Friday, July 10, 2009

NIEM 2.1

How do government entities exchange data? In some cases, they do it via XML-formatted text that complies with the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM). If you're not aware of NIEM, here's an explanation (warning: written in government-marketing-speak):

The National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) is a Federal, State, Local and Tribal interagency initiative providing a foundation for seamless information exchange. NIEM is a framework to:

* Bring stakeholders and Communities of Interest together to identify information sharing requirements in day-to-day operational and emergency situations;
* Develop standards, a common lexicon and an on-line repository of information exchange package documents to support information sharing;
* Provide technical tools to support development, discovery, dissemination and re-use of exchange documents; and
* Provide training, technical assistance and implementation support services for enterprise-wide information exchange.

More here, including a reference to NIEM's roots in GJXDM and its compliance with HSPD-5, but I figure I've thrown enough acronyms at you for one day.

And a new version of NIEM is coming out - NIEM 2.1. Summary information is available in the July 2009 NIEM newsletter:

NIEM 2.1 incorporates many improvements in the current model, including new domains and minor edits to existing domains. The release of NIEM 2.1 does not affect the shared core of common data elements.

New Domains and Updates

* NIEM 2.1 will feature three new domains:
o The Maritime domain will be sponsored by the U.S. Navy as the executive agent for the Maritime Domain Awareness and will include the harmonized content from the Maritime Information Exchange Model 1.0 (MIEM).
o The Family Services domain will be a joint effort of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Administration on Children and Families, the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
o The Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) domain will be sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of Domestic Nuclear Detection.

* Updates will be made to existing domains, including:
o Improvement on the structure for an offense in the Justice domain.
o The Infrastructure Protection domain will provide a complete taxonomy of infrastructure categories. This should prove widely reusable by developers in many lines of business.
o The Emergency Management domain will tighten its linkage to the EDXL messaging standards. It also incorporates the results of a successful pilot at the Richmond, Virginia, emergency dispatch center, enabling the reuse of exchanges with private alarm companies.

* General improvements have been made to all domains in the model:
o Harmonization that has reduced many overlapping or duplicate data elements between domains.
o No more missing definitions! All elements in the 2.1 release have a clear, plain-English definition, making it easier to find and reuse individual elements in the model.

The release will go through several iterations (alpha, beta, etc.), and should be out by the fall if all goes well.
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