In-Q-Tel seals deal for monitoring app

In-Q-Tel, the CIA's venture capital arm, has negotiated a license for event detection and response software to help officials track information residing in multiple databases.

Enterprise Agent Server from Agent Logic Inc. of Arlington, Va., offers unique capabilities to monitor databases, Web pages and applications and to generate alerts or actions in response to events, an In-Q-Tel official said.

"EAS has direct applications for addressing the most daunting problems the intelligence community faces today for information sharing and data monitoring across existing information systems," said In-Q-Tel chief executive officer Gilman Louie in a statement. "EAS has a unique ability to rapidly deliver event detection and response functionality across the broad spectrum of IT."

In-Q-Tel acts as a technology scout for the CIA, taking equity stakes in companies whose technologies show promise for use by intelligence agencies.

The Agent Logic license with the CIA is worth between $1 million and $3 million. The software is available to users throughout the CIA.

Though the agency will not detail exactly how it will use EAS, Greg Pepus, director of federal and intelligence community strategy for In-Q-Tel, said it will be useful to law enforcement officials checking immigration databases and terrorist watch lists.

The application can cause an alert to pop up on a user's computer screen when it detects a specific event by monitoring databases, Web pages or other applications, Pepus said. "It can also do everything from updating databases, to running other software automatically to acting as invisible hands on an application," he said.

EAS sits above middleware software, message queues and message buses as it monitors systems for events, Pepus said. "That is not something you can do quickly" with other types of software, he said, explaining that Agent Logic can "tie together legacy systems with something new without having to write a lot of Java or C" code.

Agent Logic chief executive office Michael Appelbaum said his company "is doing work in the homeland security vein with a number of defense-related organizations." He offered an example of a port security use for EAS, in which the app could correlate information from ship manifests and other data about vessels to generate security alerts.

"The real story for the technology is that this could work as a personal assistant for analysts," Appelbaum said. "If you have 10 different stovepipes," EAS can check them all continually, he said. "It increases operational efficiency."

EAS is based on Java and Extensible Markup Language standards and can work on systems running Microsoft Windows, Linux and Sun Microsystems Solaris. "In a lot of cases, for event processing, people write custom code for what we do," he said, but they don't necessarily have to do so.

Wilson P. Dizard III writes for Government Computer News magazine.

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