Created in 1961 as the ministerial delegation for armament, the DGA is an organization belonging to the French Ministry of Defense. Its main purpose is to ensure the competitiveness, quality and safety of French defense equipment. DGA's responsibilities include:
- Equipping the French armed forces
- Leading defense programs encompassing procurement, testing and evaluation
- DGA manages 78 defense programs in the phases of design and manufacturing
- In 2005, the DGA placed $10 billion worth of industry orders
- preparing the future by forecasting possible future scenarios and guaranteeing that required technologies and expertise will be available
- promoting defense equipment exports
The research, design, manufacturing and support of defense programs involve the daily exchange of a wide range of information amongst the members of the defense community. In addition to the French Armaments Procurement Agency (DGA), members include the armed forces, industrial suppliers, integrated support structures, and government financial departments.
With this in mind, the dga set out to create a collaboration platform to offer these players a rational, unique and advanced communications solution for all their exchanges of technical, contractual and financial data. Key requirements for the platform included:
- an easy to use collaboration platform (portal)
- an easy to configure secured communities
- an easy to configure process engine
- a wide range of integrations for connecting external information systems
- a high level of security (strong authentication with smart cards X509 v3 client certificates)
- a private network (european network eXchange)
After a long evaluation and benchmarking process administered by the DGA, Liferay was chosen by Ippon Technologies (www.ippon.fr) to serve as the de-facto portal infrastructure for DGA's collaboration platform. Designed and developed by Ippon, the collaboration platform (EPNG) also employed BEA Weblogic integration for its workflow engine and EAI with IPDiva for its secure reverse proxy.
By leveraging Liferay Portal's capabilities, Ippon technologies was able to implement:
- strong authentification / authorization with LDAP and certificates
- a detailed and secure community architecture
- strong integration with Weblogic
Currently, there are 20 portlets in production on top of Liferay Portal, including:
- private mailing systems
- per collectivity forums and enterprise chat
- per collectivity document library
- usage statistics
- digital signature and notarizing
- workflow administration with access to Weblogic integration configuration
- external applications access (connection through IPDiva's mediation server)
Moreover, unique customization possibilities from Liferay Portal (engine tuning) allowed EPNG to scale easily and support wide adoption from the extensive defense community.
Eleven months into production, almost 500 users had been registered, including all major defense suppliers (ie., Thales, Dassault, EADS, DCN). Twenty external applications are also now connected like online part stocks for aircrafts allowing military forces to access and order parts direct from the suppliers.
EPNG is now connected to the ministry of defense intranet allowing 100,000+ users to access its services.
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