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|U.S. Interagency FEA DRM Working Group Releases Draft XML Schema.|
Update 2005-12-28: In December 2005, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) Data Reference Model (DRM) Final Version 2.0. The FEA DRM framework is designed to enable information sharing and reuse across the federal government via standard description and discovery of common data, and the promotion of uniform data management practices. An updated draft DRM XML Schema and sample XML instance document have been posted for inspection. See details in the news story: "U.S. Federal Enterprise Architecture Data Reference Model (DRM) Version 2.0."
[June 20, 2005] As part of the ongoing revision of the Data Reference Model (DRM) for the U.S. Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA), the DRM Working Group has issued a new DRM XML Schema for public review. Working Group members are eager to receive feedback from reviewers as they work toward the planned October 17, 2005 release of the new multi-part FEA Data Reference Model. "In keeping with the principles of open standards and open collaboration, the DRM WG invites public comment through this DRM Public Forum to enable broad-based contributions to Data Reference Model evolution."
The draft FEA DRM XML Schema is designed to "support the DRM's primary use case of facilitation of interagency information sharing. It facilitates the inventory, cataloging, and discovery of information holdings as required by law and policy (OMB Circular A-130, Management of Federal Information Resources), with support for harmonization across the federal government of data artifacts, and establishment of authoritative data sources. The Schema provides an open and well-documented standard to enable the organization and categorization of government information, in ways that are searchable, and interoperable, across agencies."
The Federal Enterprise Architecture being developed by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is described as a "business-based framework for Government-wide improvement." This architecture is being constructed "through a collection of interrelated 'reference models' designed to facilitate cross-agency analysis and the identification of duplicative investments, gaps, and opportunities for collaboration within and across Federal Agencies. Collectively, the reference models comprise a framework for describing important elements of the FEA in a common and consistent way. Through the use of this common framework and vocabulary, IT portfolios can be better managed and leveraged across the federal government."
The Federal Enterprise Architecture currently has five FEA reference models. Its foundation is "the Business Reference Model (BRM), which describes the government's Lines of Business and its services to the citizen independent of the agencies and offices involved."
The FEA Performance Reference Model (PRM) for performance measurement "provides common output measurements throughout the federal government, allowing agencies to better manage the business of government at a strategic level. The Business Reference Model (BRM) is structured into a tiered hierarchy representing the business functions of the federal government. provides a framework that facilitates a functional (rather than organizational) view of the federal government's lines of business (LoBs), including its internal operations and its services for citizens, independent of the agencies, bureaus and offices that perform them." The Service Component Reference Model (SRM) "is organized across horizontal service areas, independent of the business functions, providing a leverageable foundation for reuse of applications, application capabilities, components, and business services. SRM identifies and classifies Service Components according to how they support business and performance objectives. The FEA Technical Reference Model (TRM) "is component-driven, technical framework that categorizes the standards and technologies to support and enable the delivery of Service Components and capabilities."
The fifth reference model of the Federal Enterprise Architecture is the Data Reference Model (DRM), now being revised. The FEA Program Management Office (PMO), located within OMB's Office of E-Gov and IT, is "collaborating with members of the interagency DRM working group, chartered by the Architecture and Infrastructure Committee (AIC) of the Chief Information Officer (CIO) Council, to further enhance and improve this data reference model."
The FEA DRM is designed to "promote the common identification, use, and appropriate sharing of data/information across the federal government. It describes three basic standardization areas: (1) Categorization of data; (2) Exchange of data; (3) Structure of data. Information sharing can be enabled through the common categorization and structure of data. By understanding the business context of data, DRM users will be able to communicate more accurately about the content and purpose of the data they require."
OMB is providing agencies with the DRM Schema, also known as a 'DRM XML Profile', in order to "facilitate implementation of the DRM by federal agencies. The DRM Schema will enable federal agencies to submit XML instances to OMB that contain information for the agency pertaining to the three primary DRM areas." The Schema root element is drm:DataReferenceModel, with child elements drm:DataDescription, drm:DataSharing, drm:DataContext, and drm:SubmissionMetadata. The DRM Schema will also "facilitate data modeling efforts within agencies by providing a capability by which (for example) physical data models may be derived from logical data models. Instances of the DRM Schema may also potentially be used for configuration and operational purposes , e.g., to automatically configure and/or categorize a data source, to support service-oriented architecture (SOA) based exchanges between agencies, etc."
