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NIWC deploys new, faster software development approach

Staff Report //April 21, 2020//

NIWC deploys new, faster software development approach

Staff Report //April 21, 2020//

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Expeditionary Enterprise Systems and Services Division engineers at NIWC Atlantic hold a video teleconference with Marines to sync OASIS software-development projects that OASIS engineers are working on. (Photo/Joseph Bullinger for the Navy)

An engineering team from Naval Information Warfare Center Atlantic is bringing a new approach to software development to the Navy and Marine Corps, which will allow the military branches to develop programs faster.

The Operational Application and Service Innovation Site, known as OASIS, uses the DevSecOps model, which brings programmers, users and security protocols together during every step of development to save time and money.

The DevSecOps model is based the methodologies of agile and lean startups, which shrink the typical timeline of developing software into smaller increments called minimum viable products.

Instead of taking years to develop a product, minimum viable products are released every week or two for customers to grade and developers to improve.

“Baking feedback into the process allows the end-users’ thoughts to make it back to the coders building their product,” Erik Gardner, NIWC Atlantic’s OASIS director, said in a news release. “With OASIS, Marines have an immediate voice in the development of what will be fielded.”

NIWC’s Expeditionary Warfare Department started OASIS a year ago to support a request from the Marines to improve enterprise software development. The first OASIS-developed application was the Inspector General’s Case Action Management program, which provides real-time tracking of investigations.

“When you look at industries in the commercial sector, you see they are no longer, for example, a logistics company — they are a software company with trucks,” NIWC Atlantic Executive Director Peter Reddy said in the release. “The Department of the Navy has to become a software company with warfighters. And because software-based battlefield missions can immediately benefit from the DevSecOps approach, the future of OASIS is critically relevant to operations in the information environment.”

OASIS is based on the Air Force’s Kessel Run, a DevSecOps program developed two years ago and named after a smuggling route in the Star Wars movie franchise.