OJBC Features & Capabilities

Platform Capabilities

The OJBC offers a range of justice information-sharing capabilities, which jurisdictions can customize, deploy, and exploit:

  • Streamlined Federated Query: The OJB includes a powerful federated query “engine” that allows users to specify a search once, disseminates the search to multiple data sources, and aggregates the results into a single, streamlined response to users. The engine includes an “entity resolution” capability, which performs probabilistic matches of records across data sources to further streamline results for users.
  • Real-time Subscription/Notification: A hallmark of integrated justice is that practitioners should receive the right information at the right time to support their work—with the bottom line being improved efficiency and practitioner and public safety. The OJB supports this goal with a flexible subscription/notification engine that allows practitioners to subscribe—automatically or manually—for notification of specific justice events.
  • System Interfaces to Trigger Subscriptions/Notifications: The OJB also provides interfaces to systems that can automate the creation of subscriptions based on the occurrence of triggering events.
  • Web Portal (browser-based interface): The OJBC web portal provides users with the ability to perform federated queries against multiple data sources and to review query results with entity resolution applied. Authorized portal users are also able to manually create and manage subscriptions. The web portal takes advantage of federated identity management capabilities of the OJB to ensure that users can gain access in a secure manner using existing login credentials.
  • Security and Single Sign-on: Federated identity management is a critical step to enabling secure, scalable integrated solutions. It supports single sign-on access to multiple services, improves security, and eliminates costly centralized user account mechanisms. It also is the foundation for automated privacy policy and access control enforcement. The OJB consists of a capability that integrates open source identity providers, service providers, and Web Services components necessary to enable a federated identity approach across applications and services. This capability conforms to the Global Federated Identity and Privilege Management (GFIPM) and the Global Technical Privacy Framework.
  • Event Reporting: The OJB offers interfaces to systems for “pushing” key events to partners that need to consume event information. Events include things like incident reporting, arrest reporting, disposition reporting, and charge referrals. For example, the OJB facilitates sharing of law enforcement incident information at the local, state, and Federal levels by extracting incident data out of a records management system, sending the information to the broker at the state level, and routing that information according to policy. In this process, charging documents can be sent to local prosecutors, and incidents can be reported to the FBI’s National Data Exchange (N-DEx) system. Similar event-reporting interfaces exist for charge filing, dispositions, probation and parole case initiation, and booking/arrests.  This capability allows law enforcement agencies to leverage the power of N-DEx while also creating efficiencies at the local level.
  • Data Analytics: Coming soon (2015): We are piloting a capability to populate an analytical data store with justice event information that has been “sanitized” of personally identifiable information, and can be used to produce a variety of performance measures and other statistics on the operation of the justice system. The information is assembled from operational information exchanges that are already flowing through the Broker.  The pilot project is supporting the efforts of a statewide pretrial services program to combat drug-related crime—it does this by developing and implementing “dashboards” to make key performance measures available to policymakers and operational managers.

Open Source

Open source licensing of the Open Justice Broker technology accomplishes four important goals:

  • Lowers barriers to participation
  • Enables jurisdictions to reuse what others have implemented at very low cost
  • Ensures that any future expansion of the OJB software is shared back with the community so that the entire nation can benefit from new capabilities
  • Mitigates technology risk

The core Open Justice Broker functionality is licensed as open source (Reciprocal Public License–1.5). Users—whether or not they are members of the OJB Consortium—become licensees, with the following rights, privileges, and obligations:*

  • Core OJB components are made available for download, in source and binary form, at no cost
  • Licensees are allowed to modify the source code, as long as any modifications are shared back with the community via the OJBC
  • Licensees are allowed to redistribute changes to the core OJB components, as long as the source code for those changes are made available under the Reciprocal Public License as well

*consult the license text for full details of licensee rights, privileges, and obligations

Licensees do not have to become members of the OJB Consortium to access OJB source code—but membership conveys additional valuable benefits. Learn more

OJB Community

The community of OJB users—whether members of the consortium or not—can communicate with other users and OJBC staff via:

  • An OJBC Blog, which features blogposts from staff in three topical categories: News, Developer/Architecture, and Business/Operational.
  • A User Mailing List, where users can ask membership-related or general questions about the features and use of the OJB.
  • A Developer mailing list, where users can ask questions related to technical, development, and implementation topics.

Note: The User and Developer mailing lists require you to submit a “request to join” using your regular or gmail email address. Upon approval by OJBC, you will be able to access, read, and post to the list.

Implementation Assistance

All Consortium Membership levels include varying levels of support from Consortium staff to assist members’ implementation of the OJB.  For Full and Support members, this can include detailed on-site or remote assistance and/or development work.  Details on support levels are on our Membership page.