The newly released XML Schema for the FEA DRM is a W3C XML Schema that serves as an abstract metamodel for the DRM; it represents all three of the DRM's major standardization areas. The Data Description section "provides a standard means for agencies to describe their data and data sources clearly, concisely, and unambiguously. The Data Sharing section provides a standard means for describing interagency data exchanges and data sharing capabilities. The XML Schema's Data Context section provides a standard means for representing taxonomies that an agencies use to categorize their data."
According to a June 13, 2005 presentation by DRM Working Group Lead Michael Daconta, "several best-practice features in modeling, linking, and modularity have been included in the DRM XML Schema to support efficiency and effectiveness. Use of Dublin Core (DCMI) metadata for resources and RDF identifiers leverages existing vocabularies. External references enable agencies to reference existing data artifacts that comply with one of a pre-specified set of open standards in lieu of providing detailed information about those data artifacts in the DRM format." For example, OMG XMI, W3C XML Schema, RDF, and RSS may be supported for data description; W3C Web Ontology Language (OWL) and Simple Knowledge Organization System (SKOS) may be used for data context. Document interlinking is designed "for cases in which associations are made between DRM components; it enables agencies to refer to information in existing (previously submitted) external DRM instances within a DRM XML document rather than re-specifying the same information."
The DRM XML Schema is one of several deliverables to be included in the October 17, 2005 release for (Revised) Version 1.0. The DRM Working Group also plans to publish a revised DRM Overview, a document on DRM Management Strategy, a DRM Implementation Guide, and a collection of DRM XML Schema Examples. Following submission of the Revised DRM Version 1.0 to the Federal CIO Council for review (October 17, 2005), the specification will be issued for OMB Review (November 17, 2005), and then submitted via OMB Response to Congress (December 17, 2005).
The developers envision that the FEA DRM will be used in conjunction with the Global Justice XML Data Model and the National Information Exchange Model. One of the NIEM Program Goals is to leverage shared technology through implementation of the FEA Data Reference Model (DRM).
"The Architecture and Infrastructure Committee (AIC) is evolving an interagency collaborative working group to develop the next version of the Federal Enterprise Architecture Data Reference Model and associated implementation guidelines. This effort will be led by the AIC, in conjunction with OMB's Federal Enterprise Architecture Program Management Office (FEA PMO), and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
DHS has made significant progress in data harmonization, exchange, and interoperability. Michael Daconta, Metadata Program Manager, DHS will lead this government-wide working group. Susan Turnbull, GSA and Co-chair, Emerging Technology SC, is the AIC representative. John Lee is the FEA PMO representative.
As a framework to reduce complexity, Enterprise Architecture supports a desired future where mission-related integration across federal, state, and local jurisdictions becomes a thriving and common practice. A future, for example, where mayors, governors, senior Federal executives and other public stewards are fully provisioned with the data needed to support strategic decision-making.
Effective data-sharing requires a mature governance mechanism. The Data Reference Model (DRM), and the open process employed to evolve it, will contribute to this vital aspect of advancing information sharing.
The DRM's primary purpose is to promote common identification, use and appropriate sharing of data/information within the federal government and across the intergovernmental lines of business..." [from the DRM Public Forum (Wiki) 2005-06-20]
[June 13, 2005] "First Draft of Revised Data Reference Model Released." By Joab Jackson. From Government Computer News (June 13, 2005). "The federal Data Reference Model working group has released the first draft of the [revised] DRM Specification... OMB released the first version of the DRM last October and recruited Michael Daconta, metadata program manager for the Homeland Security Department, shortly thereafter to lead a working group to revise the model. The Federal CIO Council's Architecture and Infrastructure Committee, OMB's Federal Enterprise Architecture Program Management Office and DHS support the working group. The new version offers a number of different components. The major piece is an Extensible Markup Language-based schema that agencies can use to describe their data, specifying what format the data is in, what topics the data addresses, and how the data can be accessed. In addition to the schema, the DRM will also describe the management process that agencies should undertake to collect and register the data. With the release of this draft, the working group is now soliciting feedback from government agencies on how to improve the model. The group has a set up a Web site and public mailing list to receive comments. It will also hold open workshops June 21, July 19, August 16, and September 23, 2005. The group will add new features to the document through Septmber 14  and will submit the finished draft to OMB November 17, 2005. OMB should publish the revised DRM by December 17, 2005, according to Daconta, who also spoke at the conference. The DRM was designed primarily to give agencies a common framework to share data. The DRM can be used in conjunction with the National Information Exchange Model, a separate DHS and Justice Department effort to establish a basic terminology for marking data across all agencies. NIEM standardizes the language that two agencies can use to share data, while the DRM sets a standard format for describing sharable data that other agencies can discover and use, Daconta said. 'Today we move the abstract to the concrete,' Daconta said of the release of the draft. 'This is a detailed blueprint of how organizations are going to describe the structure, categorization and exchange of their information. This is not abstract anymore'..."
