OMB seeks consensus on enterprise architecture terms

Are agencies across government using the same terms to describe the elements of their enterprise architectures?

What the Office of Management and Budget is finding is that they are not, said Bob Haycock, OMB's chief architect.

'We must work toward a common definition of terms so we can all understand what each other is talking about,' he said today in Washington at the Enterprise Architecture 2003 conference sponsored by GCN and the Digital Government Institute LLC of Bethesda, Md.

The CIO Council's Enterprise Architecture Infrastructure Governance Subcommittee will survey agencies to understand agencies' frameworks and outline the similarities, differences and gaps between them and the FEA, Haycock said.

'We are trying to understand what is out there, who is using it, how it is implemented and how it lines up with the FEA,' he said. 'This is incredibly hard work and will take a lot of time and effort.'

Once the FEA and all agency architectures use standard terms, agencies will start to reap more benefits from the reference models, Haycock said.

OMB expects the Data Reference Model'the fifth of five governmentwide blueprints'to be out in draft form by early spring.

'This will be a vehicle to facilitate interoperability and data sharing by describing the data attributes and their definitions,' Haycock said. 'It will be a metadata framework. We will not do data modeling for the federal government.'

Along with work on the Data Reference Model, OMB and the CIO Council are in the beginning stages of a security profile for the FEA, which will detail security attributes of each reference layer.

OMB also expects to release Version 2.1 of the Business Reference Model before the fiscal 2006 budget process begins in February, and OMB will work with agencies to improve the Technical and Service Component reference models, Haycock said.

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