Joint Technical Architecture (JTA) facilitates and improves the system’s ability to maintain combined and joint operations in an investment strategy taken as a whole. The JTA is responsible for ensuring an interoperability of all strategic, tactical, and maintenance of systems. It also authorizes guidelines and standards for acquisition and system development that largely trims down development time and cost, as well as fielding time for enhanced systems (Gartner 2011).
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All this is achieved while ensuring that the effect on the program performance is minimized as much as possible. JAT was developed in 1997 by DoD with the aim of providing the least set of standards that ensured streaming of information which could guide the war fighter, when implemented (Perks and Beveridge 56).
In order to ensure that the upcoming technologies are readily controlled by the future’s military systems, JTA is designed to impact on the standards-based product development that is produced by the industry. This architecture makes it possible for DoD to use commercial products since communication to the industry is enhanced, and use of open systems products and implementation is also improved. Consequently, acquisition of the best products and low cost strategy is achievable (Zachman 52).
The components of JTA are budding and consist of interfaces, services areas, and standards that are compatible with the requirement of the DoD’s architecture. The DoD’s JTA version 3.0 encompasses information technology and its associated standards that enhance transmission of services or information across a functional, joint or organizational border. Information technology in this case may be taken to mean any system or equipment that can be applied for storage, mechanical acquisition, manipulation, management, movement, interchange, transmission, switching or reception of information. This includes communication systems, computers, software, and services, among other related resources (Zachman(b) 25).
Although JTA is not responsible for the selection of a particular standard, it offers a variety of standards to select from. A selection methodology is notably used to accompany the progress of the standards profile for addition into a standard-based environment, which allows reusability and interoperability. The complementary methodology, which can be found in the DoD TRM, makes selection of appropriate standards very easy, hence enhancing support of system and operational architectural needs.
The DoD JTA helps in development and acquisition of emerging and new systems in the choice of IT functionality. Only the new sets of authorized and emerging standards that have some interoperability significance are identified by the JTA. The commercial open systems technology determines the kind of standards to be contained in the JTA.
Among the considerations that guides mandating of particular standards includes promotion of interoperability by improving combined or joint agency/service information transmission and joint activities support, technical implementation ability of the standard, and public availability which is evidenced by wide adoption and distribution of the standard, and consistency of the standard with the commanding sources such as policy, regulations and guidance documents (O’Rourke, Fishman, and Selkow 25).
The technical architecture (TA) is a minimum set or standards, which guides the interaction, arrangement, and interdependence of components that ensure conformant systems meets specified set of requirements. The Systems Architecture (SA) is an explanation of interconnections and systems that offer supporting system functionality. Besides JTA, TOGAF is another architecture framework which is used today. JTA has close relationships with TOGAF. As the DoD attempted to solve the issues of interoperability in 1990s, the “Technical Architecture Framework For Information Management (TAFIM)” (Gregg 23), was commenced in 1992 with the aim of providing direction for the development of the DoD technical infrastructure.
Although this framework did not offer particular system architecture, it offered services, design, standards, concepts, configurations and components that could help develop the technical architecture that possess a specific requirements objective. Currently, the TAFIM is considered outdated, due to emergence of other documents such as JTA. TRM version of the TAFIM is seemingly now part of the C4ISR framework, which is currently referred to as department of defense architecture framework. The open group architectural framework (TOGAF) which supports applications, building business, technology architecture and data has a technical reference model that offers classification of broad standard information base and platform services, which is concerned with open industry database standards.
Transaction management framework makes an abstract technique upon a java platform. This abstraction, which is capable of functioning in all set ups of the java platform, is different from JTA which only supports global transactions and nested transactions, besides requiring an application server. Setting up of transactions system can be done through configuration without the need of applying JTA (Greta 26).
The DoD instantiated C4ISR Architectural framework in 1996, with the aim of finding a direction for documenting system architecture which permits promotion of interoperability and comparability across services, projects and systems, for the agencies and contractors. To enhance this framework, it has been reviewed severally; hence reaching what is currently referred to as DOD Architecture Framework (DODAF). The objectives of JTA and C4ISR integrations task force suggestions was aimed at providing a strong basis to carry on with the improvement of DoD’s technical structure strategy (Zachman(a) 25).
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