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The Office of Naval Research Builds State-of-the-Art Grants Awards System Using Oracle9i JDeveloper.


"What was really nice about Oracle’s J2EE environment was the out-of-the-box experience. It was just a simple install, a simple setup, and we didn't have any problems. That really impressed us. Our Developers just love Oracle9i JDeveloper it gives them a single development environment for J2EE, XML, and SQL development."

--Jim Campbell, Senior Database Administrator, RS Information Systems, Office of Naval Research

Key Benefits
• Streamlined grant application and approval process
• Reduced complexity by consolidating on one platform for ease of manageability
• Avoided procurement and training costs through the use of a complete development and deployment platform

Oracle Products
• Oracle9i JDeveloper
• Oracle9i Developer Suite
• Oracle9i Application Server
• Oracle Database
Corporate Profile
Office of Naval Research

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) sponsors science and technology in support of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Founded in 1946, ONR today funds work at more than 450 universities, laboratories, and other organizations. ONR works in areas as diverse as oceanography, advanced materials, sensors, robotics biomedical science and technology, as well as electronics, surveillance, neurotechnology, manufacturing technology, information science, advanced combat systems, and technologies for ships, submarines, aircraft, and ground vehicles. ONR-sponsored work has produced the laser, the Global Positioning System, 50 Nobel prizes, and thousands of other discoveries and products used every day around the world. ONR has 450 concurrent database users and 200 concurrent application server customers.

Industry
Government

Geographies
United States

Streamlining the Grants Process

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) sponsors science and technology research in support of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Founded in 1946, ONR funds work at more than 450 universities, laboratories, and other organizations and awards $3 billion in grants each year.

Awarding $3 billion in grants each year wasn't a simple process, according to Jim Campbell, senior database administrator at RS Systems (RSIS), which consults at the Office of Naval Research. ONR's grant submission and approval process was paper based and lengthy. Grant applications were sent through the mail, and awardees were also notified through the mail. "The process was inefficient, expensive, and slow," said Campbell.

Using Oracle9i JDeveloper and Oracle9i Application Server (Oracle9iAS), RSIS built “Proposal Web”, a custom Java application that has made ONR’s grants funding process a lot simpler. With "Proposal Web", grant applications are submitted online. Once an application is selected for funding, Proposal Web emails the grantee with the decision. The automated system has increased the speed and efficiency of the expenditure process, making it easier for ONR staff to award grant money each month. Ten universities have already started using Proposal Web.


High-Level Project Goals

  • Develop a Web application to automate the grant funding process
  • Improve communications and shorten the cycle for allocating grant funds
  • Use industry standards-based architecture

Why Oracle?

ONR evaluated solutions from IBM, BEA, and Oracle and chose the Oracle J2EE architecture to develop new applications. According to Campbell, "Oracle offers a complete suite that includes an innovative development tool, a complete and easy-to-use application server, and the best database. Oracle supports the latest J2EE standards, and the tight integration between the components of its J2EE architecture simplifies development and deployment."



Rapid Development of J2EE Applications

The development team at ONR was very pleased with how fast they became productive using Oracle9i JDeveloper and Oracle9iAS. "It worked right out of the box, and our developers found it easy to use," said Campbell. "Our Java developers are a tough bunch to please, but from the very first, they liked Oracle9i JDeveloper. They like its productive graphical user interface and the ability to deploy right from the desktop."

"Proposal Web" architecture is based on Enterprise Java Beans (EJB) and an HTML user interface that is generated using Java Server Pages (JSP). "One of the best features in Oracle9i JDeveloper is the embedded J2EE container. It enables our developers to test and debug the code locally before deploying it to Oracle9iAS," said Campbell. "Oracle9i JDeveloper's debugger is very powerful and our developers love it. We found Oracle9i JDeveloper to be both reliable and stable."


Complete Development Environment

ONR uses many components of the Oracle9i Developer Suite for its application development. Oracle Designer is used to model and generate database definitions. Oracle Forms and Oracle Reports were used in the past to develop Client-Server applications with hundreds of Forms and thousands of users. These applications are now being upgraded to the Web with the Oracle9iAS Forms Services. "It is great that we can preserve the investments we have in existing applications and seamlessly upgrade them to the latest technology," said Campbell.

For itsreporting needs, ONR uses Oracle9iAS Discoverer. This easy-to-use end user query tool is the secret weapon of ONR and enables developers to easily produce Web reports and to provide easy access to information for end users.


Why RS Information Systems?

RSIS holds major technology service contracts with 50 federal agencies, including the Air Force, NASA, NOAA, the Social Security Administration, and the departments of Energy and Labor. RSIS provides advanced technical and business solutions in information technology, science, engineering, and management consulting. Based in McLean, VA, RSIS is a minority-owned firm that has climbed into the ranks of the largest federal information technology contractors. With 1,300 employees nationally and revenues expected to reach $200 million in 2002, RSIS serves a wide range of federal agencies, both civilian and defense.


Future Plans

The Office of Naval Research is planning to deploy Oracle9iAS Portal, Oracle Financials, and Oracle9i Real Application Clusters (RAC). According to Campbell, "Oracle’s offering is very comprehensive and addresses all our needs."



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