[March 21, 2005] "Geographic Profile on the Way for Federal Enterprise Architecture." By Jason Miller. From Government Computer News Volume 24, Number 6 (March 21, 2005). "As the [U.S. OMB's Federal Enterprise Architecture] FEA matures, agencies work on fleshing it out and adding more tools Ivan DeLoatch believes every piece of information has a geographic component. Whether it's data about military troops or financial audits or food processing, the staff director for the Federal Geographic Data Committee says geographic information cuts across every agency line of business. To that end, DeLoatch is leading an effort to develop a Geographic Information Systems profile for the Federal Enterprise Architecture... Richard Burk, OMB's chief architect, said at a recent conference on EA that he realized the benefits of standardizing geodata when he worked at the Housing and Urban Development Department. Using a GIS profile for HUD's EA, a program manager saw that putting a public housing site near a waste management site was a problem. The Federal Geographic Data Committee is working with the CIO Council and at least five agencies — the departments of Agriculture and Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Ad-ministration — on the profile. State and local government groups such as the National Association of State CIOs also are taking part... OMB's Burk said this will be a busy year for the Federal Enterprise Architecture. In addition to the work on the GIS profile, the CIO Council will release Version 2 of the Security and Privacy profile and test it within a line of business across government or within an agency this year. The council's Architecture and Infrastructure Committee also will define processes to revise all five FEA reference models and the governance process, Nelson said. The National Archives and Records Administration and the committee also will finish and launch a records management profile for the federal architecture, Burk said. A team of more than 60 agencies is revising the Data Reference Model to make it more usable and understandable. The goal of the DRM rewrite is to define the data and who has access to it. Burk also said his office is improving Version 2 of the agency EA Assessment OMB released last year. The updated tool will assist agencies in showing how their modernization blueprints can improve mission performance, he said..."
[February 03, 2005] "Working Groups to Revise Data Reference Model." By Jason Miller. From Government Computer News (February 03, 2005). "The Data Reference Model, the final piece of the Federal Enterprise Architecture, is only a few months old, and already federal officials are making plans to revise it. The Office of Management and Budget released the first version of the reference model in October, but federal officials were unsure of how to implement some parts, such as defining certain data types in the business context and packaging information to be shared. Michael Daconta, metadata program manager for the Homeland Security Department, said today that the strategy to revise the reference model would be finished by the end of March. He plans to set up three working groups to begin the improvement efforts. 'Version 1.0 of the DRM had some holes,' Daconta said at a breakfast discussion sponsored by the Industry Advisory Council of Fairfax, Va. 'It did not address the security and privacy issues of data that is very important if agencies are going to share information with confidence.' Daconta, who did not work on Version 1.0, said he did not know why the model omitted security and privacy information initially, but that they would be included in the upcoming version. To get started on Version 1.1, Daconta said his team would set up a public Web site on which industry or government users could create a virtual working group by posting information or suggestions. He also will set up a formal working group of federal, state and local government workers that would meet every two weeks to figure out the specifics of the revised model. The final working group would be an executive committee made up of OMB chief architect Richard Burk, Daconta, and representatives from the CIO Council, which would meet weekly to track the progress of the effort and resolve disputes... Daconta also addressed the revised DRM implementation strategy and how agencies should measure success when using the model. He said he hoped that by April the formal working group would select subcommittee leads to address functional areas such as context, exchange, description, data governance and security and privacy for each of the function areas..." See also "Data Reference Model Already Being Revised," in Government Computer News Volume 24, Number 4 (February 21, 2005).
