Easy and Secure Access

All TxDOT employees who perform regulatory compliance duties will have access to OTS through the Internet using standard Web browsers such as Microsoft Internet Explorer. Various levels of secure access are granted to ensure data integrity and restrict editing, viewing, and copying rights. Distributed access across the organization means more rapid retrieval of needed information. It also means that TxDOT can delegate compliance duties to a broader array of staff using the tool.

In his office, a TxDOT employee using a desktop computer is looking at a map of Texas generated using the OTS application.

"With OTS being a Web-based system, we were particularly concerned about security," Lelle says. "For instance, we voiced concerns that the source code could be vulnerable to SQL [structured query language] injection. Effective communication between the Information Systems Division and the contracting staff resolved that concern."

SQL, both a programming language and a specific database used by TxDOT, can be vulnerable to hackers. When protections are not in place, a user or hacker might enter programming commands to delete or modify otherwise secure information.

The current version of OTS allows data editing only with proper login credentials. An updated version, now under development, will add comprehensive data change tracking and reporting. This improvement will facilitate the automatic collection, storage, and retrieval of edited information, including the date of the change, the person making the change, the old record, the new record, and the reason for the change. These features will further enhance storm water compliance and ensure a high level of data integrity.