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GCN : June 2014
An information-sharing project recently launched by the Of ce of the Director of National Intelligence aims to develop a set of tools that would make it easier for government agencies at all levels, as well as private sector organizations, to move data between existing networks and systems. The intent is to have Project Interopera- bility be "architecture agnostic," the ODNI said, and to achieve a connected govern- ment by normalizing the way information sharing technology is developed. ODNI also wants the project to be a commu- nity-led endeavor, and it recently moved the project site to GitHub where potential users can view, comment on, add to and make changes to the tools, similar to an open source process. The site currently lists 10 of what ODNI calls the top tools for building information interoperability, along with several use cases that provide exam- ples for how the tools and standards the project is developing can help organizations improve interoperability. "We're taking the long view on this," said Michael Kennedy, director for Architecture and Interoperability at the ODNI. "We see it as a living project that can change in real-time as requirements and customer needs change." The structure of Project Interop- erability has evolved from where it started some 30 months ago, he said. The goal was always for it to act as the "white space" between information frameworks that existed in agencies and other organizations and to help link those. As the project got closer to the nish, the various tools emerged as very technical in nature. Two of the most well-developed tools --- one for Architecture Alignment and a Maturity Model --- can be used as guidelines to give organizations a general understanding of where they are with interoperability But they also allow agen- cies to drill down and pull out speci c technical information they'll need to make their networks interoperable. The Architecture Alignment tool would be used to create interoperability between different enterprise architecture frameworks. It describes the interopera- bility needs, requirements and alignment for the various domains --- business, data, performance, security, infrastruc- ture, applications and systems --- in- cluded in the Of ce of Management and Budget's Common Approach to Federal Enterprise Architecture. Likewise, the Maturity Model gives a way for agencies to evaluate their mis- sion reference architecture and the in- teroperability artifacts it contains against what's required by the federal govern- ment's Information Sharing Environment model. If agencies use these tools, Kennedy said, then interoperability will inevitably develop as they build attribute change capabilities into their systems and pro- cesses, along with identity and access management. They'll then be able to "responsibly" share information, he said. "It's not our intention to force this on anyone, and organizations are free to choose to use anywhere between all or none of these tools," he said. "Each tool will provide for a different level of interop- erability. What we are saying is that the more you choose to use, the more likely your systems will be interoperable." • Intel agency builds toolbox for information interoperability BY BRIAN ROBINSON GCN JUNE 2014 • GCN.COM 7 Is your enterprise architecture interoperable? Operation Capabilities Exchange Patterns Technical Standards Technical Capabilities Exchange Specs Common Approach Domains Business Data Infrastructure Performance Security Applications x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x The x indicates where there is some alignment between Project Interoperability operational capabilities and the Common Approach domain. Source: Office of the Director of National Intelligence