NIEM is the National Information Exchange Model, a collaborative project to aid information exchange across a broad community, to ensure that data in motion works with a broad array of tools, and retains its meaning across organzational boundaries. The NIEM community brings together state, local, tribal, and federal government organizations within the United States, along with international partners, to define reusable data structures and rules for their use.
NIEM has two technical aspects that work together:
The NIEM community consists of groups that govern the technical architecture and the data model of NIEM. Data model governance is distributed, with a core group governing the NIEM core, and self-governing domains addressing functional areas, like justice, agriculture, and transportation.
NIEM has developed a set of practices for information exchanges, which include:
The National Information Exchange Model has developed a set of rules for various pieces that make up an information exchange. Something that follows these rules is called NIEM-conformant.
The Value of NIEM page describes the results of using NIEM, which include:
There are several pieces that make up information exchange. NIEM has rules for each of these, to support understanding of messages and to convey meaning:
An IEP (information exchange package): an XML document that constitutes a message, exchange, data item, or payload. An IEP may be transmitted from a sender to a receiver, or may be a static document.
An IEPD (information exchange package description): An IEP or message is defined by an specification; NIEM calls this specification an IEPD. An IEPD is defined by a community to describe a set of messages. An IEPD contains an XML Schema, documentation, and other needed files.
An XML schema: An IEP is described by an XML schema, which is a set of XML Schema documents that together describe the XML format of a message.
An XML Schema document: An XML Schema document (XSD) is an XML document that describes some features of XML documents. A set of XSDs are brought together to form an XML schema, which is used by an XML Schema-validating parser to make data accessible to software.
NIEM has practices that each of these pieces must follow in order to be conformant.
NIEM has practices, methods, and formats for the pieces that compose an information exchange. These are expressed as a set of specifications. These specifications can be useful to an individual developer or implementer of an exchange, however we don’t expect most developers to read them.
We encourage developers to use tools provided by the NIEM program to construct and validate a NIEM-conformant exchange, including:
In addition to the tools above, developers may use the specifications to guide development of conformant artifacts. Relevant specifications include: