Platform Domain

Purpose

The Platform Domain contains technical standards and policies for deploying and using hardware platforms, operating systems, and enterprise storage systems at DHS. The Platform Domain spans web (n-tier), client/server, and mainframe technologies. The overall business requirements of DHS determine the choice of platforms. With the industry trend toward n-tiered applications, the integration of the different servers that constitute the tiers becomes an important consideration. The development of architectural standards is a critical activity to help guarantee that these tiers interoperate seamlessly. The platform domain also defines the standards and best practices for performance monitoring for efficient and effective control of DHS' distributed information processing environment.

The principles that govern the platform domain include a unified management approach, a viable technology replacement plan, and minimizing the number of known vendor products used. The platform components must support the business needs of DHS, reside in secure environments, utilize industry standard products, scale to the desired environment, and have the desired level of fault tolerance.

The techniques and guidelines in this domain will support and enhance the productivity of computer systems, while consolidating and strengthening future system management, development, and maintenance at DHS.

This section consists of the following areas:

  • Enterprise Platforms - servers and operating environments that host critical and large applications. Enterprise servers host applications that typically serve a large number of users. Various enterprise servers use mainframe, client/server, and web technologies. The types of operating systems supported on the enterprise platform include Unisys OS 2200, Microsoft Windows 2000, and Microsoft Windows 2003.

    This section consists of the following areas:

    • Unisys Mainframe Platform - maintains vital legacy programs and the associated software tools for DHS. The mainframe provides a robust environment to host critical legacy applications such as the Client Information Systems (CIS). This section identifies the standards, reference manuals, and guidelines for the use of the mainframes in DHS.
    • ES 7000 Platform - Large-scale server specifically designed to run the Windows 2000 and 2003 Data Center operating system and critical e-business applications. A major feature for this operating environment is its mainframe-class high availability combined with the use of Windows 2000 and 2003 data center technology. The ES7000 server can be partitioned to separate servers running independent copies of the Operating System.
    • Capacity Planning for Enterprise Applications - Define capacity planning, establish a structure, a timeframe for performing a capacity analysis, and a methodology for performing capacity analysis of enterprise applications that can be used by the application teams.
  • Network Platforms - The Unisys ES 7000 Platform is a large-scale server specifically designed to run the Windows 2000 and 2003 Data Center operating system and critical e-business applications. A major feature for this operating environment is its mainframe-class high availability combined with the use of Windows 2000 and 2003 data center technology. The ES7000 server can be partitioned to separate servers running independent copies of the Operating System.

    This section consists of the following areas:

    • Operating Systems - the most important program that runs on a computer. It performs several tasks, such as recognizing input from the keyboard, sending output to the monitor, keeping network connections alive, maintaining the file system on disk, controlling peripheral devices such as disk drives and printers, and hosting all applications that operate on the computer.

      For larger computer systems, the operating system has an even greater responsibility. It makes sure that the programs run independent of one another. The operating system also maintains security, ensuring that unauthorized users do not access the system.

      DHS classifies operating systems by five primary characteristics:
      1. Multi-user: Allows two or more users to execute programs in parallel. Certain operating systems permit hundreds or even thousands of concurrent users.
      2. Multiprocessing: Allows more than one processor to execute a program.
      3. Multitasking: Allows more than one program to run concurrently.
      4. Multithreading: Allows different parts of a single program to run concurrently.
      5. Real time: Responds to input instantly. A general-purpose operating system, such as UNIX, is not real-time.
         
      Standards Procedures Examples and Best Practices

    In addition, generic network platform standards and policies, which pertain to these subsections, follow:

    Standards
  • Client Platforms - specifically engineered for smaller scale applications, operating systems, and hardware. However, such platforms are very widespread and are an integral part of computing technology. The "end user" typically operates on a client, or desktop platform when performing any type of computer related work. There are several software programs and utilities for this platform.
     
    This section consists of the following areas:
    • Desktop - For more information regarding the current standard configurations of Department wide desktop computers see the DHS Information Technology Environment Summary document.
       
      Standards Guidelines
    • Laptop - For more information regarding the current standard configurations of Department wide desktop computers see the DHS Information Technology Environment Summary document.
       
      Guidelines
    • Handheld Devices - Handheld devices refer to handheld PCs and personal digital assistants (PDAs).

      A handheld PC is a computer small enough to fit in a jacket pocket and runs an off-the-shelf operating system made for handheld PCs. The Handheld PC platform at DHS uses the Microsoft Windows CE operating system, which is a scaled down version of Windows 95, which includes scaled-down versions of several Microsoft application programs, including Excel, Word, Internet Explorer, Schedule+, and an e-mail client.

      PDAs are lightweight palmtop computers designed to provide specific functions like personal organization (calendar, note taking, database, calculator, and so on) and communications. More advanced models also offer multimedia features. Many PDA devices rely on a pen or other pointing device for input instead of a keyboard or mouse, although some offer a small keyboard in conjunction with a pen or pointing device. For data storage, PDAs rely on flash memory instead of disk drives.

      In addition to the handheld devices standard(s) below, please reference the desktop section above for more generic client system standards.

      Standards  Procedures 

    In addition, generic client platform standards and policies, which pertain to these subsections, follow:

    Standards

In addition, other platform domain standards and policies, which pertain to these subsections, follow:

Policy

Standards

Procedures

Guidelines

Purpose  ( previously Groupware Domain)

This provides standards and policies for office automation and collaboration tools. This includes the collaboration and communications between individuals within and outside of DHS' organization, through formal and informal exchanges of ideas, documents, and the like. This domain relates to the others by defining the tools used to 1) access data, 2) process unstructured data, and 3) manipulate agency data, and it writes documentation for applying these tools. It also uses some components of the Internet and Network domains and coordinates with the Security domain.

This section consists of groupware standards and policies in the following areas:

  • Office Automation Tools - Allow one to work more efficiently and effectively in the workplace. More specifically, such software can aid in the creation of electronic spreadsheets, presentations, e-mail, and many other documents. Examples of this software include Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc.

    This section consists of the following areas:
    • E-Mail - Short for electronic mail, it is the transmission of messages over communications networks. Messages can be notes entered from the keyboard or electronic files stored on disk. Most computer and information systems have an e-mail system. Some electronic-mail systems are confined to a single computer system or network, but others have gateways to other computer systems, enabling users to send electronic mail anywhere in the world. E-mail has rapidly grown to become a fast and reliable way to communicate.
    • Microsoft Office Products - Used by many organizations for producing electronic spreadsheets, presentations, databases, and several other documents. These tools increase staff productivity and overall effectiveness. Listed below are the Microsoft Office applications included on the standard DHS desktop load.
      • Access - Database application (local use only)
      • Excel - Spreadsheet application
      • Outlook - E-mail application
      • PowerPoint - Presentation application
      • Office Tools - Productivity application
      • Word - Word processing documentation application
         
      Requests for additional Microsoft products must be submitted to the users' supervisor.
       
    • Office 2007 Training References

     Standards
     Procedures

Open TI Components - Open Transaction Integrator, or OpenTI, is a middleware tool by Unisys that allows Windows clients to access existing Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) systems. OpenTI solution is designed for enterprise-class clients that depend on high-volume transaction processing. OpenTI gives a great advantage to organizations that use legacy OLTP systems and cannot afford to convert entirely to Windows-based systems because it allows new and old technologies to co-exist. This section contains OpenTI Component standards and policies. More information on OpenTI can be found in the Integration and Middleware Domain.

Standards

Templates And Forms