Tuesday, August 08, 2006

My Last Post Until I Return from Afghanistan

As I alluded to in my earlier post, I have been called to duty with the US Army.

For those who wish to follow, please check out my war blog:


Thanks to everyone!

Finally Finished.. the road was long with many curves..

I'm finally finished with my project. Now that I have completed this, I will discuss it in some detail.

I have spent the last few years working in or around the Washington, DC metro area. So, it is somewhat a big surprise that I would return there, since it was certainly not what I had in mind.

After I finished up my work at USAID, I came onboard with Bearingpoint. First, I started on a commercial account that took me all the way to Shanghai, China. After several weeks, I returned and started with the US Forest Service.

The Forest Service project was really a mini-project that came about because of the massive reorganization of the their budget and financial systems. The basis of the reorg was to centralize the payment processing. They chose the final location for the payment center in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The project demanded the use of an ESB, web services, workflow, J2EE and Oracle. It was truly an Enterprise deployment.

After almost 9 months in Rosslyn, VA, the entire project moved to Albuquerque. I can tell you from personal experience that this is something that should be avoided midway in a project. This isn't the only project that required a move.

Since you have the background, now the details:

In a gist, we automated a process that has been paper-driven for decades. For many many years, the US Forest Service used a paper process to pay their vendors for services ranging from Air Tankers and Helicopters, to port-a-potties. For those familiar, if you pay early, you take a discount, pay late, pay a penalty. The trouble was that it was the system made it difficult to pay on time because of the numerous checks and balances required for payment approval.

BearingPoint stepped in to architect and develop a J2EE, webMethods Workflow application that automates data collection and verification and permits the human requirement for approval.

The Integration Server provides hub and spoke capability between a variety of systems. There are also ties with other agencies to share non-sensitive data and to aid in required congressional reporting.

All-in-all, I did learn some interesting things about webMethods 6.5.1. The support I received from the webMethods Government Team was excellent.