DoD officially adopts NIEM

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Two Pentagon memos make official Defense Department adoption of the National Information Exchange Model as the basis for defense data exchange.

A March 28 memo (.pdf) from DoD Chief Information Officer Teri Takai says that as of that date, her office will no longer support further development of UCore or its C2 Core implementation "as unique DoD exchange models."

The memo does say that applicable UCore and C2 Core data components will carry over to the Military Operations Domain NIEM extension to be established as part of the Defense Department's adoption of NIEM.

It also calls for development of a DoD Data Framework "to include targeted guidance on governance and technical direction regarding NIEM adoption." Defense organizations can petition the DoD CIO to use another standards-based data exchange, the memo adds, but whatever alternative they use, it must be interoperable with NIEM, it says.

An April 12 memo (.pdf) from Lt. Gen. Mark Bowman, Joint Chiefs of Staff CIO/J6, seconds Takai's earlier memo, noting that the NIEM military domain "will support development of information exchange specifications across the full range of military operations."

UCore and NIEM are both government-developed Extensible Markup Language data representation frameworks, but NIEM has garnered grassroots support and has extended its scope to encompass disparate multiple communities of interest ranging from its original civilian federal, state and local law enforcement users to others such as healthcare and international trade.

The concept behind NIEM is that communities of interest use the NIEM core for data components common across the communities--for matters such as "person" or "organization"--and develop data components of their own for domain-specific activities, such as military operations.

Pentagon officials met with NIEM and Information Sharing Environment officials in October to discuss defense adoption of NIEM; Takai's memo is a deliverable agreed to during the meeting.

For more:
- download Takai's March 28 NIEM memo (.pdf)
- download Bowman's April 12 NIEM memo (.pdf)
- go to the NIEM website

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