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NIAPS Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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NIAPS Basics

Joining NIAPS

NIAPS Replication

NIAPS Testing

NIAPS Training

NIAPS Contacts


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NIAPS Basics

 

What is NIAPS?

NIAPS is a Navy acronym that stands for Navy Information Application Product Suite. NIAPS delivers maintenance, logistics, administrative, training and management applications to users at sea. NIAPS is designed to maximize the use of limited bandwidth by providing afloat units with access to applications while disconnected from the internet.         Back to Top


What are the benefits to using NIAPS?

NIAPS members benefit from the following shared program attributes:

  • Approvals and Certifications: NIAPS certification serves as the certification for the individual applications within the suite. Therefore, the various applications developed in NIAPS do not have to receive separate:
    • System Security Authorization Agreement (SSAA)
    • Authority to Operate (ATO)
    • Preferred product List/System Subsystem Interface List (PPL/SSIL) Certification
    • Fleet Forces Command (FFC) Certification
    • FORCEnet Certification
  • Installation and Fielding: The NIAPS installation includes pier-side installation and/or remote installation via replication. Installations are scheduled based on ship or unit availability.
  • Training: On-site training for users and system administrators.
  • Infrastructure: The NIAPS infrastructure includes shared shipboard hardware, software and global infrastructure supporting replication services.
  • Documentation: Consolidated NIAPS documentation provides for the application within the suite. Therefore, there is a single System Administrator Guide (a.k.a System Manual), single Disaster Recovery Guide, etc.
  • Customer/Fleet Support (Post-Product Deployment): The reporting and tracking of any customer/Fleet support issues (including specific NIAPS application in-production assistance) is provided through the Distance Support (DS) Source of Support (SOS) Enterprise Customer Relationship Management (eCRM) shared Data Environment (SDE) of networked Navy infrastructure activities, or DS eCRM system for short; at any point in time, the Health and Monitoring System (HAMS) is available for NIAPS customers to view individual ship NIAPS status (e.g., specific NIAPS configuration, data/amendment replication currency, communication status and server diagnostics.

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How long will it take my product to go through the NIAPS process?

The length of time it takes a product to go from submission to inclusion can be as little as 3 months or as long as a year or more. It depends on the type of product that is being submitted. For example, a NIAPS product that will be using the NIAPS as a replication agent only (i.e. a data pass through type) can often times take as little as 3 months where as a much more complicated product type, such as an server side executable with companion data, may take up to a year due to its need to go through more testing than the data pass through product.

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How much will it cost to have my product included on NIAPS?

There are 'Join' and sustainment costs associated with riding on a NIAPS release.  A 'Join' fee is levied on new NIAPS customers who have never been part of a NIAPS release before.  There are also sustainment costs that are applied to customers who wish to have a product ride on a NIAPS release for more than just their initial 'join' year.

As directed by OPNAV N2/N6, the Distance Support Program Office, SPAWAR PMW 240, requires any new product joining NIAPS to pay an initial 'Join' fee.  The 'Join' fee (a.k.a. a "start-up" or "assessment" fee) covers the logistics, technical and training assessment efforts that all new products must go through before they can be approved to be included on a future NIAPS release.  The 'Join' fee is only collected once a product has passed all the assessments that are needed and has been approved to go out on a NIAPS release.

Once a product has been approved to ride NIAPS, there will be an annual sustainment fee levied on the product owner/government sponsor beginning in FY13 and will continue to be collected annually for the life of the product on NIAPS.  Currently, a new NIAPS cost model is under development.  The new cost model will be used to determine what the sustainment fee will be.  There are two main factors that will be considered when determining the sustainment fee.  Those factors are:

  • The "type" of product that will be riding NIAPS. This factor is applicable because there are varying degrees of programmatic effort associated with the different types of products that can ride NIAPS.  The various types of products that can ride NIAPS include:

    • Client side executables    (Click for definition)

    • Content only products    (Click for definition)

    • Products that use NIAPS as a data transfer agent only (a.k.a "Data Pass-Through" products)    (Click for definition)

    • Server side executables    (Click for definition)

    • Web based products    (Click for definition)

  • The services NIAPS will need to provide to support the product.  This factor is applicable because there are certain process related costs that will always be born with sustaining a product on NIAPS and customized costs that are based NIAPS services the customer chooses to make their application work on NIAPS. The following services apply:

    • NIAPS Fleet Help Desk Services **

    • Certification and Accreditation Services ** (including):

      • Security Risk Analysis

      • Security Baseline Updates

      • System Documentation Updates

    • Integration and Testing Services **

    • NIAPS Monitoring and Support Services **

    • NIAPS Application Training Services **

    • Replication and Data Compression Services * (including):

      • Ship-to-Shore Replication Services

      • Shore-to-Ship Replication Services

      • Replication Support Services

    • Shipboard Training New Content Development  *

         *   Indicates a customer chosen service that is an additional cost to the customer
         ** Indicates a service that is part of the annual sustainment of the product. No additional cost for this service.

