Universal Core (UCore) Conformance Test and Evaluation (CTE) Facility

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About UCore Standards Conformance Testing...

The following topics are included on this page:

What is Standards Conformance Testing?

The Joint Interoperability Test Command (JITC) is establishing the Universal Core (UCore) Conformance Test Program to support assessment and/or certification of UCore implementations in capabilities, services and systems (CSS) that are required or choose to use the UCore information exchange specification. There are three business models covered by this program:

  1. Fee-for-service. This is a cost reimbursable program for commercial developers, other non-governmental agencies, and governmental agencies that desire incidental UCore testing, assessment, or certification services.
  2. Interoperability Certification Program. This is UCore Conformance Testing as a part of an overall interoperability certification program for a CSS.
  3. Accredited UCore Laboratory Testing. This is UCore Conformance testing conducted by a JITC-accredited UCore Conformance testing facility or laboratory.

The objective of UCore Conformance testing is to assess the ability of a system or product to create and output, accept and process, and recognize component parts of UCore-compliant files or digital data streams. The JITC also performs validation testing of proposed additions to the UCore and other UCore-related test activities.

Conformance testing is a methodology that ensures all vendors and developers of an information capability, system or service interpret the UCore Guidance in a uniform manner, thereby reducing the possibility of interoperability problems during system/product fielding. Vendors and developers around the world participate in the program. It would be impossible to expect every vendor or developer to interpret every specification in the same manner. Accordingly, the recommendations provided by UCore CTE personnel provide the consistency and uniformity needed for improved interoperability.

The acquisition context of the CSS determines which of the three business models applies in a particular case. It is possible for a CSS to move from one business model to another as it matures.


Background and Authority

UCore supports the National Strategy for Information Sharing, as well as the Department of Defense’s Net-Centric Data Strategy, the Department of Justice’s Law Enforcement Information Sharing Program, the United States Intelligence Community’s Information Sharing Strategy, and the United States Department of Homeland Security’s Strategic Plan.

To view any of the aforementioned strategies and/or directives, please click on one of the following links:


Conformance Testing Process

Initially, the client contacts the UCore CTE Facility to discuss particular testing needs, identify tentative test events, and obtain the cost estimate. The UCore CTE Facility sends the client the necessary CTR forms. The client returns completed forms and appropriate system documentation relative to the IUT. The client coordinates payment with JITC.

Upon receipt of the forms and payment, the UCore CTE Facility personnel will review all testing and system documents, confirm test event details, and begin preparing a test plan supplement.

Upon completion of the test, the UCore CTE Facility will prepare a test report which outlines all of the various tests performed and the results. Based on the test results, the UCore CTE Facility will forward Conformance registration recommendation to the JITC Test Director. The JITC Test Director will review the report and recommendation and forward its Conformance registration decision to the client.

The aforementioned discussion applies to the routine Conformance registration and registration renewal processes. Derived registrations and waivers from certain test criteria can also be obtained. Call the UCore CTE Facility for additional information regarding these opportunities.


Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is UCore Conformance Testing?

A: All testing programs will begin by assessing the syntax of the UCore eXtensible Markup Language (XML) Schema that the CSS will use. This is a static analysis of CSS documentation and XML Schema data files. The XML Schema must conform to all applicable syntactic World-Wide Web Consortium (W3C) recommendations and guidelines for XML documents, and the applicable UCore specification. This assessment will focus on well-formedness and validation. Well-formedness, as defined by the W3C, ensures that the elements, delimited by start- and end-tags, nest properly within each other. Validation, according to the W3C, determines whether an element or attribute information item satisfies the constraints embodied in the relevant components of an XML schema.

As a separate option, this static phase can also include an assessment of the quality of the XML schema with respect to applicable W3C, UCore, COI and CSS program guidance.

Once past the static phase of testing, implementations of the CSS will be assessed for semantics, reliability, understandability, and usability.

  1. Semantics. The CSS shall maintain all pertinent UCore data without character errors that affect the man- or machine-readability of the messages and process all pertinent UCore data without error or loss of data elements.
  2. Reliability. The CSS shall process all required UCore messages without incurring syntactic or semantic errors. This includes accurate and complete translation of all applicable data if the CSS transforms one formatted data stream into another, or stores and recalls UCore data from any data storage system.
  3. Understandability. The CSS shall have published data dictionaries, taxonomies, and/or ontologies on the appropriate community metadata repository.
  4. Usability. The CSS shall, as required, allow operators to access and display all generated and received UCore Messages.

Exact details of the testing program will be negotiated between JITC and the requesting agency before testing begins.

