Award-winning Objective rollout for Australian Defence

Insitec managed a major software upgrade for Defence, rolling out Objective across 40 servers and more than 35,000 desktops in two days. The Objective system is the largest single application in Australia’s Defence environment supporting a million records per day, over 80,000 users, with zero system wide outages in 16 years of sustainment.

Insitec’s architecture and project management teams were key to successfully upgrading from Objective v6 to v7 across Australia’s national Defence network. The project involved architecture, system engineering, testing and project management for the core information management system. The new version of the software promised more powerful searching as well as a large number of bug fixes and new features. Insitec was already providing significant support services and was ideally suited to run the upgrade program. Objective was operating in more than 40 servers around the country. The upgrade had to be completed across all servers in a single change window, as there was no backwards compatibility. The application client needed to be rolled out to more than 35,000 desktops as the old desktop client would not function with the new servers. All supporting software built by Defence had to be tested and upgraded to support Objective 7. If all of these elements were not functioning by the end of the upgrade weekend, some or all clients using Objective would be unable to access their data and conduct their daily work.

Insitec was asked to provide architecture, system engineering, testing and project management capabilities. Insitec’s architecture and project management teams were key to managing the various tasks involved in upgrading Objective. They had to make sure support and training components were also updated and deployed in the same timeframe. The scope called for a test of the upgrade process to ensure it would deploy within a two-day window. This test also ensured that the new client and server versions had no inherent bugs that were ‘showstoppers’ and all supporting applications were tested and upgraded where needed. Risks were identified for upgrading 40+ servers over a weekend and deploying in time for clients the next business day. The project management needed to ensure all teams were aware of the current stage of development, testing and deployment throughout the entire length of the project. It was a key requirement to ensure that adequate resources were available for all phases, especially the deployment weekend.

The project was delivered on time and on budget. The largest issue encountered was the release of the workstation client due to inconsistency of the workstation builds and procedures not being followed at sites. From a Commonwealth perspective, the entire project was recognised as a great success and was named CIOG project of the year.