By Kim Granville, NAVFAC iNFADS Program Manager
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Do you know where your building is located? Yes, of course you do. But in addition to its physical location, your building is also located in the internet Navy Facilities Asset Data Store (iNFADS), which celebrated its 15th anniversary, March 2016.
iNFADS is the Accountable Property System of Record for NAVFAC and its job is to provide the Department of Defense with authoritative real property inventory data for Department of Navy real property.
While iNFADS has become a robust and comprehensive inventory system used by NAVFAC, Commander, Navy Installations Command, the Marine Corps, and other Department of Defense systems, Bob Becker, NAVFAC Information Technology Center Contractor Support, remembers what it was like before iNFADS came about.
"You have to remember, in early 2000, NMCI and our CACs were non-existent, and transactional web-based applications, centralized Maximo, centralized Geographic Information System (GIS), the NAVFAC Portal and eProjects had not yet been conceived," said Becker.
Even NITC had a different name at that time. It was called the Facilities Systems Office, and applications hosted there were primarily mainframe applications.
FACSO then researched the viability of migrating several mainframe systems to web-based applications. The target systems were the Navy Facility Assets Data Base, Master Activity General Information and Control, and Category Code Directory. Based on some other applications in the early stages of design at the time, such as the fledgling ieFACMAN initiative, NAVFAC chose Oracle Forms as the technology for the new system.
Development began in June 2000, and several prototypes were presented to the Asset Management community. Although configuration control boards did not exist at that time, there was a core group which performed the function of a CCB, such as deciding on requirements and specific applications to be used by the workforce. The new system had several names: webNFADB, transactional NFA and iNFA. Ultimately, the decision to officially adopt the name iNFADS was made Dec. 1, 2000.
After three months of development and testing, iNFADS went into production in March 2001, less than a year after development began, using a single contractor resource. The mainframe NFADB was now the iNFADS Facility module, the MAGIC system was now the Activity module, and the CCD system was now the Category Code module. The Administration and Security modules were also included in the initial release. At the time, there were 378 users of the system (plus a "guest" login for read-only access).
Soon after, development began on the iNFADS Planning module, which was a migration from the mainframe Shore Facility Planning System. This module went live in October 2001. The fifth mainframe system, Military Construction Programming, was migrated to iNFADS to become the MCP module in July 2003. During this time period, the Data Dictionary and Task Manager also joined the list of iNFADS modules.
Since then, nine new modules have been created, based on requirements provided by the user community. Today, there are more than 3,400 user accounts and approximately 1,000 data elements (across all modules). iNFADS pulls data from and/or makes data available to NAVFAC, Marine Corps, CNIC, and other Department of Defense systems.
While Oracle Forms was an appropriate choice for web development in 2000, NAVFAC is now planning to redesign the user interface using a more modern web technology. In keeping with one of NAVFAC's Focus Areas included in its new Strategic Design, the new system will increase infrastructure readiness for the Navy and Marine Corps by gradually converting the iNFADS application to Oracle ADF (Application Development Framework) during the next two years.
This technology does not rely on the presence of Java on the user's workstation, which will eliminate a significant source of connectivity issues. The new interface will provide iNFADS users across the DOD greater capabilities and ensure the continued success of the iNFADS application for years to come.