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During the coming decade, the Environmental Data and Information Services (EDIS) of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration expects the volume of environmental data and information requests to continue increasing, many new applications to be developed, and demand for shorter response time to user data requests to accelerate. To meet these and other user needs, EDIS is undertaking a program that will integrate its current separate data base operations under a single data archive management and users services (DAMUS) system. The system is expected to be in full operation in approximately 18 months.

Presently, EDIS' data processing operations involve three separate, independently operated computer systems with different hardware and software capabilities. These three systems have met EDIS' requirements in the past, however, because of the need for quicker, multidisciplinary access from different geographic locations, increasing volumes of incoming environmental data in frequently changing data formats an modes, processing costs, and shrinking manpower, it has become necessary to develop alternative approaches to maintain a viable data and information service. To achieve the degree of integration required to meet national needs, the independent systems are to be replaced by a single system.