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Strategic Initiatives

NIEM evolves with community needs and technology trends. We are pursuing several Strategic Initiatives to simply use, embrace emerging technology, and welcome new communities.

Flexible formats

We recognize that organizations may have requirements to create exchanges in formats other than the original XML representation. This is why NIEM is focusing on developing tools, profiles and guidance that help users build exchanges in formats that work best for them. Contact us if you have data format needs that aren't currently being met by NIEM's current tools environment.

NIEM-Metamodel and Common Model Format

The NIEM Technical Architecture Committee (NTAC) is currently working on a new modeling approach that addresses the needs of different users who might interact with NIEM, including users who are concerned primarily with the data, developers who want to build applications for those users, as well people who create technical specifications and tools for those developers. This explicit metamodel approach has allowed for the introduction of a technology-neutral data model format, which is a NIEM-conforming message specification which defines the Common Model Format.  The Common Model Format can be expressed in XML, JSON, or any other data serialization that NIEM Supports.  Visit the NIEM Metamodel and Common Model Format page to learn more.


Many organizations now use JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) instead of XML for their data-interchange format when adapting to new reporting requirements or open data needs, creating mobile exchanges, or simply for ease of use. Visit the NIEM JSON page to learn more about NIEM's current approach for supporting the use of JSON with NIEM.  

Going global

NIEM may have started in the U.S., but its reach doesn’t stop there. International governments and private sector organizations can maximize the value of NIEM, too. Communities in Europe, North America, and Australia already use NIEM for their information exchange efforts. NIEM 5.0 represents an initial step toward evolving NIEM to support a more global exchange environment. As part of the 5.0 development process, a dedicated team collaborated with several strategic international partners to identify information that should be added or updated within both NIEM Core and individual subcommittees to meet their business needs.

Updates to NIEM Core include but not limited to:

  • Added Controlled Unclassified Information (cui) as auxiliary content
  • Added Statistics (stat) as auxiliary content
  • Added additional Public Health Emergency Operations Center (PH EOC) requirements to the Emergency Management subcommittee
  • Moved Core code elements to code namespaces to break the import dependencies, allowing easy updates in minor releases
  • Harmonized FBI code sets across the NCIC, NDEx, UCR, and Justice namespaces
  • Replaced the full GML external standard with a simplified NIEM profile
  • Re-established the structures:sequenceID attribute allowing explicit ordering of repeated elements
  • Simplified the folder layout in the release package, removing extra nesting and versions.

Future releases of NIEM will continue progress toward internationalization and will tackle such topics as identifying US-centric definitions that could be replaced with more holistic definitions.

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