This section contains information on the software used by public safety officials to send public alerts and warnings through IPAWS.
Alert Origination Software Providers (AOSP) are developers that furnish the software interface that alerting authorities use to generate Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) messages. The software then delivers those messages to the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System Open Platform for Emergency Networks (IPAWS-OPEN) for dissemination to the public.
AOSPs should test their products in the IPAWS-OPEN test environment to ensure they are IPAWS-compatible. For a list of private sector developers who have tested in IPAWS-OPEN, see the IPAWS-OPEN Developers List. The IPAWS-OPEN Developer List includes the names of third-party organizations that have executed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the purpose of gaining access to the IPAWS-OPEN test environment to support interoperable software development.
Testing with IPAWS-OPEN
There are currently dozens of companies working to design IPAWS compliant alerting origination software and IPAWS-compatible products that can distribute alerts to the public. Industries that choose to develop IPAWS-compatible tools and technologies include the transportation and utilities sectors, internet service providers, and web developers.
Companies that would like access to the IPAWS-OPEN test environment need to execute an MOA with FEMA. To obtain the application for an MOA, please email IPAWS@fema.dhs.gov. Please indicate “Developer MOA Application” in the subject line of the email. In return, the developer will receive the MOA to sign along with accompanying Rules of Behavior. Once fully executed by both parties, the developer will receive:
- Copy of the fully executed MOA
- IPAWS-OPEN v3.10 Web-Service Interface Design Guidance
- Digital Certificate
- Accessible Web Service End Point
After reviewing the documentation, the developer will be asked to identify the specific functions of IPAWS they wish to use for inclusion in the IPAWS-OPEN test results database. As the developer tests the product, the developer will work with the IPAWS Program Management Office (PMO) test coordinator to ensure that successful results are reported and problems are resolved as needed.
Common Alerting Protocol
The Common Alerting Protocol (CAP) is a digital format for exchanging emergency alerts that will allow a consistent alert message to be disseminated simultaneously over many different communications systems. FEMA has worked with the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS) to develop the IPAWS standard.
CAP provides a standard around which our nation’s alert and warning capabilities can be integrated. The following guidance and technical documents currently define CAP as it will be implemented and used in IPAWS:
- Organization for Advancing Structural Information Standards (OASIS) CAP 1.2 Standard
- OASIS CAP v1.2 IPAWS Profile Version 1.0
- CAP to EAS Implementation Guide
The IPAWS CAP profile’s open standard will facilitate manufacturing by multiple suppliers and will ensure interoperability among alert and warning systems at the Federal and state levels and across different alert delivery systems. For additional questions, please contact the IPAWS PMO at IPAWS@fema.dhs.gov.
System developers are also invited to participate in monthly webinars. Subscribe to the Developer E-mail List to receive webinar invitations.
To view previous webinar recordings, please visit https://femaipawslab.webex.com and choose the "View Event Recordings" link located on the top right hand side of the page.