFIS searches of the criminal history database, Triple I support as well as NFF functionality. The transactions on this interface utilize NIST formatting, which is transformed by the Message Switch.
- DOC – This interface provides transaction support to inquire against the Department of Corrections database. Three distinct types of queries are supported:
- Queries specific to REJIS (Regional Justice Information Systems).
- Queries specific to CJIS Criminal Records Section users.
- General law enforcement queries for other MULES 4 users.
- DWITS – The Driving While Intoxicated Tracking System interface provides query transaction support for MULES 4 users.
- DOH – The Department of Health and Senior Citizen interface provides transaction support from the DOH to the OpenFox® Criminal Application.
- Trooper Selection Interface – The purpose of this interface is to provide a transport mechanism for the queries originating from the Trooper Selection system within MSHP.
- LAB/DNA Interface – The purpose of this interface is to provide a transport mechanism between the MSHP DNA Lab and the new OpenFox® HotFiles via the OpenFox® Message Switch for the purpose of updating the DNA table for Wanted and Missing PersonThis interface only receives input from the DNA lab.
- VINES Interface – The purpose of this interface is to provide a transport mechanism for protection order updates to the Appriss VINES system in Louisville, KY. This interface is an outbound process only. Protection order updates are provided in fully tagged XML documents.
- OSCA NICS – The purpose of this interface is to provide a transport mechanism between OSCA (Office of State Court Administration) and the OpenFox® Message Switch for the purpose of providing updates to the FBI NICS (National Incident Check System).
- CI19 – The purpose of this interface is to provide a transport mechanism between the OpenFox® Message Switch and the MSHP CI19 system. This capability captures information used in queries relative to persons and vehicles.
- MOSPIN – The purpose of this interface is to provide a transport mechanism between the OpenFox® Message Switch and the MSHP MOSPIN system. This captures information used in queries relative to persons and vehicles.
- MULES 3 Interface – This interface is used to facilitate exchanges of information between the legacy mainframe and the new message switch for sex offender transactions until that system is converted to the new SOR Repository system being developed.
- Nlets Query Interface – This interface is used to support queries originating from NLETS regarding vehicle registration and driver license information.
- DOR –The Department of Revenue interface allows MULES 4 users to obtain Driver License and Vehicle Registration data. The data originating from DOR is formatted in fixed format and is interpreted and transformed by the Message Switch to conform to NLETS and AAMVA standards. This interface is pending implementation due to a mutual decision between MSHP and CPI. The existing interface via MULES 3 is currently leveraged for this information.
- Employment Security Interface – The purpose of this interface is to provide a transport mechanism between the Missouri Department of Labor and the OpenFox® Message Switch for the purpose of queries against the OpenFox® HotFiles. This interface is pending implementation due to a mutual decision between MSHP and CPI.
- ODBC (Open DataBase Connection) Interfaces – The MSHP OpenFox® Environment is composed of separate systems executing the Message Switch as well as each of the major database applications including the HotFiles, the Archive, the Validations and the Criminal History Application. These functionalities use an interface process on the Message Switch utilizing ODBC to communicate with stored procedures on the database servers. The following interfaces are developed using ODBC capabilities:
- Hot Files – The HotFiles System was developed in SQL Server 2008. The interface utilizes standard ODBC to access, update, and query the database supporting law enforcement users throughout the state as well as providing interface support for agencies such as NCIC, OSCA, DOR and DOH. The database consists of seven (7) files which are mirrored to NCIC including Wanted, Missing, Vehicle, Plates, Parts, Protection Orders and Boats. The system first stores the records in the MSHP HotFiles database using transactions specific to MSHP and then creates the NCIC transactions in order to effectively mirror the data. The NCIC transactions are delivered via the OpenFox® Message Switch. The HotFiles system capability is implemented with the following interfaces:
- Hot Files Update – The purpose of this interface is to allow for the exchange of database update information between the OpenFox® Message Switching system and the ODBC compliant OpenFox® HotFiles system. Transactions are processed in order of receipt (FIFO) and each update transaction receives a response and may result in multiple transactions being built and delivered to NCIC for the purpose of mirroring.
- Hot Files Query – The purpose of this interface is to allow for the exchange of query-only transactions to the OpenFox® HotFiles. The interface can utilize one or more threads depending upon the configuration and the need relative to volume.
- Criminal History – The Criminal History Application (CHA) was developed in SQL Server 2008. The CHA is a full cycle criminal history records application that includes standard functionality required to support the collection, storage, management, and dissemination of criminal history information. The application includes support for Triple I (III) functionality as well as NFF (National Fingerprint File). The CHA functionality is implemented through the following OpenFox® Message Switch Interfaces:
- Criminal History Query Interface – The purpose of this interface is to allow for the exchange of query-only information between the OpenFox® Criminal History clients and customers, via the OpenFox® Message Switch to the OpenFox® Criminal History system. Many query types are supported, including in-state as well as Nlets. Responses are formatted in XML including NIEM for the JTF (Joint Task Force) standard compliance.
- Criminal History Update Interface – The purpose of this interface is for the exchange of all update transactions via the OpenFox® Message Switch to and from the OpenFox Criminal History System. Transactions include those required for compliance with III and NFF requirements.
- Criminal History AFIS Interface – This purpose of this interface is to provide database transaction support for the transactions arriving at the OpenFox® Message Switch from the AFIS MQ Series interface to the Criminal History database as well as responses back from the database destined back to the AFIS system.
- MACHS Database Interface – The purpose of this interface is to provide support for the MACHS web functionality. Transactions submitted via the MACHS Web interface are submitted to CHA via an asynchronous database interface.
- Batch DOR Interface – The purpose of this interface is to allow for exchange of data between the OpenFox® system and DOR for the purpose of obtaining stolen vehicle information for the registration process.
- OpenFox® On-line Validations – This interface provides the processing, tracking and reporting according to NCIC record validation requirements. It is implemented with the CPI’s standard 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.
- Asynchronous Database Interface – The purpose of this interface is to provide a mechanism for database application processes to send message transactions to the OpenFox® Message Switch in an asynchronous manner. The database contains a table into which the transactions are placed, which are read via the interface driver using ODBC methods. The transactions are then input into the message switch for processing. This interface supports the following:
- Responses from CHA Client Transactions
- MACHS to CHA Asynchronous Messages
- HotFiles notifications
- Archive Retrieval Responses
- SAM (System Automated Monitor) – The purpose of this interface is to allow the CPI Support Center and engineers based in Bolingbrook, Illinois to monitor the operation of the MSHP system. SAM consists of scripts that run at the MSHP site which report real time data back to CPI headquarters to be displayed on CPI’s Support Center 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 MSHP system for routine maintenance and problem resolution. This capability has not been implemented, pending a change to the MSHP system architecture. Once the hardware environment has been changed, this capability will be made operational.
To find out more about what Computer Projects of Illinois (CPI) can provide for your law enforcement/criminal justice initiatives, contact:
Marc J. Smith
National Sales Manager
(630) 754-8820 x.149