Outpost v2.5 Release Highlights
Outpost v2.5 includes several new features,
including an ICS 309 Communications Log Builder, Local Message ID, and
Windows data directory compliance (particularly needed for Vista and Windows
7 support). See the Release Information for a list of
other changes included in v2.4.
ICS 309 Comm Log Builder
As that old adage goes, "the job is not done until the paperwork is
This is particularly true for emergency responders and volunteer
communicators. Just as the EOC needs to pull together all the event
documentation to support any financial re-imbursement, they will be looking to us communications responders for the
same type of detail. One ICS document that is critical to a communications
event is the Communications Log -- who sent what message, when, and to who.
This is where the Ics309clb.exe program comes in.
ICs309clb builds up a standard 309 form based on
information generated from the Outpost message log file. In fact, if you have not deleted
anything on your installation, you already have a message history going back as far as
2007. The ICs309clb program reads this file and, based on the options
you select, builds up a formal ICS 309 form. The program supports several options:
Period. You can determine the
time frame over which you want to report. This lets you produce a
report for either an operational period, an entire day, or the entire event.
You can tailor the report to include different content (Sent,
Received messages, as well as Private, Bulletins, NTS messages) as well as
exclude content (for instance, exclude messages with the word
"READ" or "DELIVERED" in the subject line).
Sort. The program
gives you several sort options to sort by DateTime (most typical),
From+DateTime, To+DateTime, LMI+DateTime, and
Subject+DateTime. For readability, you can also insert line breaks
on a change of the primary sort field.
You have the option to exclude specific fields
from the report if your organization or policies do not require them.
you can produce the report in a formatted Ics309 report form, ASCII file,
or a comma-delimited file.
Ics309clb can be scheduled from
the main Outpost form from the ICs Reports menu option.
Local Message ID
was a new requirement, and after thinking about it, it was apparent that
this was real, and probably should have been added years ago. While
Outpost does let you assign a unique message identifier to outgoing messages
(posted in the subject line), the need was presented that some jurisdictions
require that all incoming messages have the agency's message ID assigned to
them, regardless if the sender put their own message ID on it.
now can assign a Local Message ID (LMI) to all messages received. This
is set up from the Message Settings menu, Message Numbering Tab (Tab
2). both Outbound and Inbound message ID setup has been moved to this
this new feature, I recommend you review this with your served agency to see
if this requirement is relevant to them.
Windows Data Structure compliance
few problems popped up with Vista. The bulk of the reported problem
rolled in with Windows 7. The problem was having to deal with
Microsoft's enhanced security controls for where programs can legitimately
write data (and its no longer the programs directory) and keeping you all
focused on packet, not PC internals.
change moves all Outpost data directories from the programs directory to the
O/S-appropriate data directory.
Windows NT, 2000, XP, the path should be
Settings\All Users\Application Data\Outpost
Vista and Windows 7, it will be
Regardless of the O/S version you are using, the Programs Directory will
only contain the following files:
||Main Outpost program
||A read-only file created by
the installer that is used by all Outpost Programs that points to the
Outpost data directory and subdirectories.
||Outpost Scripting program
||Outpost Message Capture
Program, supports remote message submittal by PacFORMS and
||The data update program that
is run by the installer to fix and/or move data files
||Interactive Packet program,
Interactive Packet program, for Serial devices
Interactive Packet program, for Telnet
||The ICS 213 Message Maker
||The ICS 309 Communications
Log Builder Program
||local copy required for
Everything else will be in the data directories.
NOTE: to find this directory, from the Outpost Menu, click Actions
> View Outpost Data Directories. A Windows Explorer form will
open the the Outpost directory.
ICS 213 Messaging
While Ics213mm didn't change, the way it interacts with Outpost did.
Opdirect.exe is the program that listens for messages from Ics213mm.exe and
PacFORMS. Opdirect.exe has been rewritten to be multi-threaded so that
multiple instances of Ics213mm.exe can be deployed in your EOC or workspace.
is one area where I would appreciate any feedback as to how this is working.