SAN CARLOS, CA — August 12, 2008 — MarkLogic Corporation, a leading provider of infrastructure software for information applications, today announced that the Army’s Battle Command Knowledge System (BCKS), a major subordinate organization of the U.S. Army Combined Arms Center (CAC) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, implemented MarkLogic Server to support a mission-essential knowledge management (KM) and information sharing requirement. The BCKS solution, the Warrior Knowledge Base (WKB), was designed to take advantage of the XQuery Data Model and was implemented using MarkLogic’s technology and consulting services.
MarkLogic Server enables Soldiers preparing for a mission to rapidly discover, access and use trusted and managed content. Soldiers can build virtual documents in minutes, pulling together the most relevant content from many search results, such as lessons learned, reports and articles written by experienced Soldiers, Department of Defense (DOD)/Department of the Army (DA) civilians and DOD/DA contractors. MarkLogic Server helps the experienced Soldier share information with the inexperienced. Rapid knowledge transfer empowers Warfighters to adapt to changing situations and apply new tactics faster than the enemy.
The Army is highly regarded for its ability to collect and analyze the results of operations and training programs, and then incorporate the lessons learned into doctrine and operating procedures. Because the enemy adapts rapidly in a counterinsurgency (COIN) environment the Army needed a more rapid and less structured way to share knowledge. BCKS professional forums, such as Logistics Net and Leader Net, enable the rapid transfer of knowledge to support the Army’s new COIN doctrine. After it is vetted and published, new knowledge can then be placed in a XML-based repository so it can be easily discovered, accessed and used by deploying and deployed Warfighters.
To meet this need, BCKS developed the WKB repository, search utility and content management system powered by MarkLogic Server. BCKS forum members can quickly discover content in the WKB and then link to it within a discussion area for further development of the discussion topic.
“Connecting our 90,000 plus members with relevant documents in the WKB Repository within seconds, and then sharing that content with other forum members, is our goal,” states Mark Uhart, WKB Integrator and Knowledge Management Consultant. “The WKB shows promising capabilities that have already demonstrated great utility. For example, doctrinal content in Army field manuals published in English-Arabic (used in Iraq) or English-Pushto (used in Afghanistan) can be difficult to discover, access and understand using a traditional database approach. The file sizes are also very large, which could make finding relevant content a time-consuming task on a low-bandwidth network. The metadata assigned to these types of documents, and the fact that content can be discovered and viewed page-by-page without having to download the file, allows discovery and use of only the relevant content. BCKS has the capability to store and manage content in 37 different languages.”
By applying metadata based on the DOD Metadata Specification (DDMS), content is managed automatically by applying metadata properties such as the ‘Valid Until’ date. By applying a schema standard used by the DOD community, MarkLogic Server manages the work flow until the file is transferred to archives or deleted by the content manager, saving the Army time and resources.
“We knew we had to provide content discovery and access at the page level to be of any value to forward-deployed Soldiers and the DOD/DA contractors and civilians who support them. They have neither the bandwidth nor the time to download a large file only to discover it’s not what they wanted,” added Uhart. “The application program interface (API) developed by MarkLogic for the Army is unique in that it parses and indexes content at the page level, and applies discovery metadata based on the DDMS and a BCKS customized schema.” MarkLogic also helped BCKS meet DOD Net-Centric Data Strategy requirements to make data “visible, accessible, understandable, trusted, interoperable, manageable, and responsive to user needs via a service-oriented architecture.” To overcome the lack of “data asset visibility” across DOD Components, the DOD provided data sharing implementation and technical guidance. Because Extensible Markup Language (XML)-based discovery metadata is considered the most flexible means of sharing discovery metadata throughout the DOD, BCKS adopted the XML standard. MarkLogic’s expertise in XML-based solutions allowed BCKS to accelerate its path to compliance with DOD’s Net-Centric Data (sharing) Strategy.
“MarkLogic’s technology and software engineering expertise were important to the success of this project,” commented Uhart. “We needed a solution that would maximize our use of XML and XQuery so Soldiers, DA Civilians and DOD Contractors could find what they need and quickly apply it, and MarkLogic delivered. MarkLogic Server takes full advantage of XML, and the MarkLogic engineering team is there every step of the way, providing us with the experience and direction to make this a successful program. Thanks to MarkLogic, BCKS is one of the first organizations to employ XML-based technology to achieve KM objectives in such an innovative way. Our next step is to integrate our knowledge base with that of others and move interoperability into the Joint, Interagency and Multinational (JIM) environment.”
The Battle Command Knowledge System (BCKS), headquartered at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and supported by Computer Sciences Corporation’s “Team CSC,” is the lead agent for implementing Army Operational Knowledge Management (AOKM). Established in 2004 to support Army-wide knowledge transfer, BCKS hosts 80 online professional forums serving the needs of more than 90,000 Active Army, Reserve and National Guard Leaders, as well as DA Civilians. BCKS also provides KM expertise to the Army through training courses and by providing unit KM advisors. BCKS is a component of the recently created CAC-Knowledge, which also includes Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL), Combined Arms Doctrine Directorate (CADD), Military Review journal and Combat Studies Institute Center (CSI) http://usacac.army.mil/CAC/bcks.