View details related to each of these services.

To receive a cost estimate for a product, contact the NIAPS Project Manager at NSWC Crane (812-854-8332).           Back to Top


I want to use NIAPS to deploy my product. How do I know when I can start the ‘Join NIAPS’ process?

Before a product can be deployed on a NIAPS release, there are several qualifying questions a NIAPS customer is asked before the 'Join NIAPS' process can be started. A NIAPS customer will be allowed to start the 'Join NIAPS' process if the answer to ALL of the following questions is YES:

    1. Is this NIAPS candidate beneficial to the shipboard sailor?
    2. Does this NIAPS candidate have a government sponsor?
    3. Is this NIAPS candidate currently funded?
    4. Is this NIAPS candidate's most current version registered or in the process of being registered in DADMS?
    5. Is the NIAPS candidate's development stage such that it is considered ready for release to the fleet (i.e. not in a pre-alpha, alpha or beta test stage and is ready/will be ready for release in the next 6 months)?
    6. Has this NIAPS candidate been approved by the Fleet Functional Area Manager (FAM) to be listed on the most current, approved Baseline Allowance Control (BAC) list?

      The most current BAC listing spreadsheet can be found at the Fleet FAM Public Workspace site:

      • Click spreadsheet file labeled “BAC_vX_(Date)    File name example: BAC_v1_11November.xlsx

      • Once spreadsheet is opened, click on the first worksheet AFTER the worksheet labeled “BAC x.x – Rollup.” The second spreadsheet lists all applications on the most current BAC listing.

    7. Does the NIAPS candidate understand and agree to the fact that there are Application Business Rules (rules for it being hosted on NIAPS) associated with having their product included on NIAPS and agree to resource the associated fees for 'Joining' NIAPS?

    8. Once approved for inclusion, there is the potential for recurring annual fees for the product to continue to ride on NIAPS.  Does the government sponsor understand that there is the potential that the NIAPS program could apply recurring annual fees to ride NIAPS in the future?

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How do I get my approved product removed from NIAPS?

Product removal may be necessary when a version is superseded or when it has reached its end-of-life. When this occurs, the product owner should contact the NIAPS Configuration Manager or NIAPS Project Director to start the process of retirement. When a product is to be retired, the following information will be necessary:

  • Product name and version number to be removed
  • Reason for retirement
  • The platform(s) (ships and activities) affected
  • Replacement product (if any)
  • Identify if an uninstall routine is available
  • Pre-requisites for removal (e.g., actions/coordination necessary prior to product removal)

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How do I know when my product has been officially approved for inclusion on a NIAPS release?

Once a product has passed all the hurdles in the 'Join NIAPS' process, an approval will be given for the product to be deployed on a NIAPS release. The approval will be given directly to the the product owner by either the NIAPS Configuration Manager or the NIAPS Customer Advocate (NCA) through a phone call, email or both.          Back to Top


I have a product I want included on a NIAPS release. What are my choices for categorizing the type of product I want to submit?

To help the NIAPS action activities understand the type of product to have included on a NIAPS release, the product owner will identify the candidate as one of these six types of submissions:

  • Client Side Application: As it pertains to a NIAPS request type, a "client side application" is a product that is installed on client workstations and accesses data on NIAPS using the shipboard LAN.  "Client-side" refers to operations that are performed by the client in a client–server relationship in a computer network. A client-side executable is an application that runs on a user's local computer or workstation and connects to a server as necessary. Operations may be performed client-side because they require access to information or functionality that is available on the client but not on the server, because the user needs to observe them or provide input, or because the server lacks the processing power to perform the operations in a timely manner for all of the clients it serves.  Programs that run on a user's local computer without ever sending or receiving data over a network are not considered clients, and so the operations of such programs would not be considered client-side operations.  Product examples that are this type of NIAPS request: eSOMS, Sailor to Engineer (S2E), ATIS.

