The National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) is an XML-based standard for enterprise-wide data sharing between United States government agencies and their information partners. It aims to provide a means for these entities to improve decision making, achieve greater operating efficiency, mitigate risk, improve public safety, and increase ROI through intergovernmental information exchange.
At the center of the data model is NIEM core, an XML Schema defining a collection of granular universal objects such as person, address, etc. This schema is extended with a growing number of domain models that provide more specific definitions for commonly exchanged information types. Domains currently addressed by NIEM include: Justice, Intelligence, Immigration, Emergency Management, Maritime, Family Services, Infrastructure Protection, and more.
According to the NIEM Web site, all 50 US states and 19 federal agencies are committed to using NIEM at varying levels of maturity. However, unlike other data exchange specifications, the NIEM framework does not provide a standard configuration for the individual messages themselves. NIEM exchange developers need tools for modeling, composing, and validating NIEM IEPD (Information Package Exchange Documentation) messages.
Because of its inherent flexibility, the NIEM framework touches on a wide variety of standards including XML, XML Schema, XSLT, Web services, and even UML. Altova MissionKit is the only software package on the market that addresses all of these technologies and more, providing tools that support the end-to-end conception, modeling, development, management, and execution of NIEM messages.
XMLSpy NIEM Schema Tools
XMLSpy provides a graphical schema design interface that simplifies the development of XML Schemas, allowing XML code to be generated in real-time behind the scenes. Users can switch back and forth between this view and text view at any time during their design process.NIEM schema tools include:
- Graphical XML Schema editor for creating the IEPD Extension Schema, Constraint Schema, and Exchange Schema
- Extended validation for naming and coding conventions, including the NIEM Naming and Design Rules (NDR)
- Support for creating sample values for XML instance generation
- Schema flattener and schema subset creation
Other XMLSpy NIEM Development Tools
In addition to broad XML Schema tools, XMLSpy provides comprehensive support for all other prevalent XML technologies often used in conjunction with NIEM, supporting:
UModel NIEM Tools
The NIEM-UML specification (currently in beta) was created to enable greater adoption of NIEM by making it easier to understand how to develop and implement NIEM-compliant information exchanges. UModel is a UML modeling tool well suited for exploring and working with NIEM-UML and other standards. Features include:
MapForce NIEM Tools
Data mapping is a crucial step at several levels in the NIEM process. Mapping helps users generate a subset schema to determine what elements can be used from the core and domain models, it is also used to perform a transform from one NIEM vocabulary to another. Some NIEM implementations also employ Web services to provide a mechanism for the exchange.MapForce functionality includes:
SchemaAgent NIEM Tools
Because of the potential to have many different schemas in each IEPD, XML Schema management can become an arduous process. SchemaAgent is a unique file management tool that lets users visually manage their XML Schema, XML, XSLT, and WSDL assets in a project-based environment so that changes and structure of the file configuration can be easily recognized. SchemaAgent supports:
- Graphical XML Schema management tool
- Drag-and-drop creation of schema relationships (IIRs)
- Management of related XSLT, XML, and WSDL files
- Mapping documentation generation
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