[January 26, 2005] "Formal Taxonomies for the U.S. Government." By Michael Daconta. From XML.com (January 26, 2005). "Taxonomies have long played a central role in both medical and library science for the classification of medical terms and books. Recently, the U.S. federal government's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) Data Reference Model (DRM). The FEA DRM specifies three abstract layers of an organization's information: business context, information exchange, and data element description. Business context specifies the use of a taxonomy to categorize government information. One definition of a taxonomy is 'a scheme that partitions a body of knowledge and defines the relationships among the pieces. It is used for classifying and understanding the body of knowledge.' For federal agencies trying to learn how to implement taxonomies, most examples in portals and on public websites are informal taxonomies where neither the nodes nor the associations between them are formally defined. Examples of such taxonomies can be found on yahoo.com, froogle.com, and dmoz.org. Such informal taxonomies are only useful for browsing and not for automated techniques like query expansion, rule execution, taxonomy integration, faceted classification, and inference. This article examines the requirements of formal taxonomies and provide examples of each construct... The requirements for a formal taxonomy can be divided into two broad categories: node definition and link definition. A taxonomic node is a category. A node in a taxonomy cannot just be a label because labels have no predefined semantics and are inherently ambiguous; however, after defining a semantic structure for your taxonomy node, it is good practice to attach multiple synonymous labels as is supported by both the XML Topic Map Standard (XTM) and the W3C Web Ontology Language (OWL)... Formal taxonomies provide a roadmap to higher forms of semantic expression for the categorization schemes we create. In other words, we are creating taxonomies that are legal subsets of more formal ontologies. Without such discipline, we are dead-ending expensive knowledge acquisition efforts on ambiguous artifacts..."
[December 13, 2004] "Homeland Security to Inject XML into DRM to Assist in Data Sharing." By Susan M. Menke. From Government Computer News Volume 23, Number 34 (December 13, 2004). "The Homeland Security Department's Michael Daconta is leading a revision of the 30-page Data Reference Model, released in October, to help homeland defenders exchange data securely while preserving individuals' privacy. The DRM distinguishes data objects from their properties and representations, but Daconta said that is not enough. He said the DRM's way of describing information need further elaboration. To facilitate sharing of counterterror information, he said, the model must consistently include more details and cover unstructured and semistructured data.For sharing watch-list information, for example, Daconta said he is looking at how the Global Justice XML data model would deal with metadata about objects. Federated queries must be able to reach into different agencies' collections of unstructured documents, such as Adobe Portable Document Format files, as well as semistructured documents, such as collections of e-mail messages. The use of federated queries will require some kind of standard governmentwide identifier for persons of interest, as well as a central registry for the metadata. Among the technologies he is considering are the Web ontology language; ebXML, the XML extension for electronic business; and the XML polling and distribution technology known as really simple syndication. 'EbXML [see local references] could be used to register a Web service,' he said, and the metadata describing the service could be formatted in Web services description language (WSDL)..."
[November 08, 2004] "DHS Data Chief Says DRM Needs More Refinement." By Joab Jackson. From Government Computer News Volume 23, Number 32 (November 08, 2004). "The [U.S.] Office of Management and Budget's just-released Data Reference Model needs some adjustments if it is to help agencies share information, the metadata guru for the Homeland Security Department says. 'The DRM is a very good document,' Michael Daconta, metadata program manager for DHS, said at the National Science Foundation's recent Collaborative Expedition Workshop in Arlington, VA. But it needs further clarification, he said, because the model 'will cause confusion in its current form.' The problem with the model, Daconta said, is that it doesn't follow the 'modern principles of knowledge representation.' The basic DRM defines data according to three sets of characteristics: the context of the data entities being described, the characteristic elements of those data entities and the methods available for sharing that data. Daconta suggested use of additional subcategories for each of these areas, changes he said would not affect the basic architecture of the DRM itself. For instance, he said, the DRM needs a way to characterize associations. An association defines the relationships among data entities. Although the DRM suggests that associations can be described as a characteristic of the data, Daconta argues that associations should be separate. Associations really exist between different data entities, rather than as a characteristic of any one data entity, he said. Daconta is working on a standard set of associations for DHS; establishing formal associations will be essential for more intelligent sharing of data... The consistency of the DRM's language also needs work, he said. Some terms are not as rigidly defined as they could be. For instance, type and object are used interchangeably. Yet, in the programming world, those terms mean entirely different things, Daconta said. Also, there is inadequate language for describing an instance, or a specific iteration of a type. 'It's important to be consistent and not use different labels when you mean the same concept,' he said. Others at the workshop had some reservations about some of Daconta's suggestions. The Interior Department has implemented the DRM for several projects, and the lesson the architects of those projects have learned is to keep the model as simple as possible..."
