Defense Security Cooperation Agency

Empowering international collaboration

Project

GlobalNET

Tech Specs

  • Drupal 7, Ilias, EZproxy, Adobe Connect, JIRA
  • Mobile-friendly, responsive design
  • SMS and solr search integration
  • FedRAMP compliant hosting
  • Shibboleth
  • MySQL
  • AWS services
  • Meets DoD FISMA network security requirements

Background

Outdated technology and complex requirements

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) uses the GlobalNET platform to facilitate secure collaboration among its partner organizations. GlobalNET’s 76,000 participants are comprised of military, diplomatic, law enforcement, and civilian government personnel throughout the world. They speak many languages and possess varying degrees of technical know-how, so GlobalNET must be accessible and easy to use for everyone -- while meeting the highest standards for security.

GlobalNET needed an update to support new participants, additional features, and a better user experience. Multiple layers of customers and microservices made the project very complex. With over 1,500 content updates to the site per day, the modernization needed to be completed with minimal disruption to thousands of users.

  • 1/4
  • 2/4
  • 3/4
  • 4/4
Previous
Next

Approach

Agile development to keep big projects on budget

DSCA challenged the status quo by choosing a fixed-price agile contract, moving away from waterfall approaches that doom many government IT projects to failure. Our agile process kept the GlobalNET project efficient and on budget.

Smooth content migration

We developed an automatic migration of 550,000 pages, 589,040 files, and 65,000 user accounts from a legacy Drupal 6 site into a fully redesigned Drupal 7 site. A rolling launch schedule helped us minimize downtime for users.

Responsive and “mobile-first” design

GlobalNET participants need to use sophisticated community tools in a variety of situations, so we built the platform using a “mobile-first” approach, ensuring its accessibility on any device from anywhere in the world.

Security is never “done”

Adhering to strict DoD guidelines ensures that we meet DSCA’s unique security needs. We not only follow all compliance regulations, we regularly work to improve security processes, compensate for possible weakness, and plan for emergencies.

Thoughtful design and helpful support

Talking to GlobalNET users helps us learn what is most important to them before we create new features. As a result of user feedback, we restructured tools, interfaces, and search experiences to make the platform more intuitive and useful, while providing enhanced support for end-user problems.

Tools for learning and sharing

We created tools and groups to help DSCA partners work together online. Teachers can share their syllabus, course materials, and announcements, while students can participate in discussions and upload coursework. Each user has a personalized dashboard to keep track of messages, contacts, courses, and events.

DevOps for continuous improvement

We used open source tools for continuous integration and continuous delivery, helping DSCA establish DevOps practices. The agency can continue to improve GlobalNET in the future while maintaining strong security and quality code.

Sharing our work

We used 100% open source licensed components (except EZproxy and Adobe Connect) to develop GlobalNET. The entire codebase was itself released as an open source project for review or comment by other folks who would benefit from a similar system.

It was a pleasure to work with the CivicActions team. Their experience with government clients and agile processes helped us reach our user base sooner than expected with a product that met their needs. We have a happy group of stakeholders! Lisa Berry, Senior GlobalNET Liaison Officer, DSCA

Impact

  • DSCA can accomplish its mission more effectively with a powerful platform
  • GlobalNET members have a better experience for working together
  • Partner organizations can use GlobalNET to keep their own communities informed
  • Users can quickly find what they need among the site’s vast resources
  • Participants engage more deeply with course materials and each other
  • Future updates and improvements can be made safely and securely
  • Agency can show the value of agile contracts with a successful project

Explore

See our work

GlobalNET

See the code

GlobalNET repo in GitHub

Hear from a project manager

One Platform, 18 Organizations, 6 Countries, 9 Launches

805

agile user stories
created and solved

550

Behat tests run
with every code push

Like what you see?
Join Our Team
Make an impact
Hire Us