As our research team continues to develop the risk assessment process, our engineering team has been working on putting together the core software platform to support the final anticipated process. This is a quick update about progress being made on this.

From a development standpoint, we are essentially building a web-based collaboration system that has specific information workflow and visualization requirements. So we’ve decided to begin by setting up a development framework.

After much research and discussion about what tools to use for the development of our platform, we decided to go with Django, a Python-based web application development framework supported by the MySQL database. We believe that Django/MySQL will deliver the agility of development and ease of maintenance that we were looking for.

We now have a functional administration console that allows the team to start adding  information organized around Situation of Concerns (SOCs), with associated metadata classifications that we are using for our risk assessments. We have based the current database structure on our initial data models and will iteratively improve as use ramps up. The next step is to enable a basic front-end display and visualization for each SOC, which we’ll be doing with a combination of Django forms and our own custom front-end framework.  To produce a  “beta” level prototype, we will also need to design an authentication framework to protect the integrity of the system, as our data is sensitive and attempts to compromise our security are likely. We are considering using OAuth and using Google Accounts to control access to the system.

Stay tuned for more updates! We’re hoping put up a video walkthrough of the end-to-end system within a few weeks.

Mikel Cármenes Cavia & Taneem Talukdar
Engineering team