[November 08, 2004] "OMB Releases Much-Anticipated Data Model." By Jason Miller. From Government Computer News Volume 23, Number 32 (November 08, 2004). "The Interior Department's Recreation One-Stop e-government project had hit a wall: Federal and state government partners working on the project could not agree on what data to include and share for making reservations at state and national parks. The disagreement seemed bound to hamper development of Recreation One-Stop. Then Suzanne Acar and her enterprise architecture team lent a hand. Acar, Interior's data architect, broke down the data so that project participants could understand what information would be shared and where it belonged within each subfunction of the recreation line of business. Helping the states better understand the data convinced them that the project was headed in the right direction, Acar said. Her work highlights the potential benefits of the Office of Management and Budget's new Data Reference Model, the fifth and final piece to the Federal Enterprise Architecture. OMB just released the DRM for governmentwide use. The DRM has been in the works for more than 18 months and is widely considered the key to making use of the FEA viable. But it also has been the most difficult model to develop, and its arrival is months later than OMB expected. Karen Evans, OMB's administrator for IT and e-government, said at a hearing in June that the model would be out in July. The DRM helps promote common identification, use and appropriate sharing of data across the government in three areas: categorization, exchange and structure. 'Agencies that define and categorize their data using a common approach can identify IT applications that meet user requirements prior to proposing new IT investments,' the DRM noted; 'agencies that exchange their data in a common structure increase the likelihood that other agencies can re-use the IT investment as a shared service within their own architectures.' Agency officials said they are eager to get their hands on the model... Interior also applied the data model to other priority lines of business including law enforcement, Indian trust funds and finance. And the department used the DRM to create common de-scriptions of simple data, such as person or location, across lines of business. 'The Interior DRM provides a common vocabulary, common definitions and serves as the guide for consistent implementation of data in Interior systems and Extensible Markup Language work, which can translate into a savings of time and costs,' Acar said. Experts said agencies could start using the DRM immediately by following Interior's model of classifying data along priority lines of business..."
[November 08, 2004] "Counterterror Data Sharing Will Rely on XML." By Susan M. Menke. From Government Computer News (November 08, 2004). "The Homeland Security Department will tweak the new Data Reference Model to create a data model for the exchange of counterterrorism data. Under Executive Order 13356, DHS data architect Michael Daconta is leading a revision of the Federal Enterprise Architecture's 30-page DRM to share counterterrorism data while preserving individual privacy. 'I'm amazed that Extensible Markup Language has become so important' to the effort, Daconta said last week at a meeting of the Association for Information and Image Management's National Capital Chapter in Arlington, Va. He said he is looking seriously at the way the Global Justice XML data model would handle metadata about agencies' watch lists. The model can separate 'external versus internal metadata' much like a book's outside cover tells the title and author, whereas the inside pages contain the details of plot and characters. 'We need to extend and enhance the DRM for a terrorism DRM' to exchange federated queries across agencies, he said. Queries must be able to reach into unstructured documents, such as Adobe Portable Document Format files, as well as semistructured ones such as collections of e-mail messages. Use of federated queries will require a standard governmentwide identifier for persons of interest, as well as a central registry for the metadata, Daconta said. He envisions a terrorism DRM with three axes: contexts of the subject, the service desired and its security; rules for information access and exchange; and descriptions of data elements and resources. Among the technologies he is considering are the Web ontology language, known as OWL, and ebXML, the XML extension for electronic business. The XML polling and distribution technology known as 'really simple syndication' [RSS] could provide access for queries, he said. While the terror DRM development is under way, he said, agencies involved in exchanging terrorist information can get a head start by following three best practices: (1) Make a formal taxonomy, or classification, of the data they have — not just a hierarchy; (2) Adopt reusable type libraries; (3) Form core communities of interest internally and externally..."
[June 25, 2004] "OMB Targeting July for Release of Data Model." By Jason Miller. From Government Computer News (June 25, 2004). "The Office of Management and Budget is aiming for the end of July  to release the Data Reference Model — the final piece to the Federal Enterprise Architecture. Karen Evans, OMB administrator for e-government and IT, said the model should improve agencies' ability to collect and use data. 'We are targeting for the end of next month because there has been a lot of discussion of how that model should read,' Evans said earlier this week at House subcommittee hearing on geospatial information. 'We want to make sure when the model is released, no matter who you are, you will be able to read it and understand exactly what we are talking about as far as data that we are collecting as we go forward.' Evans said the model will help in OMB's collection of information on the types of geospatial data agencies are using and how much. 'With the release of the DRM, we intend to specifically talk about data and how it relates to the [A-16] circular so that the agencies will know how to report those investments in to us; we will be able to get great visibility into [the data] and be able to promote partnerships between agencies as well as through state and local governments.' Linda Koontz, the General Accounting Office's director of information management issues, said the data model will assist the administration in obtaining the 'kind of complete, consistent and detailed information that OMB really needs in order to identify and reduce redundancies.' OMB Circular A-16 details the information agencies must submit to OMB, including geospatial data. The DRM is the last of the five models that break the Federal EA into layers, which also include the Business, Technical, Performance and Service Component reference models. OMB, which has been working on the DRM since 2002, released it in mid-March to agencies for comment..."
