NIEM and JSON Overview

The NIEM Technical Architecture Committee (NTAC) is in the process of developing guidelines and specifications supporting the use of JSON with NIEM.

JSON is defined by RFC 4627:

JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) is a lightweight, text-based, language-independent data interchange format. JSON defines a small set of formatting rules for the portable representation of structured data.

The NTAC has produced Non-Normative Guidance in Using NIEM with JSON. The guidance lays out how a NIEM IEPD describes a JSON message, by showing that XML elements, attributes, and other features can be expressed as JSON objects. These guidelines use JSON-LD, which supports namespace-qualified names, maintains the RDF conceptual model used by NIEM, and supports widely-used linked data methodologies.

As part of the NIEM 4.0 release, NIEM has published online a NIEM JSON-LD context, to provide a Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) mapping for each namespace used in NIEM. This enables JSON users an easy way for JSON messages to use and reference the model, providing an easy-to-use linked data approach to NIEM.

Future work will develop specifications supporting the use of NIEM JSON messages as a fully NIEM-conformant representation of a NIEM IEPD. In addition, work may include tools that support the transformation of data between NIEM JSON and NIEM XML.