  • Content Only: As it pertains to a NIAPS request type, a "content only" application is a product that has static content which is accessed through the web or through file sharing. A "content only" product has no active code and is usually updated through the NIAPS amendment process. Product examples that are this type of NIAPS request: DoN Instructions (DONI), Navy Engineering Drawing System (NEDS).

  • Data Pass Through: As it pertains to a NIAPS request type, a "data pass through" application only use NIAPS as a replication agent for data transfer to applications or systems that reside external to NIAPS. Product examples that are this type of NIAPS request: ICAS, Data Qualifying Engine (DQE).

  • Server Side Executable Application - No companion data: As it pertains to a NIAPS request type, a "server side executable application - no companion data" (also known as a "server side executable only") is a compiled executable that resides and executes only on the server NIAPS resides on. The application candidate does NOT manipulate data and or databases on the server.  "Server-side" refers to operations that are performed by the server in a client–server relationship in computer networking. A server-side executable is a software program that runs on a remote server, reachable from a user's local computer or workstation. Operations are performed server-side because they require access to information or functionality that is not available on the client, or require typical behavior that is unreliable when it is done client-side. Server-side operations include the processing and storage of data from a client to the server, which can be viewed by a group of clients.  A server-side executable with no companion data is a NIAPS term for server-side executables that do NOT have an associated data store that needs to be tapped into. The totality of the server-side application is just the executable software program itself.  A NIAPS product example that is this type of NIAPS request: DS_Update.

  • Server Side Executable Application - with companion data: As it pertains to a NIAPS request type, a "server side executable application - with companion data" (also known as a "server side executable with data") is a compiled executable that resides and executes only on the NIAPS server and it manipulates data and or databases on the NIAPS server.  "Server-side" refers to operations that are performed by the server in a client–server relationship in computer networking. A server-side executable is a software program that runs on a remote server, reachable from a user's local computer or workstation. Operations are performed server-side because they require access to information or functionality that is not available on the client, or require typical behavior that is unreliable when it is done client-side. Server-side operations include the processing and storage of data from a client to the server, which can be viewed by a group of clients.  A server-side executable WITH companion data is a NIAPS term for server-side executables that have an associated data store that the server-side software program accesses.  Product examples that are this type of NIAPS request: PMS Scheduler (SKED).

  • Web Application: As it pertains to a NIAPS request type, a "web application" is a web based application that is coded in a browser-supported language (such as JavaScript, combined with a browser-rendered markup language like HTML) and is reliant on a common web browser to render the application executable. The web application can be accessed via the server NIAPS sits on or can be accessed over a live network connection such as the Internet. Product examples that are this type of NIAPS request: TORIS, MFOM.

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How do I get my product’s content (code, deliverables, etc.) to the NIAPS team that needs it?

The code and all other NIAPS deliverables that will be required of the product owner at different points in the 'Join NIAPS' process will be submitted through the NIAPS Dimensions Configuration Management (CM) tool. A Dimensions External User Guide is available to product owners via the NIAPS Information Center that provides direction on how to submit a deliverable into the NIAPS system. Code submissions outside the Dimensions process will be rejected back to the product owner.           Back to Top


Is there a glossary of NIAPS terms?

Yes. there is a glossary of NIAPS terms. You will find a link to the glossary of terms in the NIAPS Information Center under the "Join NIAPS" section.           Back to Top


What is Dimensions (a.k.a. Serena Dimensions) and how is it related to NIAPS?

Dimensions is a commercial software Configuration Management (CM) tool produced by Serena Software (hence Serena Dimensions). dimensions will enable NIAPS to transition from a manual CM process to an automated CM process.

Dimensions will be used to capture and control NIAPS requests (NRs) and associated logistics, technical and training requirements necessary to get products hosted on NIAPS. All status and reporting of NIAPS deliverables will be handled by Dimensions. Notification emails will automatically be generated by Dimensions which act as the demand signal for specific process action points to occur.

The NIAPS Dimensions tool provides tracking capabilities which allows the internal, NIAPS action activities to track and identify the state of a product throughout it NIAPS lifetime. Dimensions' central repository provides the NIAPS action activities with improved access and improved and accurate reporting of all the required deliverables. As a result, this equates to better service and a more timely NIAPS product delivery to the fleet.          Back to Top


Whom do I contact about any question related to NIAPS or the NIAPS process?

Whether the question is general or technical, the best place to start is with the NIAPS Configuration Management Team or the NIAPS Project Director at the NSWC Crane. You will find their point of contact information in the Contacts FAQ section.           Back to Top

 

 

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