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REEport goes live an the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)

May 11, 2013

REEport is the “Research, Education, and Extension Project Online Reporting Tool.”   This was a great team effort between the Barquin team and the NIFA Federal team.

“Barquin International announced today its partnership with the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), in the development of the recently-launched Research, Education, and Extension Project Online Reporting Tool (REEport). This integrated data collection, analysis and reporting application was successfully developed and deployed by NIFA to provide a singular, consistent method to support oversight and tracking of competitive and formula grant projects managed by the agency.”

For the full press release, following this link:




New NIFA Reporting Portal Goes Live!

January 22, 2011

We are finally on our way with a centralized open-source reporting portal for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). The new portal will provide a common authentication and authorization portal for all major reporting applications for NIFA.

National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Reporting Portal

First to be included is the new Leadership Management Dashboard (LMD) Version 4.0, which is packed-full of new features for NIFA Program Leaders, agency managers, and Land Grant (State Partner) Institutions.  The new LMD is a hybrid of our “legacy” Oracle version with the new:

This is a sample page from the new LMD 4.0

The application automatically switches contexts based on the menu option.  Here is an Oracle Portal view:

This is a sample view of the Oracle Portal portion of LMD 4.0

The goal for 2011 is to migrate the remaining features in Oracle Portal to the new infrastructure as we add additional capabilities.

The architecture for this new implementation includes:

  • VMWare ESX virtualization
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux as the OS
  • JBoss Application Server
  • JRuby/Rails (RoR)
  • The Hobo Extensions for Rails
  • InfoBright/MySQL for databases
  • Central Authentication Service (CAS) for SSO. (We have integrated CAS with Oracle OID, Ruby, and Java applications.)

I will steal the saying that “It takes a village” and apply it to our Barquin team. We have had contributions from a number of great developers on this journey.

We began the march to an open source version of LMD with the help of Tom Locke (father of Hobo) and Marcel Giorgi, who started building our Mondrian DSL written in Ruby, Rails, and Hobo, and kicked the tires on the InfoBright columnar database engine for MySQL.

Bryan Larsen came on board and has contributed his Rails and Hobo expertise to all we have done, including being key on the NIFA Portal end.  Gustav Paul and Angus Miller continued building and enhancing the open source portion of LMD 4.0, with the deep subject matter expertise and database design skills of Edmund Vergel de Dios, who has been the development lead  for LMD since 2007 and REEIS since 2003, and Chris Woody, who is our key CRIS developer and also a key contributor to LMD and REEIS.

Venka Ashtakala has been key to getting CAS working in all environments. Although LMD is the only app initially plugged into the NIFA Portal, CRIS, Plan of Work, and REEport (you’ll hear more about these later in 2011) have all been implemented and tested with the NIFA Reporting Portal, are in the queue, just waiting for the Green Light.  Venka has a long history at NIFA (previously CSREES) as well, working with our first open source project (CRIS using JSF with Oracle DB) and Plan of Work (Struts with MySQL DB)

Or newest addition to our software engineering team, Jack Compton, has been invaluable as our on-site Rails Guy.  We threw Hobo and The Kitchen Sink at him and he just came back for more.

Of course developers are only one part of the equation.  Ishita Yameen has been key as our seasoned Program Manager and Project Coordinator. She has made The Trains Run On Time.  Michelle Mascarenhas has a long history at NIFA, and her expertise in the many source systems feeding LMD, and expertise in drilling down on requirements is unique.  She also designed the suite of tests, and, with Anthony Prashanth, did much of the heaving lifting on testing and QA.   Irina Gotman took time from her Java work to put her energy and focus to help Michelle and Anthony with a chunk of the 650 tests.

We are very grateful to the NIFA CIO, Michel Desbois, Applications Director Dennis Unglesbee, LMD Project Manager Joe Barbano, and NIFA Portal Project Manager John Mingee. Under their leadership NIFA has become a open source and agile development innovator in the Federal arena.

There is a great collaborative and entrepreneurial spirit at NIFA that energizes our team members to give their very best every day.

Two Hobo eBooks now available at

March 7, 2010

Tom Locke has created this page for book access:

“Rapid Rails with Hobo”
“Hobo at Work”

We are currently looking for a publisher for enhanced print versions.


REEIS in the News

April 23, 2009

From: Martin, Jennifer
Sent: Thursday, April 23, 2009 2:23 PM
To: Everyone – CSREES Everyone Distribution List
Subject: New REEIS Web site featured on Federal News Radio – Tune in today!


ISTM’s Joe Barbano will be featured in an interview on Federal News Radio’s Daily Debrief to discuss the newly updated REEIS Web site and how it adds transparency to government.

The interview will be broadcast today at 4:28 p.m. eastern on 1500 AM. Audio from the interview will also be online at, click on The Daily Debrief on the right side of the page.

You can read more about the updated REEIS Web site in our newsroom: or check out


Jennifer Martin
Public Affairs Specialist
USDA’s Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service
(202) 720-8188

CSREES: Investing in Science, Securing Our Future

Barquin Development at USDA

April 20, 2009

April was a good month.  REEIS 5.0 and The Leadership Management Dashboard (LMD) 3.0 were released with great acclaim.