The vision of the Knowledge Facilitation project is to support the eNIST objective to eliminate paper and to automate manual, labor intensive activities. The project employs cutting-edge web-based technologies to develop custom applications in support of EEEL. The applications we develop are not available in commercially developed packages and therefore need to be developed in-house. These applications automate tasks and decrease the administrative requirements of the technical and support staff, while increasing responsiveness to customers and implementing a secure eNIST paperless environment. As a result, our scientists are able to spend more time working in their labs than working at their computers to fulfill administrative requirements. As more and more of our data are stored electronically, it is natural to progress towards sharing the information and maximizing the benefits while minimizing the number of times it has to be entered.
As we grow to rely on the data in our computers, and that data is shared more frequently, the need for security of that data also grows. Our staff depends upon the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the data we store and process for them. Confidentiality refers to allowing access to our data only to the people who should have it. Integrity refers to ensuring the data is what it should be and no one has tampered with it. And, availability refers to making sure the data is there when it is needed. Several web-based applications have been created to store and track all of EEEL's publications and project status reports provided to management. Management is able to obtain access to the information they need easily, and the administrative burden on the technical staff has been decreased. Generation of required paperwork has been automated, removing that responsibility from the support staff. The applications also serve as a data warehouse for all publications and reports, providing backups of all data stored. The project reporting database was developed as a web-based application; it has been created to reduce the duplication of the storage of information while providing management with immediate access to project data without interrupting project staff. This application contains all project-related information such as funding, milestones, staff, progress, etc. for all of the 97 projects in EEEL. Access to the data is provided by user roles; i.e., division chief, group leader, project leader, and staff. Your ability to edit information increases based on your defined role. We are now looking into RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology to help in the equipment inventory for the lab. Auditing of the equipment status is very time consuming, and we are developing a web-based RFID application to automate the process.