Software Issuing Office

Developed by QinetiQ MDS for the Maritime Commissioning, Trials and Assessment (MCTA).

Since 1995 the SIO has duplicated data and as the software distribution authority, is the only formal conduit to issue this operational, tactical, strategic and test software to the UK MoD fleet and shore establishments.

In 2004 QinetiQ MDS won the tender for the development, supply and support of a replacement for the SIO system. The contract called for an innovative solution that allowed for an increase in throughput, automated duplication of media, maintain configuration control and a complete audit trail as well as conform with Defstan 00-55 and 00-56, and adhering to IBM CLEF and InfoSec IT security requirements.

The solution implemented by QinetiQ MDS automated the storage and duplication of the data for the SIO staff allowing them to upload data, duplicate software and print labels for a variety of media types including CD, DVD, floppy disks, PCMCIA cards and DAT tapes from their office through a bespoke user interface. The client interface integrates seamlessly with the required hardware including 12 CD/DVD duplicating machines capable of producing 500 CD’s and 100 DVD’s an hour.

Through user accounts and access control within the software, and the web interface every transaction made is recorded in the database allowing a full audit trail of database activity and media duplication. This is essential when dealing with classified material. This information can be accessed by a system administrator and used to audit the amount of classified material entering and leaving the building, who reproduced it, and who signed for it.

The system allows customers of the SIO, via the web interface, to request software and query their holdings. Users can also acknowledge receipt of media, and inform the SIO when the media was installed. This data then gets stored in the database and allows for full software configuration control for the ships or submarines and oversight by the IPT.

The built in user accounts allow the IPT to review the holdings of each vessel, send requests to the SIO staff on behalf of a vessel, audit vessels software holdings and prompt the vessels to install software they have been issued.

The services provided by the SIO are hosted on the RLI and are funded by the DLO free of charge across the organisation, the SIO services are available to non-DLO customers, however funding for the consumables will be expected.