[October 20, 2004] "Data Reference Model Goes Out for Agency Comment." By Jason Miller. From Government Computer News (October 20, 2004). "The Office of Management and Budget on Friday released for agency comment the latest version of the Data Reference Model — the fifth and final piece to the Federal Enterprise Architecture. The DRM will help promote common identification, use and appropriate sharing of data across the government in three areas: Categorization, Exchange, and Structure. Agency CIOs and deputy CIOs received copies of the draft and are asked to comment by December 03, 2004. The DRM has been in the works for more than 18 months and has been widely considered the key to the FEA as well as the hardest model to develop. Its arrival also is months later than OMB expected. Karen Evans, OMB administrator for IT and e-government, said at a hearing in June that the model would be out by mid-to-late July. Under the categorization of data, the DRM uses the [FEA] Business Reference Model to classify the general purpose of the information. Under the exchange of data, the model calls for a standard message structure that combines the category of data with the actual pieces of information that make up the transaction. And finally, under the structure of data, the data element uses the International Standards Organization's [ISO] 11179 standard to describe how the information is put together. For instance, the draft DRM said the data object could be a vaccine and the data property could be the weight, potency, or name of the vaccine..."
[January 29, 2004] "OMB's Drafting a New Architecture Guide." By Jason Miller. From Government Computer News (January 29, 2004). "The Office of Management and Budget will do the General Accounting Office one better on enterprise architectures. The administration later this year will release a guide and best practices that it and agencies can use to measure how ingrained the systems blueprints are in agencies, OMB chief architect Bob Haycock said. GAO in April released Version 1.1 of its EA Framework and in December a review of agencies' progress in creating and using architectures. Haycock, who spoke yesterday at an enterprise architecture conference sponsored by Compuware Corp. of Detroit, said OMB would use GAO's framework and the new guide it is developing to gauge agencies' progress toward inculcating architectures into their daily operations. The guide will come out after OMB finishes the final reference model and revises the other four. Haycock said the CIO Council's Enterprise Architecture and Infrastructure subcommittees are reviewing the Data Reference Model, the last of the five EA models that break the Federal EA into layers, and OMB will release it in mid-March for comment. 'We've done a lot of work on the DRM to make sure it links with the other reference models and how to create data exchanges and integration processes,' he said. 'We think we have an approach that will work.' The Data Reference Model has taken more than a year to complete, longer than the other four reference models combined, Haycock added..."
[December 10, 2002] "Federal EA office Will Home In on Details as Soon as Next Month." By Patricia Daukantas. From Government Computer News (December 10, 2002). "The [U.S.] Federal Enterprise Architecture Program Management Office expects to release drafts of two technology-related reference models early next year. The draft technical reference model (TRM) and service component reference model (SRM) will probably be launched together next month, acting program manager Robert Haycock said today at the Extensible Markup Language 2002 conference sponsored by the International Digital Enterprise Alliance of Alexandria, Va. SRM will describe software components that agencies can quickly search and assemble into applications, Haycock said. TRM will identify the standards and technologies (down to the product level in some cases) that will facilitate the reuse and interoperability of components. The working groups drafting the models for the Federal Enterprise Architecture effort still have 'a lot of conceptualizing' to do on a draft data reference model (DRM) for the architecture, Haycock said. Under current plans, DRM would provide agencies with a repository of XML schemas and metadata that would describe data common to business processes used in multiple agencies. 'One thing we're determined not to do is create our own standards,' Haycock said. 'We want to use the commercial standards already out there.' XML, Universal Discovery Description and Integration, Simple Object Access Protocol and Web Services Description Language are the critical specifications that the team wants to encourage agencies to use, Haycock said. The enterprise architecture groups hope to use emerging Web services technologies to share data and integrate business processes. For example, Web services could help integrate the Federal Asset Sales e-government project into the Treasury Department's component-based application..."
