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Boeing®: Building solutions for aviation

Imagine a scenario in which a major natural disaster strikes the United States and the government must quickly fly food and supplies into the area -- the closest airport, however, is damaged and can't be used. What airports are in the area, which ones are open and accessible, and which ones can accommodate bulky supply planes? The necessary information, however, is spread out across multiple sources, which are themselves spread out across multiple government agencies. After the tragedies of Hurricanes Katrina and Gustav along the US Gulf Coast, it's easy to imagine such a scenario playing out with these exact logistical challenges arising.

As the world's leading aerospace company and second-largest aerospace and defense contractor. Boeing must anticipate and address such customer needs using advanced technology solutions. To that end, Boeing Program Manager Paul Comitz notes that Boeing has embraced the power of Web 2.0 to deliver this value to their clients, and that jStart's implementation of IBM's "Mashup Center is playing a key role in our visionary approach to strategic asset management." Working with the jStart team, Boeing was able to produce a Mashup that seamlessly brings together those different sources of information onto one screen, side-by-side, at the click of a button.

Boeing Mashup Screenshot

Collaborating to Find a Solution

Typical of a jStart relationship, our team first led an interactive one-day workshop with Boeing leaders to analyze the parameters of this scenario and determine the resources needed. Armed with this information, jStart then produced the widgets needed to pull the data together from their many different online sources. The end result was a graphical, browser-based tool that displays a map showing airport locations in the specified area--color-coded to their status and runway length-and current weather conditions. Separate windows also display top-level information for all of the airports, as well as more detailed information for airports when selected by the user. All told, that's one input window, one map windows, and four airport/runway information windows -- all integrated and displayed on one screen. And all of this only required two weeks (after the initial workshop).

Business Value Created

This helps to illustrate the beauty of mashup technology: it exemplifies Web 2.0 thinking by utilizing emerging technology to adapt the Web to serve your own needs. Different widgets can be added to or removed from this mashup in the future to adapt it to new scenarios. Now enter the power of jStart. Not only did jStart create the Usable Airport Search Mashup far faster than Boeing could have using traditional development processes, but perhaps more importantly, jStart introduced a new service platform to Boeing. With a vast catalogue of aircraft and equipment in use around the globe, the ability to quickly pull together data from around the world offers Boeing the opportunity to improve operational efficiency and cut costs using mashup technology.

The Usable Airport Search Mashup has been a success, having already been demonstrated by Boeing to FAA officials and US Government Cabinet members. Boeing proactively addressed their customer's needs and at the same time opened up opportunities to improve their own strategic asset management. This is real business value, unlocked by jStart.

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