The Australian Defense Force (ADF) has started a Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)-like service called ForceNet that will be used by both current staff and former service members, according to a report from IT News. Just like Facebook, ForceNet is also a social network through which users will be able to set up connections with colleagues, send direct messages, post content as well as create events and social groups.

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Like Facebook, ForceNet to connect users

Service members can also check the pay receipts and submit leave applications, look for any vacant positions and talk about their skills and qualifications. Australian Defense Force is targeting greater efficiency as well as tapping into the skill pool of current staff as well as former employees for upcoming projects.

This social media platform took one year to complete and is based on the SiteCore web content management system in juxtaposition with Deloitte, which was paid around $2.6 million to develop and maintain the platform from September 2013 until June 2015. The portal was delayed from its initial March release to add few more features.

The Army Reserve was the first body to develop this Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB)-like service, but the ADF included some new features to add all current and former members of the Australian Defense Force and their families. The Australian Defense Department has forecast a full-time workforce of 79,734 in 2014-15.

ForceNet to replace earlier portal

Initially, around 800 users from six trial units tested ForceNet between November 2013 and February 2014 to track the efficiency and stability of the portal. After feedback, the corporation decided to postpone the launch date to include more features. One  spokesperson from Defense stated that the department was not able to project the cost of the project as the department was uncertain over the expanded scope of the site.

After the arrival of ForceNet, Australian Defense Force will be able to shut down the Defense Alumni Portal (DAN), a previous solution also based on SiteCore. The closing process for DAN started earlier this year as about 1000 active users and 12,000 user profiles were ported to the similar to Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) service from ADF. Defense is aiming to overcome skill shortages by recruiting former ADF members back into the force.