Friday, July 15, 2005

Data-Sharing SystemsThat Work

Jennifer Maselli, Government Enterprise

Data Defined
With the Bush administration's emphasis on improving data sharing among agencies, particularly as it relates to matters of homeland security, the Justice Department 3-1/2 years ago began developing the Global Justice XML Data Model. Global JXDM can be used by any local, state, or federal agency to share information with other departments without requiring them to replace existing systems.

One of Global JXDM's most critical applications is its use by the departments of Justice and Homeland Security as the baseline technology underlying the National Information Exchange Model, a data-sharing initiative that will span Homeland Security agencies and support data dictionaries that encompass terminologies from the secret service, the intelligence community, and customs and immigration systems.

Global JXDM incorporates a data model that includes a data dictionary that houses more than 2,700 definitions and an XML schema. Using the technology, agencies can define small, reusable components--such as name, address, telephone number, and physical description fields--that seamlessly populate documents in other applications, such as rap sheets. There's no need for a separate interface to make sure that one application pulls the right data from another application when fields with the same data exist in these applications under different names--for instance, "last name" and "surname."

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