Tuesday, June 12, 2007

California and National Information Exchange Standards

Christopher Smith from the California Administrative Office of the Courts sends us this update on their GJXDM related activities:

Today, California courts have a myriad of interfaces in place using different standards and protocols. This is a result of local integration solutions being developed over time as technologies and practices changed. California, however, now has an opportunity to standardize how courts exchange information with their partners. This is particularly important as a critical part of the success of the California Case Management System (CCMS) will be the ability for courts to continue interfacing with their state and local justice partners. The California AOC’s Data Integration Program has developed a strategy to achieve this goal. This strategy addresses three key factors—standards, development, and deployment.

The branch has developed 17 Global Justice XML Data Model (GJXDM) based criminal and traffic data exchange standards covering 71 different scenarios and 4 similar standards for family and juvenile interfaces. The branch is also participating in the California Department of Justice’s effort to develop additional standards, including for juvenile delinquency. GJXDM-based interfaces are also being defined to allow courts and the state department of child support services to exchange information.

But while these standards are now available, many of the interfaces in use today pre-date them, and therefore, are not conformant. Many courts today use interfaces designed on legacy systems, long before XML even existed. Other courts have XML interfaces based on previous national or state standards or one-off solutions. This would include, for example, the courts who are using California’s Second Generation E-Filing Specifications for civil e-filing. Now, with the development and rollout of CCMS, California has the opportunity to institute a uniform framework for information sharing that reuses standards and tools across all case types so that any document that can be filed with the court can be filed electronically—whether by government agency, attorney, or a self-represented litigant.

Through the Data Integration Program, California will migrate all of its branch information exchange standards to the national information exchange standards—either the Global Justice XML Data Model (GJXDM) or the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM). This includes transitioning our Second Generation E-Filing Specifications for civil e-filing to the national models as well as revisiting our existing GJXDM-based criminal/traffic and family/juvenile data exchange specifications to ensure they meet the needs of the courts in a CCMS environment. By conforming to the national standards, California can have a single, uniform branch data dictionary that will assist in the development and deployment of additional exchanges in the future.

With these uniform standards in place, California will be able to standardize the architecture for information sharing. This architecture will drive all interfaces through our Integration Services Backbone (ISB), a suite of tools and service for integrating applications, where we can reconfigure and manage exchanges without having to do core development work to CCMS. This is particularly important as many jurisdictions have local extensions to the core standard exchange and it would be cost prohibitive to manage this within the core application. The ISB will also play a key role in civil electronic filing and sharing information with the public.

The final element of the strategy is to assist courts in the deployment of the CCMS and ISB, including ensuring required interfaces with justice partners are available to them. Even though CCMS will not be completely deployed for a few years, the Data Integration Program will begin evaluating courts integration requirements this year. This is so courts can become familiar with the new standards and architecture and their partners have time to plan for these changes. This will also give us time to develop and configure any additional data exchange standards needed by our courts.

Even though the family and juvenile modules are still being developed for CCMS, courts have already begun to benefit from the use of standards and the Integration Services Backbone. In Sacramento, the court is able to do its monthly interface with the Employment Development Department. In San Luis Obispo, court clerks will be able to review and accept or reject criminal complaints when that court goes live on the criminal and traffic module of CCMS. A number of other courts have used our standards to design public interfaces for sharing calendars and registers of action. And, soon, the courts will be able to interface with the credit card authorization agency from CCMS through the ISB.

In Orange Superior Court, the use of standards has already been used to improve information sharing. They are implementing, or have implemented, a number of GJXDM interfaces with local justice partners, including: initial criminal filings with the District Attorney, child support filings with the Department of Child Support Services, and citation data with local law enforcement to name a few. Other courts will soon deploy similar standards based interfaces as they deploy to the CCMS.

Monday, June 11, 2007

CTC-10 Education Program Posted

The initial CTC-10 education program has been listed on the CTC10 conference website. Click on the "Program" button on the menu bar to navigate to the program. In addition, information on the keynote speakers, Jack Ford and John G. Miller and their program has been posted.