Network Enabled Capability (NEC) is the UK Ministry of Defence’s aspiration to enhance the achievement of military effect through the networking of future and existing military capabilities. The NECTISE (NEC Through Innovative Systems Engineering) program responded to this need by investigating the question
‘are you ready for NEC?’
on behalf of equipment and service providers. Research work on this project proposed Service Oriented Architectures (SOA) as an architectural approach to delivering dependable and sustainable military capability. Specifically the work looked at how loosely coupled services could be used to expose and reuse functions and databases and how to describe the quality of service for heterogeneous systems and networks. The System of Systems that NEC will be realized from will not be implemented from scratch, but rather will be migrated from legacy assets over time. These assets will provide both functionality and data/information services, for example a weather sensor.
The focus of this chapter is to layout an understanding of the challenges faced and lessons learned in realizing NEC when migrating legacy assets to an SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) based System of Systems over time in order to reuse their functionality and databases. This work was based around a Software Demonstrator to illustrate a situational awareness capability realized by dynamically discovering and aggregating sensor data. This focus is not specifically on sensors, however, the sensor example provides a good example of data integration to realize military capability.
An abstract decision process model for wrapping legacy components was proposed to guide how existing system components can be selected for integration into the system of systems that NEC will be realized from. This model can be used to assist in the integration process of system components when migrating to or between execution architectures. The process model provides decision support for trade-offs between the costs of reimplementation, system wrapping and those costs incurred as a consequence of System of Systems complexity and ongoing maintenance.