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24 Guide for Implementing a Geospatially Enabled Enterprise-wide Information Management System requirements assessment. You will also need to understand the underlying data and system structure so you can effectively modify or build on it. If you have a system that was developed before the technological changes that have occurred in distributed computing and enterprise database systems, you may want to evaluate the feasi- bility of migrating your system to the new environment. Service-oriented architectures, cloud computing, and distributed computing have changed the nature of how information-intense businesses operate and they provide much more flexibility and scalability in the design and implementation of complex information management systems. Existing Database Structure Probably the most important aspect of assessing your capabilities is knowing the database structure that is available within your transportation agency. This structure will typically provide the basis for your system, particularly for the electronic ledger-type system. It also provides the fundamental linkage to interoperability to other systems. You will want to identify existing databases that currently exist in the database system(s) that you want to include in the right-of- way system. This identification is generally done in conjunction with identifying other agency systems and datasets, including GIS. In most cases, these datasets will include metadata, or information about the data, which is necessary for your design. If a dataset does not include metadata, you will have to identify the owner of the data and obtain the necessary information. Typically, the agency through the database system manager will have established policies for adding datasets to the system. You will need this information for the design and final implementation. Existing Geospatial Capabilities If you are building GIS visualization and analysis directly into your system, knowing what GIS software is available is less important than understanding the geospatial datasets, their content, and format. If you are going to integrate your system with an existing GIS, then you will need to know what that system is and what language and structure it uses to communicate. Most of the large enterprise database systems now support geospatial data structures and many transportation agencies have migrated their geospatial data into these systems. Regardless of whether your agency has done so, you can include geospatial enablement in your system. However, if your agency does not maintain geospatial datasets on an accessible server, you will probably not be able to include this capability in your system until that structure is available because it may be impractical to generate all of the necessary datasets to support just your mission. Other Information and/or Decision Support Systems You interact with other offices in your agency when doing your business. Most commonly, you need data from them or need to provide them with data. You also want access to documents and, in some cases, you may want to review information in another system. Knowing what these systems are is important to your design so that the appropriate links are established to allow the necessary interaction. Areas that could have systems that need to be linked with your system include the following: Document management Financial