Project Interoperability

Project Interoperability: A Start-Up Guide to Info Sharing


1. Background

Project Interoperability is a start-up guide for information interoperability. The tools and resources presented here are in different levels of maturity, and some of them are even still drafts. They are made available here as a resource for improving information interoperability in and outside of government.

Information interoperability is the ability to transfer and use information in a consistent, efficient way across multiple organizations and IT systems. From a technical perspective, interoperability is developed through the consistent application of design principles and design standards to address a specific mission problem.

Information interoperability is important because it increases timely, responsible information sharing, can reduce costs and redundancy, and use best practices. These are all things that enhance decision making for government leaders, industry, and citizens.

We hope you help us improve and adopt this as a resource to build information interoperability throught the Information Sharing Environment. Learn more about:

What does this have to do with the I2F?

If you’re a Federal employee, you might have heard about or contributed to the ISE Information Interoperability Framework (I2F). The I2F is a national architecture framework designed to support information sharing for the public safety and national security missions across all levels of government – federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial. The content of Project Interoperability comes directly from the I2F.

Project Interoperability will leverage the best practices for information sharing derived through interoperability exercises and reference implementations. Taking an open government approach to the I2F, by publishing the content here, will lead to the best use of open standards among the mission and enablement communities, best practices for how policy and governance works, an understanding that the missions own requirements, and identification of common interoperability standards and models. Significant collaboration across these communities is recognized as essential to the effective operationalization of the I2F.

2. Interoperability Tools

These are the top tools for building information interoperability.

2-1 Common Profile describes high-level details associated with any program or system (such as the interoperability profile or metadata).

2-2 Springboard is an evaluation and certification program designed to help industry and government programs ensure complaince with information sharing standards.

2-3 Architecture Alignment refers to the process required to create interoperability between different architectures. For example, an architecture alignment would be required for a DoDAF system to “talk to” a TOGAF system.

2-4 Maturity Model is an approach for describing the various stages of implementation of any system or program. The five stages, in order from least mature to most mature, are: ad hoc, repeatable, enhanced, managed, and optimized.

2-5 Reference Architecture Template is a data-agnostic template for an architecture, which provides a common vocabulary for implementation

2-6 Attribute Exchange is the ability of two or more organizations to make access-control-related information on its users available to each other programmatically and on demand

2-7 Identity and Access Management is a diverse portfolio of services and processes that provides identity management, authentication, and authorization.

2-8 Exchange Patterns provide generic solutions to help demonstrate a commonly occurring need for exchange of data or information between two or more partners.

2-9 National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) is a community-driven, government-wide, standards-based approach to exchanging information.

2-10 ISE Standards Specifications Framework describes interoperable information exchange attributes beginning with standardized requirements and definitions. It includes the descriptive mechanics to develop components, and processes necessary to identify and normalize standards to achieve interoperability.

For links to more of our partners’ resources, or to add your own, check out our More Resources page.

3. Use Cases

Use cases of novel or best practices from agencies who are leading in open data help others understand the challenges and opportunities for success.

3-1 [New Jersey ISE] -

3-2 Exchange Patterns - National Virtual Pointer System

3-3 Geospatial Interoperable Reference Architecture (GIRA) is a framework for developing new geospatial system investments and aligning existing geospatial capabilities. The GIRA is in development, and will be available late summer 2014.