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What is a​n IEPD?

To begin exchanging information, information exchange partners must first develop a data exchange. In NIEM, a “data exchange” is also known as an Information Exchange Package (IEP), a description of specific information exchanged between a sender and a receiver. The IEP is usually coupled with additional documentation, sample XML instances, business rules, and more to compose an Information Exchange Package Documentation (IEPD). An IEPD is the final product of the NIEM exchange development process, also known as the IEPD Lifecycle.

A user builds an IEPD from business requirements in order for the IEPD to include both business and technical artifacts that define the information exchange taking place between multiple parties. For example, there are technical schemas that define the specific data being exchanged, as well as non-technical documents that capture information such as business rules and context.​

The IEPD Lifecycle

A focal point of interoperability, the concept of IEPD is fundamental to the NIEM reference architecture.

The IEPD Lifecycle has six phases:

  1. Scenario Planning: Enables the identification of scenarios requiring the exchange of information, business requirements, and business context. 
  2. Analyze Requirements: Defines the business and data requirements associated with a NIEM information exchange. 
  3. Map and Model: Comprises of activities focused on creating the exchange model, then mapping it to the NIEM model. 
  4. Build and Validate: Focuses on the creation of a set of NIEM-conformant XML schemas that implement the document structure identified in the previous steps.  
  5. Assemble and Document: Concentrates on assembling all artifacts of the IEPD, and completing any remaining documentation. 
  6. Publish and Implement: Focuses on publishing the IEPD, and using it in a production mode.

NIEM-conformant IEPDs follow the Model Package Description (MPD) Specification, which requires that XML schemas and instance documents contained within the IEPD are NIEM-conformant, and describes additional requirements for a collection of artifacts to comprise an

Ready to get started building your IEPD or want to know more? Check out our getting started guide to assist in your NIEM understanding and technical development.

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