NIEM 3.0 Release

NIEM 3.0 is a major release, published October 2013.



  • NIEM adopted a new annual release strategy with a 3-year cycle: a major release one year would be followed by minor releases the next two years.

  • Added the Biometrics (biom) domain - replaced the ANSI NIST namespace from NIEM 2.0

  • The Family Services (fs) domain was renamed as Children, Youth, and Family Services (cyfs)

  • Military Operations (mo) debuted as a domain update after the NIEM 3.0 release

  • Augmentations were revised to use element substitution instead of type extension.
    • This addressed challenges users had faced with the limits of type extension, which only allowed for the use of an augmentation for a type from a single domain.
    • Element substitution allows for IEPD developers to use multiple domain augmentations to be used in combination together.
  • Extensive review and harmonization of Core components

  • Simplified XML schema syntax of elements and types

  • Added the conformanceTargets attribute to NIEM schemas to allow users to explicitly designate which NIEM specifications and rule sets are applicable

  • Added support for local terminology, allowing namespaces to define subject area-specific terms that do not appear in standard dictionaries

See the NIEM 3.0 change log spreadsheet for changes.

The following are the NIEM specifications that can be used with this release:

  • NIEM Naming and Design Rules, version 3.0 [published 2014]

    The NIEM Naming and Design Rules specifies the data model XML Schema components and XML data for use with the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM). Learn more...

  • Model Package Description, version 3.0.1 [published 2015]

    The NIEM Information Exchange Package Documentation (IEPD) Specification specifies normative rules and non-normative guidance for building NIEM information exchange messages. It defines IEPD artifacts like subset schemas, extension schemas, and MPD catalogs; and recommends how the package should be structured. Learn more...

  • NIEM Conformance Specification, version 3.0 [published 2014]

    The NIEM Conformance Specification introduces the idea of NIEM conformance and provides a general normative definition for its meaning, how it applies, and to what it does and does not apply. It describes the benefits of conformance, and refers to sources of information, tools, and help. Learn more...

  • NIEM Conformance Targets Attribute Specification, version 3.0 [published 2014]

    The Conformance Targets Attribute Specification (CTAS) defines how NIEM XML documents indicate what kind of artifact they are through the use of a conformance targets attribute. Learn more...

  • NIEM High-Level Version Architecture Specification, version 3.0 [published 2015]

    The NIEM High-Level Version Architecture (HLVA) Specification identifies the processes, artifacts, and responsibilities required to produce new releases of the NIEM model. It also establishes a regular release cycle for predictable and manageable NIEM updates. Learn more...

Specification Updates

Starting with NIEM 3.0, specification version numbers were adjusted to match the corresponding major NIEM release.

Naming and Design Rules (NDR) 3.0

The Naming and Design Rules (NDR) specification was updated from version 1.3 to version 3.0

Changes include:

  • Replaced conformant indicator with conformance targets for reference schema, extension schema, conformant schema document set and conformance instance XML document

  • Updated the approach used for augmentations
    • Replaced the use of type substitution with element substitution
    • Added augmentation point elements to object and association types
  • Added support for local vocabularies

  • Added structures:ref and merged content and reference elements

  • Added NDR Schematron rules to normatively define and validate conformance where possible.

  • Replaced ComplexObjectType with ObjectType and AssociationType

  • Added multiple representations of code lists (code, literal)

  • Removed appinfo base

  • Removed sequenceID, augmentation and metadata elements

  • Replaced external adaptor type indicator with an attribute

  • Added external import indicator

  • Replaced applies-to element with substitution groups for augmentations and applies-to types and applies-to elements for metadata

  • Replaced link metadata with relationship metadata

  • Replaced appinfo annotation elements with attributes

  • Replaced reference target annotations with XML schema type attribute

Model Package Description (MPD) Specification 3.0

The NIEM Model Package Description (MPD) specification was updated from version 1.1 to version 3.0

Conformance Targets Attribute (CTAS) Specification 3.0 - new

The NIEM Conformance Targets Attribute (CTAS) specification was introduced as version 3.0

NIEM UML Profile

The NIEM UML Profile was updated to version 3.0