[August 13, 2002] "US OMB Publishes Business Reference Model for Its Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA)." The US Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published a Business Reference Model as part of the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA). The Federal Enterprise Architecture is a "business-based framework for cross-agency, government-wide improvement; it provides OMB and the Federal agencies with a new way of describing, analyzing, and improving the federal government and its ability to serve the citizen." The new BRM is a "function-driven framework for describing the business operations of the Federal Government independent of the agencies that perform them; it represents the first layer of the Federal Enterprise Architecture and it is the main viewpoint for the analysis of data, applications and technology. The BRM identifies three Business Areas that provide a high-level view of the operations the Federal Government performs. These three Business Areas comprise a total of 35 external and internal Lines of Business, representing the services and products the Federal Government provides to its citizens, together with with 137 Sub-Functions or lower level activities that Federal Agencies perform." The accompanying XML schema describes and defines the type of content including the entities, attributes, elements, and notation of the Federal Enterprise Architecture. An XML document supplies detailed descriptions for the federal business areas, lines of business, and sub-functions of the Federal Enterprise Architecture.
[July 24, 2002] The Business Reference Model Version 1.0. FEA. 37 pages. Introduction by Mark A. Forman. The US Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published this Business Reference Model as part of the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA). "The Model provides an integrated view of the Federal Government's business, detailing activities that agencies perform to achieve each mission and function. With this foundation, government executives can look strategically at Federal business operations and understand the gaps, overlaps, and opportunities. See other discussion in the news story... The Data and Information Reference Model (DRM) will describe, at an aggregate level, the data and information that support program and business line operations. The model will aid in describing the types of interactions and information exchanges that occur between the Federal Government and its various customers, constituencies, and business partners. It will categorize the government's information along general content areas and decompose those content areas into greater levels of detail. The DRM will establish a commonly understood classification for Federal data and lead to the identification of duplicative data resources. A common data model will streamline the processes associated with information exchange both within the Federal government and between the government and its external stakeholders. The DRM will be produced on a business line by business line basis, as opposed to a single cumulative effort. This allows for the identification of and concentration on key improvement areas, producing clearly identified and measurable results. The FEAPMO will oversee the focused DRM efforts to ensure all appropriate points of integration are identified..." [source PDF]
- U.S. Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA):
- Data Reference Model (Specification and XML Schema):
- Presentations on the 2005 revised DRM (XML Schema):
- Toward a Unified Data Reference Model: Seeing the Way Forward Together. June 13, 2005 Forum.
- "The DRM XML Schema." By Michael C. Daconta (Metadata Program Manager), Andy Hoskinson (OMB FEA PMO), and Joseph M. Chiusano (Booz Allen Hamilton). Department of Homeland Security Metadata Center of Excellence. June 13, 2005. 31 slides. Presentation covers: "What is the DRM XML Schema?; Purpose of the DRM XML Schema; DRM XML Schema Structure; DRM XML Instance Examples; Schema Design Features, Issues, and Tradeoffs; Conclusion. It represents all three of the DRM's major standardization areas (Data Description, Data Sharing, Data Context). Federal agencies will create XML instances (documents) based on the DRM XML Schema that contain information for the agency pertaining to the three DRM areas. Development of the DRM XML Schema at an early stage is enabling us to ensure that we are capturing the correct information for the DRM, in the correct format, as soon as possible." [source .PPT]
- "The Data Reference Model:Milestone 1: Moving from Abstract to Concrete." By Michael C. Daconta (Metadata Program Manager, Department of Homeland Security Metadata Center of Excellence - MCOE). June 13, 2005. [source .PPT]
- "FEA DRM Management Strategy" By Mary McCaffery (EPA), and Suzanne Acar (DOI). 13 slides. "The Data Reference Model provides a structure that facilitates the development and effective sharing of government data across communities of practice and lines of business." [source .PPT]
- "Data Reference Model:Update on Status." By Brand Niemann (Co-Chair, Semantic Interoperability Community of Practice - SICoP; Best Practices Committee, CIO Council; Enterprise Architecture Team, Office of Environmental Information, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency). March 7, 2005. 24 slides. Prepared for DRM WG Meeting by SICoP. [source .PPT]
- FEA-DRM Public Forum 'drm-public'. See the archives. Subscribe, then post to email@example.com.
- Open Standards for Government Information Sharing: Timing the Transformations Needed for Sustained Progress By Combining the Expertise of Multiple Communities.
