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RE: [External] Re: US Department of Veterans Affairs use of GNU Octave

From: Brefo, James [USA]
Subject: RE: [External] Re: US Department of Veterans Affairs use of GNU Octave
Date: Mon, 8 Jul 2019 14:06:03 +0000

Good morning Nicholas,


I hope this email finds you well. Thank you so much for your assistance with this, the information you provided was more than helpful!!




James Brefo


From: Nicholas Jankowski <address@hidden>
Sent: Friday, July 5, 2019 4:46 PM
To: Brefo, James [USA] <address@hidden>
Cc: address@hidden
Subject: [External] Re: US Department of Veterans Affairs use of GNU Octave


James, as a user I'll attempt to provide some answers based on my knowledge and what I've had to tell my employer prior to usage approval. inline below.


On Wed, Jul 3, 2019 at 1:24 PM Brefo, James [USA] <address@hidden> wrote:

I am currently researching your product and your company, and would please like some clarification on the following product:


There's not really a company to reach out to here. As listed on the website under Commercial support (, the closest thing is probably John W. Eaton Consulting, Inc. (  But Octave is primarily volunteer developed free open source software, and this is a volunteer run help list.



GNU Octave


In order for us to update this technology as soon as possible, it must first be vetted (an analysis of the product must be completed for the One-VA Technical Reference Model (TRM)).


Can you please answer the below questions for the above product and provide any user/installation guides that are available?


Questions are as follows:


1)  Are there any software Components needed for this technology? 

i.e Modules and/or applications that cannot be downloaded separately; consisting of utilities that are not standalone, but need the technology to work.

Octave, as offered via the website requires a PC with the Linux, MacOS, BSD, or Windows operating systems. Windows installation does not require any 3rd party software, although some optional functions can take advantage of installed Java and python software programs, as examples.




2)  What kind of Licensing is needed, if any? 

i.e Is it a commercial license, freeware, open source?


Octave is free software under the GNU General Public License. see



3)  What Operating Systems are supported? Please list server/client.  

i.e. OS: AIX, HP-UX, OpenVMS, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Solaris, Windows (client), Windows (server), z/OS, OS X, iSO, Android, z/VM, CentOS Linux, Oracle Linux.

see 1.  Current windows versions support 64 ad 32 bit Windows versions back to XP, although some minor functionality is lost under XP.  Other people will have to report specific Linux and Mac OS support.  



4)  Are there any Runtime Dependencies (system requirements)? (software only)

  i.e. A dependency is a technology this is needed by this technology that must be installed separately such as .NET Framework, Microsoft Internet Explorer, MS SQL Server Database, JRE etc.


Windows - no 



5)  Are there any Companion Technologies associated with this product?

i.e. Other technologies that are packaged with this product (that can be downloaded and used separately) as well as any technical standard that this product supports (e.g. HTTP, XML, PDF, CSV, TCP/IP, S-HTTP, HL7, DICOM etc.).


The Octave programming environment supports Packages to extend its functional capability. The ones maintained by octave developers are called Octave-Forge, and can be found at


As a programming environment different functions in Octave can support input and output in many formats, including plaintext formats (CSV, XML, HTTP), and others. A comprehensive list is not possible.  




6)  What are the Version Numbers and Major Release Dates for this product?

Please include VERSION numbers and associated major RELEASE Dates with Month/Day/Year within the last 3 years.


The current major release is Octave v5.1.0, released on 1 Mar 2019. 

previous releases:


v4.4.0 on 30 Apr 2018

v4.2.0 on 14 Nov 2016


7) Does this technology store any data, and if so, where does it store data? Is data stored locally as files on the user’s hard drive or in a database? What information/data is stored? Can you please explain the flow of data (i.e. how data is sent to storage) and the database details (i.e. the type of database)? Is data encryption supported? If so, what type of encryption? 


As a programming language, any stored data is custom to the activities of the user. A user may create a program that saves any manner of data, anywhere he/she wants.  

The program internally maintains a history of issued command line commands, as well as saved user preferences, stored unencrypted on the local hard drive. If this is data you need details about someone else may be able to provide their location.  



8) Where is this technology hosted? On VA premises/VA owned servers? Your data center? Please provide details.  


This program is typically installed on a computer local to the end user, although it may be installed and accessed on a remote server similar to any end user application.




9) Does this technology include cloud-based functionality? If yes, please provide cloud details.







I look forward to hearing from you soon!  Please feel free to reach out to me via e-mail or via my cell at (number), as well.  Thank you for your time!


Best Regards,



James Brefo

Senior Consultant | Staff Technologist

Health Group


m: 240.314.5956


Rockville, MD


Booz | Allen | Hamilton




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