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National Interoperability Frameworks Observatory – NIFO

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Last update: August 2009


What is a National Interoperability Frameworks Observatory?
Why is NIFO important?
Objectives
Activities
Documentation
The role of IDABC
Technical information


What is a National Interoperability Frameworks Observatory?

The objective of the National Interoperability Frameworks Observatory (NIFO) is to provide an observatory of national interoperability frameworks (a.k.a. government interoperability frameworks) based on an analytical model allowing a comparison of different aspects of these frameworks. This tool will enhance experience and knowledge sharing in this area, improve the awareness of NIF and speed up NIF development in Europe.

 

Creation of the NIFO is an accompanying activity to two other important IDABC projects: development of the European Interoperability Framework v2.0 and revision of the Architecture Guidelines. The combined overall goal of these three activities is to identify, support and promote the development and establishment of European public services and the underlying interoperable telematic networks. These IDABC projects also contribute to supporting the Member States and the Community in the implementation, within their respective area of competence, of Community policies and activities, achieving substantial benefits for public administrations, business and citizens.

In practice, the NIFO will be an online tool for observing and comparing a number of aspects of interoperability frameworks such as governance structures, web services repositories or message semantics etc.

 

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Why is NIFO important?

The scope of national interoperability frameworks is within the jurisdictions for which they are developed. However, within the Single European Market national administrations must be ready to work together, over the boundaries of individual countries, to cater for public services delivered to the European citizens and businesses.

Therefore, it is important that the national interoperability frameworks are aligned in addressing various aspects of achieving interoperability. Furthermore, the second version of the European Interoperability Framework will take into account the national interoperability frameworks and related activities that today either already exist in the Member States or are being prepared. This requires a commonly agreed approach for delivering enhanced public value via interoperable electronic public services.

The NIFO is a project that completes the picture of other IDABC programme activities aiming at identifying, supporting and promoting the development and establishment of European public services and the underlying interoperable telematic networks. These activities also contribute to supporting the Member States and the Community in the implementation, within their respective area of competence, of Community policies and activities, achieving substantial benefits for public administrations, business and citizens.

 

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Objectives

The NIFO project aims at setting up the National Interoperability Frameworks Observatory in 2009 and has these objectives:

  • To carry out a comparative analysis, not a benchmark, of the national interoperability frameworks (NIFs) based on an analytical model and methodology in order to gain a structural snapshot of the various NIFs
  • To propose a set of recommendations tackling the possible incompatibilities of NIFs in order to avoid proliferation of potential barriers to interoperability
  • To raise awareness about NIFs by setting up the NIFO and presenting them in the NIFO in order to help further development of the NIFs

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Activities

The activities linked up with these objectives will be carried out in two stages:

  • Stage 1: conception, modelling and demonstration of the observatory on three NIFs (December 2008 – April 2009)
  • Stage 2: data collection, data analysis and completion of the observatory for all available NIFs (August 2009 -  January 2010)

Stage 1 of the NIFO project was finalised in April 2009 and it delivered the instruments for setting up the NIFO which are: the analytical model, presentation model and the NIF Overview.

  • Analytical Model — Using inputs from other similar research and initiatives the analytical model has been developed consisting of three dimensions assessing the NIF: context & principles, interoperability and services support. Each of the dimensions contains sub-aspects for assessment. The evaluation is done by providing a qualitative assessment of the NIF documentation and NIF processes.

    To ensure quality and applicability of the analytical model three countries were selected of varying government sizes and organizations: Denmark, Germany and Malta. All three countries have been analyzed by means of a case study approach including desk research and interviews with the national experts.

  • Presentation Model — The qualitative assessment results in the representation in a presentation model allowing quick reference and mutual comparison between NIFs.

  • NIF Overview - condensed up-to-date information on all Interoperability Frameworks from the countries in scope.

Stage 2 of the NIFO project was launched in August 2009 with the aim to collect and analyse the data for other NIFs and complete the observatory. For each of the Member States that have a National Interoperability Framework, 14 in all, a comparative analysis will be made on a detailed level. For the remaining countries, a quick analysis is planned to determine if there is a NIFO in development. High level information for these countries on their activities on Interoperability will also be part of the observatory.

Stage 2 will be composed of three phases:

  • Phase 1 – Revisiting the Analytical model with the aim to relate to the recommendations of Stage 1. This will also handle a more detailed approach towards the analysis. 

  • Phase 2 – Collecting the data from the Member States in scope and populating the model.
     
  • Phase 3 – This phase focuses around the communication aspect of the model and its online presence.

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Documentation


Final report of NIFO project: Stage 1 contains the results of the first stage of the project, description of the analytical model creation and a feedback from two external academic sources together with conclusions and recommendation for stage 2.

Final Report
EnglishPDF[815 Kb]

Analytical Model
containing the structure of the model and information on the three countries analysed: Germany, Denmark and Malta.

Analytical model
EnglishPDF[75 Kb]
EnglishOpenDocument Spreadsheet[75 Kb]
English[80 Kb]

NIF Overview
containing condensed up-to-date information on 34 interoperability frameworks.

NIF overview
EnglishPDF[81 Kb]
EnglishOpenDocument Spreadsheet[86 Kb]
EnglishXLS[102 Kb]

Presentation Model
is a simplified view on the data in the analytical model:

Presentation model
EnglishPDF[11 Kb]

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The role of IDABC

The IDABC programme funds and executes this action under chapter HM 4.1 of the
IDABC work programme

The project collaborates closely with public administrations.

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Technical information

Project start date

December 2008

Project completion date

Ongoing

IDABC budget

Stage 1 € 140.000

 

Stage 2 € 150.000

Responsible service

DG Informatics - IDABC Unit

Project coordinator

Aldo LAUDI

Contact

idabc@ec.europa.eu

Countries involved

EU Member States, candidate countries and EFTA countries

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