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New Guidance on Using JSON with NIEM

In response to community feedback and an evolving technical landscape, the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) Technical Architecture Committee (NTAC) is excited to announce the release of recommended practice guidance for using JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) with NIEM. The document is a first step in establishing a repeatable and interoperable methodology for using JSON to represent NIEM-conformant information exchanges.

While NIEM currently uses Extensible Markup Language (XML) for its reference model and definition of information exchanges, NIEM recognizes that some organizations routinely use JSON as their primary data-interchange format. To showcase the work being done to address this shift, the website now has a page dedicated to JSON — a lightweight, text-based, language-independent data interchange format that defines a small set of formatting rules for the portable representation of structured data. 

NIEM is seeking feedback on this new guidance. The document explains how a NIEM Information Exchange Package Documentation (IEPD) describes a JSON message by showing that XML elements, attributes, and other features can be expressed as JSON objects. These guidelines use JavaScript Object Notation-Linked Data (JSON-LD), which supports namespace-qualified names and widely-used linked data methodologies. NIEM plans to eventually replace these guidelines with a normative specification that defines NIEM-conforming JSON.

An initial pilot for this guidance will be a collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The NIEM team is eager to hear input on using JSON with NIEM. Learn more by visiting the NIEM JSON page and reviewing the guidance. Please contact us with questions or feedback.