What does Conformance testing reveal that cannot be discovered by developmental or other testing performed in my own facility?

A: The UCore Conformance Testing Program is universal.  Vendors and developers around the world participate in the program. It would be impossible to expect every vendor or developer to interpret every specification in the same manner. Accordingly, the interpretations provided by UCore CTE personnel provide the consistency and uniformity needed for improved interoperability capabilities.

How much can I expect to pay for the JITC's UCore Conformance Testing services?

A: The UCore community is still working out the exact details of the testing program. There is no charge for the use of the UCore Validation Tool. While there are currently no Accredited UCore Laboratories, we expect them to be established as various Communities of Interest establish their own Interoperability Testing Laboratories. Exact costs for the JITC's fee-for-service testing are test dependent and are beyond the scope of this document; however, a reasonably accurate rule of thumb estimation can be based on a charge of approximately $5,400 per test day.

How far in advance must I schedule a Conformance test with the JITC?

A: Clients may call at anytime to discuss and schedule a test; however, the completed test forms and payment must be received prior to the test start date.  Test periods are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis, with exceptions and special considerations available for bonafide emergencies or other unusual circumstances. Testing can usually be scheduled to begin within 6-10 weeks of a bonafide request for test services.

How long does the typical Conformance test take to complete?

A: Again, the length of the test is dependent and related to the complexity and the amount of testing desired by the client.

Must I bring my system to the JITC for testing, or can the JITC provide its services in my facility?

A: Since UCore is designed to facilitate the exchange of information over the Global Information Grid (GIG), most testing can be done over developmental networks, such as the Distributed Development Test Enterprise (DDTE). If distributed testing is not possible, then testing arrangements can be made either way. When a client desires testing to be performed at his or her location, the client will incur the travel, per-diem, lodging, shipping, and other costs incidental to the JITC's visit.


Acquiring Conformance Testing Services

The JITC's services are available on a fee-for-service basis to vendors and Government agencies. Depending on the complexity of your test requirements, services can be arranged in a very timely manner by calling the UCore CTE Facility anytime at 520-538-5342 (DSN 879-5342). Clients can also send an E-mail to JITCN@disa.mil to initiate the process. A customer check list is provided below to assist clients in preparing for and obtaining testing services.


JITC UCore Customer Service Checklist

The following is a summary of actions needed to schedule and conduct a test at the JITC UCore CTE Facility.

  1. Contact the JITC UCore CTE Facility.

  2. Review UCore test documents provided by the JITC.

  3. Complete UCore Test Submission forms and the Pack Capabilities inventory and return to:
    Joint Interoperability Test Command
    ATTN: JT4
    P.O. Box 12798
    Fort Huachuca, AZ 85670-2798
    voice: (520) 538-5342
    fax: (520) 538-5257

  4. Schedule test with JITC by calling the numbers in item 1, above. Be prepared to offer primary and alternate test periods. (The UCore Lab will confirm test dates and advise the customer/developer).

  5. Review Test Plan, Cost Estimate, and Test Logistical Requirements.

  6. If any of the following are applicable,

  7. Review and complete Terms & Conditions For Tests Conducted & Furnished by the JITC (if vendor sponsored) or Test Agreement & License (if government sponsored using vendor equipment). Send completed document(s) to:
    The Department of Interior National Business Center
    Acquisition Services Division
    South West Branch
    P.O. Box 12924
    Ft. Huachuca, AZ 85670-2924
    voice: (520) 538-0421
    fax: (520) 533-1600

    (Express Mail/FedEx/UPS):
    Bldg. 22208
    Ft. Huachuca, AZ 85613-7020

  8. Send payment -- MIPR, check, or money order -- to: (Note: payment must be received prior to test start)
    Joint Interoperability Test Command
    P.O. Box 12798
    Fort Huachuca, AZ 85670-2798

  9. Send security clearance information (when running a classified test) to:
    Joint Interoperability Test Command
    ATTN: Security
    P.O. Box 12798
    Fort Huachuca, AZ 85670-2798
    voice: (520) 538-5200
    fax: (520) 538-4345

  10. Send serial numbers of all equipment to the UCore Lab if test is classified.

  11. Send equipment, so that it arrives prior to test, to:
    Joint Interoperability Test Command
    ATTN: UCore Lab
    P.O. Box 12798
    Fort Huachuca, AZ 85670-2798



Joint Interoperability Test Command
ATTN: JT4 UCore CTE Facility
P.O. Box 12798, Fort Huachuca, AZ 85670-2798

UCore questions, comments or web site problems? Please forward to: JITC_UCore@disa.mil

UCore CTE Facility

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  Last Revision: 01 Apr 09

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