AdaIC News Fall 1997

Saving money, code, with the COE

Software developers are proving that cost savings can be achieved by using the COE. Col David L. Chadwick, Commander, Marine Corps Tactical Systems Support Activity (MCTSSA) returned $5 million to the General Fund after completing a successful reengineering project. In this case, the activity reengineered and segmented three legacy systems (6-22 years old) that had a total of 200,000 source lines of C/C++ code.

The reengineering process of the systems involved three major steps:

  1. stripping out any COE-redundant configuration items;
  2. parsing remaining code into segments; and
  3. converting all relational database management system calls to SQL calls.

(MCTSSA's success has already been covered in the general press; see {Government Computer News}, vol. 15, no. 11, 5/27/96.)

DOD Policy/Guidance for COE Usage

All of the DOD's emerging C4I systems and system upgrades will be segmented for the DII COE, according to an August 22, 1996, DOD policy memo issued by Paul G. Kaminski, Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition and Technology (USD (A&T)), and Emmett Paige, Jr., Assistant Secretary of Defense (Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence) (ASD (C3I)). This memorandum mandates the use of the DOD's Joint Technical Architecture (JTA), which references the DII COE as, "the specific COE implementation that will continue to evolve in compliance with all applicable JTA specifications, standards, and source references." The JTA, which is being coordinated by DISA, identifies a common set of mandatory information technology standards and guidelines to be used in all C4I systems and the interfaces of C4I systems with other key assets. (Note: The DII COE is a specific implementation of the COE technical architecture specified by the JTA.)

Online with COE

Documentation available via custom search engine

DISA has developed a wealth of technical documentation and information about the COE. The Computer Systems Engineering Information Clearinghouse (CSEIC) has organized DII COE information and provides a full-text-search tool for general COE documentation on its DII COE home page ( General COE documentation is also available in HTML, PDF, and MS Word format.

DISA has also established a hotline (1-800/738-7379) where users and prospective users can get general as well as technical information.

Ordering a copy of the COE

Software developers may request a copy of the DII COE by sending electronic mail to the appropriate sponsor:

This can also be found under configuration management on DISA's COE Web site:

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