8A.6 A new approach to software delivery and training: The AWIPS Migration Project

Wednesday, 26 January 2011: 11:45 AM
606 (Washington State Convention Center)
Eric D. Howieson, NOAA/NWS, Fort Worth, TX

With the inception of the National Weather Service's Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System (AWIPS) Migration Project, the next generation of AWIPS software (commonly referred to as AWIPS II) is being incrementally made available as it is developed to allow testing, evaluation, and training initiatives to be established before the full national deployment occurs. While this affords the NWS a great opportunity to get a head start in these areas, it also provides new challenges regarding how to disseminate the large software files and how to deliver the associated training.

Historically it has often been a challenge to quickly and cost effectively deliver large data files to the many NWS field offices. Limited bandwidth, time consuming media reproduction, and shipping costs have been common obstacles. The first part of this presentation will describe how Microsoft's Active Directory™ service* has been used to facilitate the software delivery.

Disseminating the software is but one hurdle; enticing the field office staff to use it is another. Although static screen captures of new software have some value in previewing the look of new software, it is only when users interact with the new software that they really can grasp how it functions. Having the ability to bring new technologies directly to the user either in person or via Web-based desktop sharing greatly accelerates the early adoption and also results in a better final product. This presentation will show how Virtual Machine software is being used as a training tool to introduce the latest fully functional AWIPS II software to the field office staffs.

*Reference to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacture, or otherwise does not constitute an endorsement, a recommendation, or a favoring by the NWS or the United States government.

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