NSTISSP no. 11. now theres an acronym. When I tire of the tech industrys acronym-laden language, I take comfort that things are worse on the government side. NSTISSP is an abbreviation that requires your attention. It is part of a broad government mandate to move federal agencies toward a digital-based system. The system falls under the eGovernment mandate and, as often happens in government, it can take years for laws and regulations to become visible.
In this weeks Cover Story, eWeek Labs Director John Taschek helps you navigate many eGov initiatives and gauge their impact on the IT community. The impact will be far-reaching, will include implementation deadlines and, in some cases, is contradictory. John spent a few years as an IT manager at a government agency, and his background at wrangling with government compliance is evident in the expertise he brings to the eGov article. By the way, the acronym refers to the National Security Telecommunications and Information Systems Security Policy.
The only things more complex than the government policy setting for IT eGov directives are the continued judicial challenges involving Microsoft, the federal government, several state governments and vendors that feel they were wronged by the Windows monopoly. In the latest round, Microsoft may be considering using its recently unveiled Trustworthy Computing effort to prevent widespread disclosure of its APIs. Dont look for this story to end soon.
If you want to try the latest non-Windows desktop environment and avoid the Microsoft issue, see our review of K Desktop Environment Version 3.0. Linux has been finding real traction in the behind-the-scenes server environment but has had lots of false starts on the desktop. Is 3.0 finally the version for KDE as the 3.0 version was the magic number for Windows?
While regulations are merging the pieces of the digital government, corporate developers are working at connecting database data to Java applications. In mid-February, Sun released Version 3.0 of the Java Database Connectivity specification, and in this issue, our West Coast technical director, Tim Dyck, has a review of the first vendor offering a full set of drivers for the major databases. This is the year when integrating existing applications into Java and .Net environments has become a top corporate IT priority. But the ability to build those vast integrated applications depends on vendors coming up with tool sets you can use. The driver set from DataDirect reviewed by Tim is just the first of many products from which you will have to choose.
NSTISSP: Meddlesome mandate or just another acronym tongue twister? Tell me at firstname.lastname@example.org.