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  • NexGen Technologies

Rangeland Administration System Modernization

Background

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) administers more public land - over 245 million surface acres - than any other Federal agency in the United States. The BLM manages rangelands throughout the west for the use of wildlife and livestock. The rangelands are divided into allotments and pastures for management purposes. The Rangeland Administration System (RAS) provides grazing administrative support and management reports for the BLM and the public. The Rangeland Administration system serves as an electronic calendar for issuance of approximately 18,000 applications and 2,400 grazing authorizations (Permits, Leases, and Exchange-of-Use Agreements) per year, eliminating the need for manually processing these forms. RAS also creates approximately 30,000 grazing bills per year. RAS provides distribution information to the Collections and Billings System (CBS) for tracking, collecting, and distributing grazing receipts. Additionally, the system maintains electronic files about allotments, authorizations, and grazing bill history.


Challenges

In support of the programs' goal to deliver high-quality information systems and services to its customer, BLM began an initiative to modernize the original RAS to modern technologies. This initiative included migrating from a legacy Prolifics Panther-based solution to a Java/JEE platform, while migrating data from an Informix database to an Oracle database. To bring the system up to date and make it more user-friendly, the objective of this project was to develop and deploy the technically refreshed and rearchitected system to support the BLM Rangeland program.


Solution

NexGen provided project planning and management support, requirements validation, architecture and design, development, testing, and training support to redesign and modernize the legacy system. Our team designed and architected RAS 2.0 as a workflow-based application that leverages robust open-source components to serve the needs for the Rangeland Management Program into the future, through a flexible architecture. NexGen integrated the RedHat/JBoss jBPM — a workflow engine — as a core component of the application, alongside a Drools-based business rules management engine. Our technical team redesigned the entire RAS user interface (UI), to deliver a solution with a modern look and feel with a streamlined, enhanced user experience. The new solution enabled the shift away from a traditional web-application stack to a Business Process Management (BPM)-oriented system. The result is a more robust, flexible, and responsive application that can handle the ongoing evolution of business rules driven by changes in laws and regulations.


As part of this project, NexGen implemented a variety of new business features and changes based on policy driven requirements. Towards the end of the project, when Congress amended the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) of 1976, NexGen rapidly enhanced application within a week to ensure RAS was compliant with this amended law.


Our data management and migration team designed a comprehensive data model, incorporating new data elements and standards to support legacy data transformation needs and interfaces with other BLM applications. Since the legacy application and associated database was originally integrated into a larger system, our team meticulously reverse engineered the legacy data model and associated business rules to develop a new RAS data model and database. Due to the complex business reporting requirements for RAS, we also designed and implemented a reporting schema and ETL (extract, transform, load) solution. We successfully completed a complex data transformation and migration from the legacy Informix database to an Oracle database.








 


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