The Massachusetts Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (DCJIS) will work with vendors interested in becoming approved hardware and/or software vendors for authorized law enforcement and criminal justice agencies.  Approved vendors offer CJIS, National Crime Information Center (NCIC), and International Justice and Public Safety Network (Nlets), access to authorized criminal justice agencies through in-station systems and/or through mobile data terminals and portable handheld devices.  

Connecting Hardware Equipment and/or Software to the CJIS Network

Criminal justice agencies and their selected vendors must get approval from the DCJIS before accessing any information on, or connecting any hardware or software to, the CJIS network. 

The CJIS Vendor Policy Guidelines pdf format of CJIS Vendor Policy Guidelines
provide step-by-step instructions for agencies and their vendors to follow to request and receive approval.  This process must be followed initially as well as at any time an agency/vendor wishes to implement additional CJIS functionality (e.g., implement a new CJIS query in an existing system).

For vendors, the approval process includes, but is not limited to:

  • Agency Support Letter:  Working with one or more criminal justice agencies who will provide a letter of agency support that describes what functionality is being requested and why.  This letter must be signed by the Police Chief or Agency Head.
  • Proposed Scope Template:  Working with the criminal justice agency to develop and submit a proposal of the scope of the technology to be implemented using the CJIS Vendor Proposed Scope pdf format of Proposed Scope Template
file size 1MB template. 

If your scope proposal is approved by the DCJIS for development and testing:

  • Development/Testing:  Developing and testing the functionality for which you are approved.  This includes working with the criminal justice agency and the EOPSS Office of Technology and Information Service (OTIS) to connect to a test CJIS environment.  It also includes preparing for, and participating in, demonstration tests of the functionality with the criminal justice agency and the DCJIS.
  • Security Standards:  Working with your criminal justice agency and the DCJIS to ensure that your personnel understand and comply with DCJIS and FBI security standards both initially and on an ongoing basis.  See the FBI CJIS Security Policy for additional information.
  • Name/Address Changes:   Keeping the DCJIS informed about any changes to your organization, including a change to your organization's name, location, and/or contact person.

CJIS Broker

To facilitate the sharing of criminal justice information in a device and presentation- independent manner, the DCJIS has developed the CJIS Broker.  The CJIS Broker is Message Oriented Middleware (MOM) that is part of a larger initiative at the DCJIS to move towards a service oriented architecture (SOA). 

In Massachusetts, all connections to NCIC, Nlets, and other information sources must go through the CJIS Broker.

  • CJIS Broker Overview Document pdf format of CJIS Broker Overview Document
    Describes the technical concepts and processes of the XML-based transaction exchange format implemented by the DCJIS for exchanging criminal justice information via XML and web services. 
  • Available CJIS Transaction Appendix pdf format of Available CJIS Transactions Appendix
    Includes a listing of all the supported CJIS transactions, including queries, notifications, and data exchanges.
  • Query Technical Details Appendix pdf format of Query Technical Details Appendix
    Contains additional information about each criminal justice query that is currently available via the CJIS Broker, including technical documentation on the elements in each query transaction.
  • Data Exchange Technical Details Appendix pdf format of Data Exchange Technical Details Appendix
    Contains additional information about each criminal justice data exchange that is currently available via the CJIS Broker, including technical documentation on each data exchange transaction.
  • Electronic Application for Criminal Complaint Technical Details zip format of Trial Court EACC Design Package
file size 2MB
    Contains a zipped package of additional technical design materials from the Massachusetts Administrative Office of the Trial Court on how to communicate electronically with the Trial Court via the CJIS Broker.
  • CJIS Broker FAQs pdf format of CJIS Broker FAQs
    Contain answers to frequently asked questions for troubleshooting your interaction with the CJIS Broker.  This includes common questions as well as more specific technical questions intended for vendors trying to implement a CJIS Broker transaction.
  • Other Supporting Materials
    For each transaction an agency/vendor has been approved to implement, the DCJIS may provide an additional package of materials to assist in the development process.  The content of the package will depend on the transaction and may include web services description language, XML schemas, sample XML documents, component mapping sheets, transaction codes, and more.

Help and Support

The CJIS Frequently Asked Questions section of this website provides answers to some common questions for criminal justice agencies and their vendors.

The CJIS Support Services Unit (617-660-4710) is available weekdays from 8:00am to 5:00pm to answer questions from the criminal justice user community.  The Office of Technology and Information Services (OTIS) Public Safety Data Center (617-660-4620) is also available 24/7 to respond technical problems, or to assist with application questions.