DEAMS script averts legacy file failure

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  • By Daryl Mayer, AFLCMC Public Affairs

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB, Ohio (AFLCMC) – When Microsoft announced earlier this year that legacy Microsoft Office files would block from operating on Air Force computers, many users took it in stride. 
 
However, members of the Defense Enterprise Accounting and Management System recognized the change could have a significant and potentially mission-stopping impact. 
 


DEAMS is the Defense business system that manages the control, execution and reporting of the Air Force general fund and US TRANSCOM working capital funds, according to Lt. Col. Emilio Talipan, DEAMS Program Manager.  It supports over 17,000 users across 170 different installations across the Air Force and Space Force.  It also supports users of the Defense Finance and Accounting System.
 
“Our mission is to deliver accurate, reliable and auditable financial management information,” said Talipan, who leads a team of 300 military, civilians and contractors located at Wright-Patterson AFB as well as Gunter Annex in Alabama.  
 
His team recognized that many components of the DEAMS program use Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to manage data.  If the program used a legacy spreadsheet that was to be blocked, it could cause a work stoppage.  Many of the files used in DEAMS go back a decade or more, so Talipan challenged his team to examine and mitigate potential impacts. 
 
The response was to modify a script the Air Force had created to address the challenges to DEAMS.  Talipan credited two of his members for their ingenuity.
 
“That’s where Tyler Chronaberry and Bob Leach really stepped up,” Talipan said. 
 
They developed a very innovative solution to do batch conversions that helped out not just DEAMS, but was also sent out to the Air Force.
 
“There were security concerns with the older office extensions that came about with Office 95,” Chronaberry said.  “Microsoft has been trying to phase out for a while and, and now it was incumbent upon the Air Force to make sure that users were relying on the new office extensions.”
 
Once the script rolled out it executed automatically on users systems when they logged on. 
 
“We had good response from the users and the functional community,” Chronaberry said.  “We never heard any complaints with the script or with the instructions that they were given.” 
 
To hear the full conversation, you can watch Leadership Log on YouTube at https://youtu.be/Uzw3StEFb64.  You can also listen by searching “Leadership Log” on Apple Podcast, Google Podcast, Spotify, Overcast, Radio Public or Breaker.