BOSS application manages day-to-day operations for USFS Rockey Mountain Research Station
Federal / public sector; custom development and DevOps services for U.S. Forest Service
Within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) is responsible for managing more than 193 million acres of land with a goal of preserving the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands. With a team of more than 35,000 full-time and seasonal employees, technology plays not only a vital role in the productivity and communication of geographically dispersed teams, but advancing the USFS’s mission.
The Forest Inventory Application-Business Operations Software System (FIA-BOSS) is an application vital to the management of the USFS’s Rocky Mountain Research Station (RMRS). The RMRS itself supports 400 full-time employees and 100 research scientists at 14 research laboratories across a territory spanning 12 states. Comprised of five modules, the application manages a series of administrative and operational functions, including: Planning & Analysis, HR, Employee Portal, Fleet Asset Management/Property Management, and Check-in/Check-out. Each module provides a web-enabled interface to application logic.
For more than a decade, Cynerge Consulting has provided IT-oriented services in support of the USFS ranging from application development to broader IT consulting and program management. Using a Human-Centered Design approach, Cynerge was able to identify and design a single platform for addressing stakeholder, end user, and business unit needs and executed by leveraging modern development frameworks, including Java Spring Boot, Maven, jQuery for API development, and EAD Toolbox for custom CSS.
More than delivery of source code, Cynerge reviewed and implemented operational changes to better support application development teams, including CI/CD integration with built-in testing for quality assurance, accessibility, and security vulnerabilities to meet strict federal requirements. The project was run using an agile Scrum process and DevOps best practices, allowing flexibility for the team to adapt to changes with minimal impact to the project scope or timeline.
Cynerge was able to help interpret complex data models and database structures to consolidate legacy applications across business units into one intuitive, secure, and scalable solution that improved user experience and reduced total cost of ownership for the USFS. Cloud-ready and web-enabled with authentication built in, USFS and RMRS employees can access functionality from anywhere with an improved user experience, while Docker containers and Kubernetes clusters help ensure a highly available solution at 100% uptime. Behind the scenes, improved processes and automation have reduced deployment time from days to just minutes, ensuring new functionality and fixes in a timely manner for end users and business units.