- Emerging Component Conferences
- "The Data Reference Model. Volume I, Version 1.0. U.S. Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) Program, Office of Management and Budget (OMB). September 2004. 28 pages. [source PDF]
- Other references:
FEAMS. "The Federal Enterprise Architecture Management System (FEAMS) is a web-based management system designed to provide agencies with access to initiatives aligned to the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) and associated reference models. FEAMS includes multiple features to provide users with an intuitive approach to discover and potentially leverage components, business services, and capabilities across the Federal Government. FEAMS was designed in close cooperation with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Federal Enterprise Architecture Program Management Office (FEA-PMO), and the Architecture and Infrastructure Committee (AIC)."
CORE.GOV - FEA's Center for Components - "CORE.GOV, the Component Organization and Registration Environment — your government source for business process and technical components. CORE.GOV is the place to search for and locate a specific component that meets your needs, or to find components you can customize to meet your unique requirements. You can also recommend components for inclusion in CORE.GOV. CORE.GOV grew out of the Federal Enterprise Architecture (FEA) Project Management Office, the goal of which is to support cross-agency collaboration, transformation and government-wide improvement. CORE.GOV offers an environment where such collaboration takes place seamlessly and easily..." See the GCN article.
"Global Justice XML Data Model (GJXDM)." - "Global Justice XML Data Model (Global JXDM) is a comprehensive product that includes a data model, a data dictionary, and an XML schema that together is known as the Global JXDM. The Global JXDM is sponsored by OJP, with development supported by the Global XML Structure Task Force (GXSTF) which works closely with researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI). New releases are issued by the GXSTF, which reviews and evaluates each version of the Global JXDM."
National Information Exchange Model (NIEM). "NIEM is an interagency initiative to provide the foundation and building blocks for national-level interoperable information sharing and data exchange. The NIEM project was formally announced at the Global Justice XML Data Model (Global JXDM) Executive Briefing on February 28, 2005. It is initiated as a joint venture between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) with outreach to other departments and agencies. The base technology for the NIEM is the Global JXDM. The NIEM will leverage both the extensive Global JXDM reference model and the comprehensive Global JXDM XML-based framework and support infrastructure."
Intelligence Information Sharing Standards (IISS) - "Common metadata methods and properties are critical elements of an information architecture that encourages information sharing and collaboration. They are essential to the rigorous exploitation of a robust knowledge management capability. To promote data interoperability throughout the Intelligence Community (IC) and among other national security communities of interest, the IC Chief Information Officer (CIO) Executive Council established the IC Metadata Working Group (IC MWG). The IC MWG promulgates the April 2003 IC policy requiring IC-wide use of the IC XML standard for metadata and metadata markup. The IC MWG also identifies and harmonizes enterprise-level metadata and metadata markup standards. ... The United States Intelligence Community Metadata Working Group provides a public home page as a site for information about the metadata standards activities within the Intelligence Community, for the purposes of data interoperability and information discovery."
Chief Information Officers Council (the CIO Council). "The CIO Council is a forum to improve agency practices related to the design, acquisition, development, modernization, use, sharing, and performance of federal government information resources. The CIO Council communicates its findings to the Office of Management and Budget and to other executive agencies." See also "US Federal CIO Council XML Working Group."
Emerging Technology Components Marketplace for eGovernment. " ComponentTechnology.Org is a Community of Practice (CoP) committed to breaking down barriers to eGovernment and small business development. The Small Business Administration's SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research Program) and its collaboration with the CIO Council's Emerging Technology Subcommittee have provided a catalyst to jump start this CoP rapidly. It is also a Quarterly Series of Conferences where communities of practice collaborate to mutual benefit to achieve break-through performance. The Emerging Technology Subcommittee Helps Simplify and Unify the FEA and Architecture & Infrastructure Committee Process and Tasks and Embed the Business Processes and the EA in the Components Themselves under a Service-Oriented Architecture..."
ET.gov - "ET.gov aims to help facilitate the discovery of various types of components which may be beneficial to the government and provide a formal channel by which emerging technologies can be evaluated. ET.gov will help to facilitate communication between CIOs, governmental decision makers, Submitters and other integrators by taking a standards-based approach to capitalize on the benefits of XML and maximize the benefits of the World Wide Web. By providing a standard XML schema for component description and a submission point from which components can be evaluated, ET.gov is designed to aid the discovery of new technologies."
Networking among Communities of Practice (COP).
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