CACI brings order to paperwork chaos

New system integrates data and plays well with others

The only thing harder than buying for the Department of Defense is selling to it. Although the department's own buy-side processes are largely automated and standardized, providing the same degree of integration to the vendor side was more challenging.

CACI International clinched an opportunity to solve the problem for the top 50 aerospace and defense contractors. The PD-I (Procurement Desktop for Industry) would ease the complexity of documentation, integrate structured and unstructured data, secure data integrity among contracting systems and core Department of Defense financial systems, and, finally, permit 24/7 system access to all contracting offices.

The project is vast: a half-million lines of CACI-developed Java code ties together open source Java applications and commercial products, including BEA WebLogic, Documentum Content Server, Microsoft Word, and webMethods data adapters.

PD-I is robust, capable of supporting roughly 1,500 concurrent users in the first phase. "We're fully confident that when [PD-I] hits that number, it will stand up," says Rich Heffner, director of the PD-I division. Heffner's results are impressive so far: In the first 14 months, there were no production-level interruptions. Not bad for a system that's digested some 4 million documents in its first year -- it has an appetite for another 6 million by 2009 if all goes to plan.