Corrections embarks on offender system rewrite

The Department is converting the system from Visual Basic 6 to .Net, but at the same time will have to introduce changes required by Bill

The Corrections Department has found itself having to make two sets of changes to its Integrated Offender Management System (IOMS).

The Department is converting the system from Visual Basic 6 to .Net, but at the same time will have to introduce changes required by what was originally the Criminal Justice Reform Bill.

This Bill has now been passed as a number of Acts, but is still referred to as CJRB in the Corrections request for proposal for the changes.

Some of IOMS has already been implemented in .Net and the .Net framework for the system has been set up, says Corrections CIO Derek Lyons, but the remaining modules scheduled for change have been divided into two streams.

Those not relevant to the CJRB will be put through a straight conversion, while those that are relevant will be kept in VB6 so the changes can be made for the Bill in that environment, and will subsequently be converted.

It would have been tidier to do the two jobs separately, says Lyons, but when the .Net conversion was planned it was recognised that legislative amendments might come along in the course of the process.

The conversion is being made partly because VB6 is old technology and .Net is better supported, Lyons says, but the VB6 applications were “one large code base”, while the .Net version will be implemented as modules and will, therefore, be easier to maintain.

The changes to IOMS should be complete by the end of 2008, according to Lyons.

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