The Hackathon was organized by a team from the Technology & Human Factors Branch at Headquarters, Supreme Allied Command Transformation (HQ SACT) to explore an agile approach for rapid implementation of new concepts and enterprise-wide policies. The program was designed to address two related challenges. A "modelling challenge" focussed on the development of innovative methods, visualizations and models for implementing the new NATO Mission Thread Capstone Concept, recently approved by the North Atlantic Council; and a "coding challenge" whic called for innovative solutions of using and exploiting the Consultation, Command & Control (C3) Taxonomies (C3 Taxonomy and C3 Technical Services Taxonomy), endorsed by the C3 Board in January 2016.
The Hackathon brought together 40 participants from HQ SACT and the NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency, national defense organizations, industry and academia in a week-long competitive event. The list of companies participating in the event included CoherenSEA, COMARCH, Front End, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), MooD International, No Magic and Syntell. The international community consisted of people from Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States. This diverse audience was grouped into 13 teams competing for the first prizes in the modelling and coding challenges.
The Modelling Challenge was won by the team from HP Enterprise. The HPE team recognized that Federated Mission Networking is a wonderful approach to improve information sharing between mission partners, but that there still are considerable differences between the key stakeholders on the practical exchange of operational information, especially with non-military partners. They looked at similar situations in the commercial sector where lack of trust and issues with authority and security may restrict collaboration. From there, the team developed a proposal for a state-of-the-art solution in which an independent trusted supplier would deliver a federated shared information platform. The selection board recognized that this proposal will support the operationalization of the Mission Threads Concept.
The Coding Challenge was won by a team of three young officers from the Polish Military Application Services Development Centre. This team developed a cloud-based prototype for the extraction of architecture data from the NATO C3 Taxonomy repository. The tool is intuitive to use and doesn't require in-depth architectural or programming knowledge for information management, basic analytics and reports generation. The prototype allowed to exchange the reports in several common formats such as pdf, csv, rtf. Considering the short time that was available for the development, the selection board was impressed by the elegant data representation and the modern user interface.
The selection board and participants concluded that the EA Hackathon was a useful event and that the contributions from the teams offer promising techniques and proposals that will continue to inspire the NATO enterprise architecture community of interest. The products developed during the Hackathon will remain in the open-source domain, allowing all the participants to easily capitalize on the Hackathon outcome. The products will also allow to build a body of knowledge for the NATO and National architects, for operational analysts and requirement engineers.