Info-sharing architecture framework released

Federal information sharing now has an enterprise architecture framework.

The Program Manager for the Information Sharing Environment (PM-ISE) issued Version 1.0 of the Enterprise Architecture Framework (EAF) for the ISE Aug. 30.

“The vision for the ISE is to create a powerful national capability to share and search terrorism information across jurisdictional boundaries,” the framework document states. “The ISE, and the information resources construct developed from the ISE EAF, will link ISE participants and create a distributed, protected and trusted environment for sharing information.”

The framework provides guidance to information-sharing partners, including federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The document identifies interfaces and standards necessary for sharing information. It also offers a road map for long-term technology improvements and planning, investing in and integrating information systems, Thomas McNamara, who serves as PM-ISE, wrote in a memo to agency secretaries.

The PM-ISE developed the architecture as part of its plan to facilitate the sharing of information related to terrorism and homeland security. The framework builds on existing policies, business processes and technologies. It incorporates the federal enterprise architecture and the intelligence community’s and Defense Department’s enterprise architectures. The Office of Management and Budget’s Federal Transition Framework also includes elements of the new information-sharing framework.

The framework identifies high-level business processes and information flows in addition to relationships, services, and high-level data descriptions and exchanges.

The data descriptions include:

* Core services such as discovery, security, mediation, messaging, enterprise management and storage.
* Portal services such as collaboration, user interfaces, hosting, publish/subscribe services and user assistance.
* Core transport services to connect agencies at designated interfaces to support information sharing.

The framework has four components:

* Business processes and functions.
* The data required to support business processes.
* Applications and services that support the business processes. “A primary objective will be to reuse and integrate existing government capabilities and bring these together in a unified and logical manner using a service-based architecture,” according to the EAF fact sheet.
* Technologies and standards used to implement applications and services.

“Each organization participating in the ISE will also operate components that will become a part of the ISE,” the document states. “These components are simultaneously part of the ISE EAF and part of the agency’s enterprise architecture. Each organization should consider defining an information-sharing segment within its enterprise architecture.”

The document states that the segment could include data assets, applications and services that facilitate information sharing, and it will include the software and hardware that provide the interface to the ISE Core Segment.

PM-ISE and OMB will oversee agency implementation and periodic updates, the document states.


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