Defense Message System

What Does Defense Message System Mean?

Defense Message System (DMS) is a secure email system designed by the U.S. Department of Defense to transmit military messages. DMS uses the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model standards such as X.500 directory, X.509 public key and X.400 mail.


DMS is similar to traditional email clients. It is flexible, user-friendly and may be used with third-party messaging systems.

Techopedia Explains Defense Message System

DMS was developed to provide a secure and integrated email system for the Department of Defense. It included advanced technology for future challenges.

DMS is made up of the following basic components:

  • Management Workstation (MWS): This component is responsible for total DMS control and security and handles configuration, faults, accounting and other monitoring issues. MWS uses a management workstation system that provides reliable third-party protocols for DMS.
  • Directory Services: These provide content management system services, which hierarchically store official directory contacts and incoming message data along with entries that explain user groups and basic information.
  • Message Handling System (MHS): This system allows users to create, edit, send and receive messages.

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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…